"I just happened to have a few days downtime, so I decided to open the small bodega where I keep a lot of the objects I have collected over the years. And there was just so much. Well...why not share them with friends who visit Deus on the weekend."
Floy Quintos, playwright, director, creative think tank, an avid collector and weekend antiques dealer, is standing amidst a virtual treasure trove of Cordillera sculpture, utilitarian objects, folk art and textiles. All have just been unearthed from shelves and his plastic tubs in his bodega at home. "The ritual sculpture of the Cordilleras, textiles, adornments have always been a passion of mine,” he says. His shop in Padre Faura, Gallery Deus, has suppliers coming every week. “I basically buy what appeals to me. Objects with integrity, use, age and cultural significance. Humble, yes...but with integrity, good design and craftsmanship."
He picks up a wooden bowl from the Ifugao, and holds it up to the light. "Look at how well-made this simple bowl is, look at the smooth, glossy patina that comes from years of handling. It is a food bowl, but you put it on a glass table and suddenly, you see just how sculptural it is." Then, he opens a small basket and shows some shell earrings crafted by the Ilongot of Nueva Vizcaya, "See? These are so contemporary in design. They aren't old. We bought them from one of the last shell craftsmen who was working in the traditional mode."
He picks up a bulul rice guardian, with a decidedly powerful form. "Wait, do I really want to sell this?" A moment passes, and he puts it down. "I really like this. But so will (mentions a collector). He can give it a better home. Eh dito, nasa bodega lang!"
Having curated many museum shows focusing on the art and crafts of Filipino indigenous people, Floy most certainly has the eye for objects. "These objects remind us of the days when the things that were used at home, in rituals, in life, were all handmade and crafted. These were never looked at as art objects as we know them. The years of use, the wear-and-tear have all contributed to the loving worn patinas, to the softness of a textile, or the encrustation on a ritual object."
The Gallery Deus sale will showcase a range of objects from all price points. "At Deus, we are very proud of the fact that we not only cater to seasoned collectors and museums, we have helped beginners start modest collections. Part of the fun of coming to the gallery is scrounging around and discovering things.” Which is what Quintos hopes people will do this coming Saturday, Nov. 17 and Sunday, Nov 18. from 1 pm to 6pm.
Gallery Deus is located at the Padre Faura Center, corner P. Faura and MH del Pilar in Ermita.