KARP: My piece for the Manila Transitio

A few people gathered around a sculpture made of candles The title of my piece for the 3rd Manila Transitio is: Labi. Labi is a tagalog word that can either mean "lips" or "remains", depending on how you pronounce it. The candle sculpture's shape is an impression of a pair of lips about to either release or take in air. Inhale or Exhale. Then there's also the use of candles as the material for the sculpture. We light them during celebrations and memorials. Birthdays and Death anniversaries. The death of the old Manila and the birth of the new one.

People participating in an interactive art installation made up of candles

The sculpture was an interactive one. I got the inspiration from those rows of candles by the entrance of temples and churches. I lit the first candle and asked the guests to spread the light to the other wicks. People liked the idea of being given the chance to participate in the artwork. It was only going to be up that night anyway so it seemed appropriate to create something ephemeral.

A little boy playing in front of a candle sculpture by Kristina Guison

The plan was to have all the candles lit, burned and melted away but there's been some problems with the management. It was starting to become a bonfire which was amazing and precisely the point but the problem was that it was sitting under a chandelier. Although we had to extinguish the fire  sometime during the night, the reception was quite good and some people still came to light the candles again, only to be blown out by the staff when they found out. It made a lot of mess on the table cloth and the floor. I had to beg and argue with some of the staff  but I'd say it was all worth it. This, so far, has been my most interactive piece and I absolutely love the feeling of letting the audience take part in the completion of the artwork.

An extinguished candle sculpture at the centre of a room