Victor Balanon (b. 1972) is a self-taught artist based in Quezon City, Philippines. He started to study dental medicine but left school to pursue his interest in art. He later studied film and animation at the Mowelfund Film Institute in Manila. He has worked as an illustrator creating storyboards, album covers and posters for film, independent comics and alternative music labels and later as an animator for a major Japanese animation company. He has participated and supported various local artist-run initiatives in the 90’s, particularly with the collective Surrounded By Water. Since then, he had been invited in various group shows both locally and abroad. He had his first solo exhibition in 2011 and had more than 10 exhibitions to date. His works have been featured at the Jakarta Biennale, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, the University of the Philippines’ Vargas Museum and the Singapore Art Museum.
In his ongoing series of drawings (The Nameless Hundred and Losing the Plot on the Grand Scheme of Things), Balanon probes the nature of man’s collective memory by reinterpreting images from old films and news reels to create a strange yet familiar representation of reality. In a more subtle manner, he also attempts to reconcile his ethnic roots with global/colonial influence by his distinct handling of ink to mimic images from popular media. In his animated video art projects, he also employs the paradox and ironies that is inherent in art-making practices. There is an attempt to visually represent the thought-process in studio work, the transit from static to dynamic frames, the quandary over stillness vs. motion, and the intervention of artifice on nature.