Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Sean Joy Cabanig

Artist: Sean Joy Cabanig
Exhibition: All Work All Play 
Media: Metal-work
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website & Instagram: N/A
Sean Joy Cabanig showcases her first & last solo show at California State University, Long Beach. Cabanig is currently an undergraduate pursuing her BFA and is expected to graduate this upcoming semester. Originally from Los Angeles, she realized she wanted to work with metals after initially being enrolled as a Creative Writing Major. Coming from a Filipino background with high/practical standards from her parents was not her “cup of tea” as her desire to pursue metalworks is a counter to their expectations. Aside from being an art student, she loves to cook, spend time with her friends & boyfriend, read mangas, and play video games. As an artist, she tries to experiment on metals as many of her works seem complex. Cabanig’s works of art is a reflection of her desire to pursue in something she feels comfortable with.
Cabanig’s primary technique for her work mainly consists of metal work. Although an average piece can take a simple day to create; each individual varies depending on its complexity. Because “complexity” is a primary factor into her works, a lot of her pieces are invested as it shows a lot of effort. From metal works, she uses silver as it’s a “precious” form of metal considering its fragile state. Because she relies on silver, not only does she incorporate complexity into her work, she also must be careful when planning what to create. She formally starts with an idea (each one being a topic from the professor), then sketches. After obtaining a proper model, she then experiments with metals by changing its properties into her work of art. Her works varies from blacksmith to jewelry, as she primarily relies on black and white rather than colors.
Cabanig’s exhibit is a combination of her environment, mood, sense of humor, and her experimental nature. Because she came from parents who wanted her to pursue into something STEM related, the fact that she countered their expectations reflects her works. Being creative, and primarily experimental, she wants to try new things in order to find a sense of completion. The fact that she combats Asian’s struct cultural value of education, the title of her gallery, “All work, all play” fits perfectly with what she wants to accomplish. For example, while many pieces are quite divine, others are on the humorous side as it shows a combination of Cabanig’s nature.
Cabanig’s pieces allow me to see how one can adapt to the real world while keeping a sense of yourself intact. While she does having some creative & elegant pieces, the fact that she was able to incorporate her own personality into her works inspires me to be true to myself in terms of my passions and future. The primary use of black and white – two contrasting elements, really enhances her work as it compliments the whole essence of the show. For the most part, I’m not only impressed with the visuals, but also the meaning behind her work.



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