Toym Imao’s Carriage of Bounty

San Mazinger Z aka Carriage of the Couple’s Copious Conjugal Cupboard of Curios, Cuffs, Cops and Corpses

2015, brass, galvanized iron, fiberglass

4.5 x 3.4 x 4.9 meters

Toym Imao’s recent installation lavishly renders yet precariously places  pop, historical, mythological and religious elements in a carriage. It takes from carriages of saints ferried along streets for religious processions. In this piece however, mirth becomes a foil to the gravity of remembering.

Teeming with forms and metaphorically burdened with the weight of history, the work intimates a crawl or perhaps a slow fade through a parade – that is memory.


San Mazinger Z draws from the artist’s recollection of his favourite cartoon series of the eighties, Mazinger Z and Voltes V which were abruptly discontinued. These insinuate a disruption not only of a childhood enjoyment but also of a rupture in national memory.

My memories of this decade are marked by interminable black outs, the miracles, myths and atrocities of religious and political fervour that flooded the daily news.



The fracture or the fade out is a segment of history marred by darkness and fear, whose present recollections waver in treacherous forgetfulness.

Thus, Imao’s carriage while outwardly signifying bounty also signals a void. For how can such a vessel not break from its heft or gape from its dense mass?




Toym also designed the festive elements that mark the holidays at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus. It is a trail of light hoisted on bamboo frames along the University Avenue culminating in wisps of flame framing the UP Oblation and beacons marking Quezon Hall, the building behind. More on this in another post.


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