empathy

Awesome Bear Saves The Day!

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar––good advice, if for some odd reason you’re trying to collect those pesky insects. Yet if you take this adage figuratively, it’s also a great way to affect change. Currently at myplasticheartPhilip Lumbang’s works showing the transformation of an edgy LA bear into a sweet, cuddly, polite and…for lack of a better word “awesome” bear could solve all world problems. I’m talkin’ about taking down depression, hunger and disease. Hey, one can dream! 


So Cayoot!


This exhibit was a refreshing break from my norm. I usually cover more eclectic art collections, and Lumbang’s show was the first to follow a single character. To see Awesome Bear in various environs, sporting different costumes and expressions, gave the exquisite impression that he were truly coming to life. This is not just about a bear.  This collection is more than that––it is a study of human emotion and psychology and demonstrates the influence artists wield.

awesome-bear2Awesome Bear to the rescue! Photo courtesy of myplasticheart

By creating a signature figure and enlivening it with multiple outfits, emotions, gestures and backgrounds, Lumbang like so many cartoon artists before him, has accomplished the same feat as Dr. Frankenstein. He brought life to something inanimate. Through gradual changes Awesome Bear has turned into a symbol of love, peace and an icon for understanding. This furry creature seemingly has the world on his shoulders given the magnitude of the message he has been created to share, and yet somehow through it all he manages to look so dang cayoot!

Awesome Bear Saves the World?


Can we, like Awesome Bear, undergo positive personal transformations? Can we go from angry, rude, hopeless city dwellers corrupted by the stresses of modern life to happy, cuddly, selfless and empathetic care-bear type beings? Sounds good to me. Instead of dirty R trains and stoic strangers stealing taxis from me, I’d love to slide down rainbows, sing about sunny days and hug my fellow man while flowers and stars soar above us in time with the delightful melody playing in the backdrop.  Oh, alas!  If only we could all be Awesome Bears the world would be…well…Awesome!

  • myplasticheart – Philip Lumbang “The New Adventures of Awesome Bear” – March 15 – April 14, 2013 – Tuesday-Saturday: 12pm-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm [Price range of works: $200-$800] 

Article by Haajar “Hajee” Johnson