Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two days ago marked the 119th Anniversary of Philippine Independence. On June 12, 1898, our nation’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, stood on the balcony of his home in the town of Kawit in Cavite Province to declare the emergence of a new nation, free from the yolk of colonialism. He unfurled, for the first time, our country’s flag to the tune of Marcha Filipina Magdalo, which eventually became Lupang Hinirang — the Philippine National Anthem.

On that day, the Filipino people heard the words “alab ng puso.” This forever forged how we see ourselves — as a people of burning fervor and passion in all that we do. These words are no truer than in our culture and arts, where Filipino artists express the highest ideals of our nation — sensitive to the past, respectful of tradition, yet looking towards the hope of a new dawn for our country.

We celebrate our artists this Independence Week at “Alab ng Puso,” an exhibit organized by Galerie Francesca, Galerie Joaquin, and SM Megamall. Works from important Philippine artists, depicting traditional Philippine themes through a range of media and aesthetics, are currently on display at SM Megamall Fashion Hall, in Ortigas Center until June 15, 2017.

The pinnacle of this exhibit is the inclusion of works by National Artists Federico Aguilar Alcuaz and Abdulmari Imao, as well as renowned Modernists Eduardo Castrillo and Ramon Orlina. These artists represent the heights of Philippine artistic achievement. Aguilar Alcuaz is known for his portraits, landscapes, and abstracts, painted with the verve and dynamism of a master expressionist, while Imao brings the colorful artistic traditions of Islamic Philippine art to his fine paintings and sculptures, bringing life to his sarimanoks and sari-okirs. Both Eduardo Castrillo and Ramon Orlina are renowned sculptors, albeit with different approaches. Castrillo is known for his large monuments, such as the EDSA People Power Monument, while Orlina is celebrated for his glass sculptures.

The works of these four Masters will be joined by some of the finest artists practicing today, including Michael Cacnio, Dominic Rubio, Edwin Wilwayco, Raul Isidro, Carlo Magno, Juanito Torres, Benjie Mallari, Ram Mallari, Jinggoy Salcedo, Richard Arimado, Carlo Ongchangco, and Ephraim Samson. TOYM-Awardee Michael Cacnio has forged one of the most sought-after and critically acclaimed practices in the country today. Having had over 50 sold-out solo exhibitions in the US, Europe, and Asia, Cacnio’s candid depictions of tableaux scenes of Philippine genre has been noted by critics as representing the best of genre in sculptural form. Dominic Rubio, on the other hand, is known for his colonial landscapes and trademark elongation of the neck for his subjects. Edwin Wilwayco and Carlo Magno are among the best abstractionists active today, and Juanito Torres has built a following on the back of his historical surrealist paintings — many of which hang in prominent historical museums in the country.

For more information, please call Galerie Francesca Megamall at (632) 570-9495.

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