“OUR culture is as strong as [theirs], it is just a matter of appreciating it,” said Louie Talents, a free lance artist born and raised in CdeO, in a press conference for his latest exhibition ‘Me and the Now’ in Xavier University – Museo de Oro last June 5.

With the Manobo children as his inspiration, ‘Me and the Now’ is Talents' contemporary response to the current events and issues in Mindanao.

“The very heart of the exhibit is to focus on the issues, and really the idea of multimedia contemporary [art] is about the reaction [of the people],” Talents said. In this exhibit, he hopes to bring great impact to the society and expects strong criticisms from the audience.

Talents believes that art has the capacity to change the lifestyle of people, and this was backed by Hobart Savior, the director of Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts as he said, ”What is also very important now among young kids would be for them to be brought back to the way of how they should imagine, to increase the capacity to think and imagine. Because of the technology now, they do not read more or go back to our heritage... I think our efforts on really injecting culture and the arts to them will be a very strong [way] or a potent region to remain ourselves as strong Filipinos.”

“In this exhibit, we hope to entice younger audiences to know that art is beyond what is the in the fancy. Art is really something [that] functions, it has meaning and signification,” Savior added.

The targeted audiences for the exhibition are the young generation and the Xavier Community, for them to be exposed to contemporary art and to go beyond the frames of what art is known to be.

Museo de Oro also hopes that through this exhibition, more people can appreciate art, and for more artists to have interactive exhibits.

Assistant Curator Oscar Floirendo wishes for the public to know that the museum is not a place where they keep dead things. “The museum is alive!”

Talents is the first-ever artist to hold a solo exhibition in Museo de Oro, with five major art works done in Paris-France, in Manila, in Bukidnon, and in Cagayan de Oro.

In relation to the incoming Independence Day of the Philippines and the Charter Day for Cagayan de Oro, Museo de Oro opens the door to anyone who wishes to visit the art displayed in the museum for free on June 8-15.

Talents sees potential in the Cagayan de Oro industry for art to flourish more and for it to bring back the heritage of the Filipinos.

“My art is my opinion voiced out,” Talents said.(Patricia Ysabel D. Tabian, ADMU Intern)