Davao artists advocate for originality in art, photography

SunStar Photo by Ramcez Villegas
SunStar Photo by Ramcez Villegas

DAVAO City's artists and photographers are emphasizing the importance of integrity in their work, particularly in owning their creations and claiming originality.

While paintings and photography are susceptible to copyright claims, Dabawenyo artists acknowledge that drawing inspiration from other works is common in their industry. However, they caution against outright copying.

Dexter Tanedo, a Davao-based artist and art coordinator of La Herencia, an event venue for artworks, explained the concept of art appropriation, where existing images are used as a foundation for creating something new. He emphasized that it's not a complete replica.

During the PepTalks media forum at SM Lanang Premier, on October 3, he acknowledged that while originality is encouraged, generating entirely new ideas from scratch can be challenging. He also noted that quantifying passion in art is subjective.

“One is encouraged to be original [but] it is really difficult nowadays to come up with something original,” Tanedo said.

Glenn Magallano, head admin of Davao Phone Photography, also underscored the importance of integrity in photography, which he described as "being honest to yourself" when producing photographs.

Magallano advised against heavy editing with filters to enhance photos for competitions, as this can compromise the integrity of the image. Using others' photos without permission is considered unethical.

“We encourage them to take their own shots, do their own work, and be original, be honest really,” Magallano said.

'Originality vs Inspiration' debate

Recently, a graphic and multimedia artist from Monkayo, Davao de Oro expressed frustration after his artwork was showcased during the Santikan Festival in Trento, Agusan del Sur without his consent.

Rodel Artiaga Jr. said that the animation used in Monkayo's Kariwayan festival was the result of his intellectual creativity and hard work. He said that it was not open-source material or stock footage.

“My work is not open-source material or stock footage; every aspect of the animation was meticulously crafted by my own hand. The only authorized copy of this animation can be found exclusively on the official page of the municipality of Monkayo,” Artiaga said in his Facebook post on September 30.

SIGNaudio Enterprises, the service provider responsible for the graphics, apologized for the mishap. They explained it was a technical glitch and they weren't informed that the visual material would be used for the event.

Trento Municipal Mayor Engineer William Calvez confirmed in a radio interview that service provider SIGNaudio Enterprises used the animation from a previous festival in Monkayo, Davao de Oro. He expressed regret for the oversight.

“Dili man nato mapugngan nang mga tao na mo-react pero kami nag-post mi og sincere apology nga aduna gyu’y mga technical glitches nga ing-ana (We cannot prevent those people from reacting, but in response with this issue, we posted a sincere apology stating that there were technical glitches),” Calvez said.

In a statement, the Municipality of Trento reaffirmed its commitment to unity, creativity, and celebration within the community. "We will work diligently to ensure that future Santikan festivals continue to reflect the values and artistic expressions that we hold dear,” the Trento LGU said. ICE


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