Filipinism: What makes art Filipino?

ART works from Filipino artists featured during the recently held art exhibit at the mezzanine of the Royal Mandaya Hotel brought both something familiar and new to the eyes of the audience with its vibrant colors and themes.

The exhibit entitled “Filipinism: What makes Art Filipino?” served as a venue to show the talents of our own local artists who are recognized internationally through their distinctly Pinoy art works.

Virgilio Godoy Cuizon, art critic and curator, explain that Filipinism “is not a new movement but a way of showing the real identity of artists as Filipinos in their works.” “Kung ano ang pinanggalingan mo, ilagay mo sa canvass. That is your soul, that is Filipinism,” he said.

The idea started with Cuizon’s passion in promoting Filipino art and artists which led to the creation of KUNST (Kapatiran at Ugnayan ng Natatanging Sining at Talentong) Pilipino in 2005 which helps in training aspiring Filipino artists in putting their identity on their art works which are then exhibited to European countries.

He added that other than helping artists, their goal is also to educate people and teach them to appreciate art.

“We produce a lot of great artists here, but we only have a few people who are appreciating them and collecting their works,” he said.

Works from international Filipino artists Aris Bagtas and Emmanuel Nim were featured during the one day event last September 18, wherein other than showcasing their works they also conducted a free workshop and art demonstration.

Aris Bagtas’ works carries a contemporary form of realism with his works mostly features beautiful vivid colors and metallic luster which mostly pictures about his mother and also familiar subjects like fishermen, the market and flower vendors. Bagtas is the first Filipino who had exhibited his works at the Museum of the Your Art in Vienna, Austria and also has a number of followers waiting for each art work he releases.

Emmanuel Nim, on the other hand, a self taught artist has also displayed his art works that featured more about countryside scenery in his as he grew-up in the same environment, he is also known for doing on the spot portraits wherein he had a demonstration during the event with the event’s organizer Teresita D. Golez as model.

Golez during the opening of the event said that the art exhibit was her way of sharing art to her fellow Dabawenyos. She first met Bagtas during his art exhibit in Germany.

As the saying goes: “Kung hindi ka marunong lumingon sa pinaggalingan ay di ka makakarating sa paroroonan” which translates to “If you do not look back to where you came from, you will not reach where you are going,” this really pictures out that wherever we go, where we came from will always have an indelible mark in our hearts and to us as a whole.
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