‘May reklamo ka?’

ONGOING at the Negros Museum until March 2 is the exhibit of Wayne Forte. Wayne was born in Manila in 1950, studied in University of California in Santa Barbara and Irvine. Wayne lives with his wife, Valeria and their children in Laguna Niguel, California.

Raised in America practically all his life, what is interesting and impressive about Wayne is his thirst to be more aware and knowledgeable of his roots. For the past years, he has been learning to be better in Hiligaynon.

Wayne said: “My roots are here. My family is here. I want to participate in the community life here. I am truly fortunate that Negros has a long artistic tradition. It has produced world class musicians, opera singers, dancers, architects, writers, sculptors and painters. Its many museums, galleries, unique ancestral homes, universities, and historic churches provide a rich cultural network for artists and their public.”

Asked why he chose this theme for his exhibit, Wayne replied: “The ubiquitous “MAY REKLAMO KA?” signage, plastered on the back of every public utility vehicle in the Philippines, was probably someone’s earnest but naive solution for horrendous urban traffic. When stuck in that traffic I often wax philosophic: Could this question be taken as a sarcastic jibe like “you got a problem?” Or could it be an existential plea to recreate the reality of our cities? I like the ambiguity. It serves as a challenge to see our condition as a nation differently, more playfully, more deeply.”

“This is why I chose to condense this question into a new word, ‘MAY REKLAMO KA?’ and use it as the theme of my exhibition.”

There are beautiful paintings of women in the exhibit. Why Wayne? “The inspiration for my many women comes from my Lola, my mother, my daughter, a Madonna from Basilan, doñas in ternos, probinsyanas with iPods, babaylans and Gabriella Silang. Who can resist the Filipina’s combination of beauty, strength, charm, piety, and fashion sense? Not me!”

Wayne welcomes all and sundry to see his show at the Negros Museum, just south of the Provincial Capitol on Gatuslao Street, opens from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission.

He also asks that you bring kids of any age to see Mara Montelibano's collection of handmade toys from all over the world. There is the Zell collection you can catch and shop for local art, handicrafts and textiles at the gift shop or have lunch or dinner at the Museum Café serving international cuisine with the freshest of locally sourced ingredients and their own homemade breads, cheeses and cured meats.

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