Kapampangan artist is new wood carving ‘maestro’

PULILAN, Bulacan -- Another Guagua-born artist, who now resides in Pulilan town in Bulacan, is making the waves in the local and religious art scenes with his surrealistic wood sculptures.

Edwin Layug is now one of the most popular names in the local wood sculpture industry.

The artist is famous for his use of traditional polychrome style mixed with an obvious Spanish influence in polychrome technique, something which he has acquired from a recent training in Spain.

Layug is already considered a master in his art. In fact Facebook pages devoted to religious art collectors refer to him as among the “young masters” of the craft.

Client Annabelle Abinales lauds Layug’s works for their obvious sensitivity to proportion and minute details.

She said that when she commissioned a Holy Week tableaux image of “Beso de Judas” (Christ betrayed by Judas), she was well beyond satisfied.

“The images are so realistic. You can easily see the emotions conveyed in every image,” Abinales said.

Layug, who now resides in Pulilan, Bulacan, is the first Filipino to install a full altar in Singapore. He made the Pope Pius X Priory retablo along Upper Thompson Road in Singapore.

The priory is under the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), which is an international traditionalist Catholic organization founded in 1970 by the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The SSPX has presence in various countries in Europe and Asia.

Layug said he was honored to have been given the trust to craft and install the new altar, which was a fusion of baroque and classical art.

He said the project has given him the opportunity to showcase Filipino craftsmanship in a foreign country. The Betis-born woodcarver is favorite artisan for local churches in Bulacan. He was able to accomplish dozens of projects, including altar works in Calumpit and San Rafael towns where his works on main altars now adorn churches there.

He was also commissioned to work on the altar and images inside the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao town.

His latest project includes the majestic altar at the Saint Joseph Parish in Taguig City . Layug said that he is currently working on contemporary works for competitions here. He is also a member of the Mandukit Anluagui ning Sta. Ursula.

Layug is also the artist behind grand Holy Week processional images in many Bulacan towns and is a sought after artist for his beautiful carrozas and tableaus.

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