Larger and larger circles

1:37 AM

Larger and larger circles Iloilo’s ‘burgeoning’ cultural movement shows no sign of slowing down. Community, Art, Artivism, Advocacy, Iloilo, ViVa ExCon, Kat Malazarte, Kristine Buenavista, Marrz Capanang, Jonn Laserna, Street, street art

"WE PAINT walls to break walls," muses Marrz Capanang one of the people behind the recently-concluded Artivism, a street art event that “seeks to raise awareness of social issues through art and to utilize social media as a platform for social impact”.
Coined by the British Council – an international partner for the event – from the words “art” and “activism”, the occasion saw a diverse array of Ilonggos and Ilonggas, all equally passionate about their craft, transforming the walls of Robinsons Place Iloilo’s Quezon Driveway Car Park into their blank canvas.
Bursts of inspiration saw actor and illustrator Ron Matthews Espinosa of the University of San Agustin Little Theater collaborating with Jun Ray Canonicato of t-shirt brand MATSING ILIK, CineKasimanwa alumna direk Mia Reyes blotting walls with breastfeeding advocate Adhara Sebuado, and teachers-by-profession Gil S. Montinola, Mae Sheilou Lamzon Conserva, and Adelle Pacificar of Gugma Weaves spinning visual poetry –among an assorted pool of other Ilonggo talents.
Artivism had in full display Iloilo’s tight-knit cultural circle, in all its eclectic and manifold glory. The local art community has finally broken out of the galleries and showrooms, spilling onto the streets for everyone to see – more welcoming and open than ever before.

Larger and larger circles Iloilo’s ‘burgeoning’ cultural movement shows no sign of slowing down. Community, Art, Artivism, Advocacy, Iloilo, ViVa ExCon, Kat Malazarte, Kristine Buenavista, Marrz Capanang, Jonn Laserna, Street, street art

CONQUERING CURRENTS, CROSSING SEAS
The growth of the Iloilo art scene didn’t quite come in the form of small trickles but in a shift of the tide.
Leading up to Iloilo’s first time in 20 years to host the largest art biennial in the country, the Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibit and Conference (Viva ExCon), a renewed cultural interest hit the region with a slew of new art venues being established in the city– the Casa Real Gallery, Cinematheque Iloilo, and Et Nos Gallery among others.
With the theme “Hakos: Embracing the Art of the Islands”, Viva ExCon set the stage, finally giving an opportunity for a new generation of young Ilonggo artists to be given their well-deserved due, a handful offered the chance to mount solo shows each month, culminating in the successful November 2016 occasion. 
From the complex and conceptual honeycomb pieces of Bryan Liao in “Aggregate Abundances”, to the youthful debuts of Cheska Sarmon and Claudine Dignadice in “Taym Pers” and “Hue Are” respectively, and Jeanroll Ejar’s heartfelt and raw “Retazo” – emerging talents were finally given their well-deserved time in the limelight, a number of them now being booked for shows in Manila and in other parts of the country.
One of the first shows that made people stand up and take notice was Kat Malazarte’s "Peaceful Defiance" which opened in December 2015. The soft spoken Ilongga with her immaculate portraits and signature play on light, sought to preserve the virtues she treasured with eight subjects for her first solo show, all seemingly caught in moments of deep thought and reflection, trapped in the ambers that were her canvasses.
Malazarte has since graduated as the first cum laude of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program of the University of San Agustin, going on to be named one of the 2016 Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines at the Malacañang Palace earlier this year, adding to her rich roster of achievements and accolades in art.
Just this March, the 21-year-old Malazarte, proved she had what it takes grow beyond her home city, holding her first solo exhibit in Metro Manila at the Ysobel Art Gallery. Entitled “Fiat Lux”, latin for “let there be light”, Malazarte bathed her signature style with new brightness, melding high contrast with visions that run heavy with spiritual and introspective undercurrents.
In October last year, she also ventured on a joint pop-up exhibit with marble sculptor Harry Mark Gonzales – a former apprentice of Ilonggo art veteran Ed Defensor – at the _GALLERY, A Space in Makati. Entitled “Ang Maugdang nga Kusog sang Babaye” or “The Quiet Strength of a Woman” the exhibit proved successful, even earning Malazarte the respect of Palanca hall-of-famer Butch Dalisay and his wife, art restorer June Poticar Dalisay.

Larger and larger circles Iloilo’s ‘burgeoning’ cultural movement shows no sign of slowing down. Community, Art, Artivism, Advocacy, Iloilo, ViVa ExCon, Kat Malazarte, Kristine Buenavista, Marrz Capanang, Jonn Laserna, Street, street art

LARGER AND LARGER RIPPLES
“Iloilo City is starting to become a dynamic avenue for visual arts,” shares former Iloilo Visual Artists Collective president Kristoffer Brasileño. “[We’re also seeing] a rise in different art forms, from film, street art, poetry and many more.”
The growth of the city’s “burgeoning” cultural movement shows no sign of slowing down, gradually becoming more all-inclusive, yet still staying true to its Ilonggo roots. It’s the ripple effect that has been set up by a large local community bent on honing and expanding their passion and craft, and inviting more and more people to gain interest.
“[The National Commission for Culture and the Arts made] us aware that Iloilo is fast becoming the best place for visual art to thrive and flourish outside of Metro Manila,” Brasileño adds, also one of the muralists during Artivism.
“To all those who believe that the local visual art community and scene is heading somewhere promising and exciting, together, we'll create a thriving, progressive and sustainable art community one little exhibition at a time.”

Larger and larger circles Iloilo’s ‘burgeoning’ cultural movement shows no sign of slowing down. Community, Art, Artivism, Advocacy, Iloilo, ViVa ExCon, Kat Malazarte, Kristine Buenavista, Marrz Capanang, Jonn Laserna, Street, street art

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Subscribe