THE YOUNG Thomasian art group Daloy Kulay paid tribute to their alma mater in a homecoming exhibit titled “Looking Back” at the UST Museum last March 25 to April 18.

Employing different mediums from oil to fiberglass and textile-infused mixed media, the works tackled such themes as the pursuit of the inner self, the miracle of the mundane and the powers of the heart.

Painting cum laude Michelle Lim showed teaser images of a woman’s story. “When I was Small, the Woman Said” shows a woman’s feet in a pair of sandals on a carpet of grass. The title and the painting spell irony —the sandals being too large for the woman’s feet with the sides bulging slightly, suggestive of the woman’s past.

Lim’s other painting, “Self Sabotage,” shows a woman in lament with her face buried in a scarf. Beneath her, the evil witch from the Walt Disney’s Snow White is offering her the poisoned apple. The woman seems tempted to take the apple because of what troubles her, as suggested by the words “No big deal, I want more” and “Who cares?” written at the top and left of the painting.

Jose Barcena Jr.’s sculptures were carved from fiberglass and painted with gold on the outside, mounted on a steel frame. One represented the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and the other of a friend. Both works are “Untitled” and look uncannily real, down to the fine creases on the face. The coarse fiberglass complemented the creases, making the face look even more weathered, a reference to life’s struggles.

Digital colorist Marga Rodriguez’s works sported her signature red, orange and yellow. Titled “Manor Farm” and “Animal Farm,” the works appear to be allusions to George Orwell’s futuristic vision of totalitarianism.

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Both pieces are in oil on canvas, which make the work seem like a homemade blanket. What make the two unique are the little pieces of painted patchwork, depicting animals and patterns like serpentine tree branches. This completes the farmhouse name by giving it a very homely element.

Despite their pleasant look, they harbor dissonance, with every patchwork overlapping each other. Bits of text suggest the false utopia of Orwell’s vision: “promise” and “equal,” for example.

Painter Thomas Daquioag portrayed ordinary service people as superheroes in “Cable Guy,” showing a man in tights fixing a cable splice; and “Sapatero Man,” glorifying the old-time shoe repairmen. Everything on Daquioag’s paintings seems real—except the superhero workmen. Their bright costumes pitted against the darker background highlight their iconic status as superheroes.

Arthuro dela Cruz’s mixed-media creation, “Quiet Journey,” shows a static bicycle and a piece of dark blue cloth on a blue background. These images connote the relentless chase of one’s identity: the cloth as the identity itself, and the bicycle as the vehicle.

Although Daloy Kulay’s works employ different methods and ideas, they were helped by their formal schooling at the famous UST school of fine arts. The show just proves how diverse Thomasian artists can be as visual communicators. Alphonsus Luigi E. Alfonso

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