THOMASIAN visual artists set the agenda for the new administration through Pitong Salita: Paalala sa Bagong Administrasyon, an exhibit at the Sining Kamalig of the Gateway Mall in Quezon City last June 7 to 30.

Dominique Alfonso, Kevin Fernandez, Luis Hernandez, Darylle Cajucom, Jay Jamoralin, JR Urao, and Michael Zacari showcased their visual flair to depict social and political concerns that should preoccupy the new administration of President Benigno Aquino III. Enrico Manlapaz was the curator.

UST College of Fine Arts and Design graduates Jamoralin and Fernandez employed comic styles and rich symbolisms to portray social and political ills in the Philippines.

Jamoralin’s “Pito: Ang Pag-aaklas” satirized business, government and religious officials by depicting them as part human, part beast. Predictably enough, public officials are depicted as crocodiles.

Fernandez’s “Pinunong Trapo” shows a man sitting on a golden throne while wearing earphones with his eyes closed, as if listening to music. This work criticizes the callousness of public officials.

A womanlady with a tenacious gaze is portrayed in Alfonso’s “Gabriella X: Iron Gaze,” a commentary on women’s struggle for equality in a patriarchal society.

On the other hand, Cajucom’s “ABCDEQ” meshes different symbols to portray the delicate issues of prostitution and media irresponsibility.

Hernandez’s work features imagery of men with disfigured faces, skin complexions ranging from orange to green, and heavily wrinkled bodies done in a comical fashion. In “War and Hunger,” a man tightens his belt while two smaller deformed entities are fighting atop his head. It signifies men’s daily strife to be free from hunger and to live in peace.

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“The Great Anxiety” by Urao details a girl who seems more worried over a tamed rabbit on top of her head than her bleeding arm. The girl is a representation of how people tend to be anxious over petty issues but are unaffected by more serious matters.

Zacaria employs minimalism. “Pig Portrait,” as the name implies, is a depiction of a pig in a dim background. It may signify the infamous “pork barrel,” which some say is the root of public official’s corruption.

More than just an art exhibit, Paalala is a ringing artist plea for an honest and sincere leadership.

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