Thomasian artists mount exhibits in ManilArt 2018

This year’s ManilArt exhibit which ran from Oct. 17 to 21 featured the works of Thomasian artists such as Ramon Orlina and Wilfredo Offemaria Jr. PHOTOS BY MARK DARIUS M. SULIT

ON THE 10TH year of the ManilArt on Oct. 17 to 21 at the SM Aura Premier in Taguig, Willfredo Offemaria Jr., an alumnus of the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts, reinvented religious iconography and gave it a contemporary edge in  “Visita,” the featured exhibit of Artery Manila.

The exhibit drew from the Catholic Holy Week practice of the Visita Iglesia,” in which Filipinos would hold a pilgrimate and visit several churches.

“The challenging part here is trying to connect with the audience,” the artist, a Painting graduate, said. “If you’re not known or they can’t relate to your work, they will choose to ignore it.” 

His work that stood out was a dimly lit pop-up chapel with a single kneeler and an image of Christ with a “What is your why?” written above it.

Meanwhile, UST fine arts alumnus Salvador Ching featured print works. specifically serigraph, or the stenciling method of printing ink through stencils and fabric.

Ching’s “Mood” was an orange-hued portrait of a Filipina with headphones. 

Oliver Ramos, another Painting graduate, made his second appearance in the fair. 

“My dream is for my art to have social relevance and tackle issues that are bypassed by society and [I think] this is a good start,” Ramos said. 

His works were visual documentation of bicycle-riders weaving through streets.

Also among Thomasian artists who participated was fine arts graduate Melvin Culaba who exhibited “Social Pedia,” a 4 x 4 ft. painting of a toddler that critiqued people’s irresponsible use of the social media. 

(Photo by Mark Darius M. Sulit/The Varsitarian)

“People nowadays post or comment on social media to tease, to envy and to bully each other. They’re like children, they just accept all of the things they hear and see and these affect not only their emotions but also their personality,” Culaba said. 

Architecture alumnus and pioneering glass sculptor  Ramon Orlina enthralled the audience with his optical glass sculptures in his exhibit, “Apex.”

“Deeply Rooted” was a lavender crystal that mimicked the deep roots of a plant, while “Scaling the Summits” was a green glass apparently abstracting mountains.

Dominic Dubio, renowned for his paintings of 19th century Filipiniana, replicated his popular iconography but this time in brass sculptures in “Ligawan.”

Jordan-based artist Elmer Dumlao’s “Wisdom” was a mixed-media artwork depicting a woman and a lion’s thoughts bounded together. 

Also featured in the art fair were UST artists CJ Tanedo, Flor Baradi, Ronna Manansala, Janos de la Cruz, and Roger San Miguel. 

The country’s longest-running national art fair tackled the theme, “Ang ARTe ng Pilipinas,” and featured not only exhibits but the performing arts.

“We wanted to show the creativity of Filipinos through performances of other arts as well, such as music and spoken word poetry,” said festival director Teresa Rayos del Sol.


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