Thomasian visual artists auction off ‘Bahay Nakpil’ mural

Fine arts alumni Roderick “Derrick” Macutay and Eleazar “Abe” Orobia showcases their works inspired by the famous Bahay Nakpil-Bautista at the León Gallery in Pasig City on Jan. 16. (Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

FINE ARTS alumni Roderick “Derrick” Macutay and Eleazar “Abe” Orobia, two painting majors, showcased their works inspired by the famous Bahay Nakpil-Bautista as part of a live preview of the León Exchange Online Auction Edition 10 at the León Gallery in Pasig City last Jan. 16.

The paintings were the third and fourth panels of a pentaptych titled “Limang Tanawin ng Bahay Nakpil,” a mural made by visual artists Macutay, Orobia and their contemporaries Alfred Galvez, Julius Legazpi and Jared Yokte.

Asst. Prof. Mary Ann Venturina-Bulanadi of the University’s Department of Interior Design commissioned the five artists to work on the mural in mid-2017, with the intention of auctioning the piece to raise funds for Bahay Nakpil-Bautista’s restoration.

The mural was initially displayed at Bulanadi’s booth in the Philippine School of Interior Design’s (PSID) “GOLD: Glamorous, Opulent, and Luxurious Designs” exhibit at Bonifacio Global City in October 2017, before spending a year at Bahay Nakpil-Bautista itself.

According to Orobia and Yokte, the mural was based on a single old photograph of the Nakpil house.

However, each artist decided to tackle a different perspective of the house, resulting in an eclectic five-panel mural.

Orobia, also a former Fine Arts faculty member, said his piece was steeped in symbolism.

“I used human figures and paper thresh to symbolize the fragility of [Bahay Nakpil’s] conservation efforts,” he said during an interview at the auction’s preview.

Macutay, who earned his degree in 1992, decided to take a modern approach.

“I created a mechanical-automaton almost robotic theme: rust, grimy and almost heavy metal in style,” he told the Varsitarian in an online interview. “Works like Simone Bisley, H.R. Giger come to mind [as inspirations].”

Bulanadi, who has been a volunteer curator of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista since the early 2000s, said she enlisted the help of Macutay, Orobia and the others because they could relate to her vision.

“The five of them are all familiar to me… alam kong sila ‘yong … makakaintindi ng purpose [ng project],” she said at the preview event.

“Limang Tanawin ng Bahay Nakpil” is officially up for auction on January 19.

Bahay Nakpil-Bautista is a century-old house in Quiapo, Manila built in 1914, originally owned by Dr. Ariston Bautista and wife Petrona Nakpil, important figures in the Philippine revolution and supporters of the propaganda movement. It was also the home of composer Julio Nakpil.

The house is now a national heritage site and museum. Sherwin Dane Zauro C. Haro


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