DIFFERENT shades of yellow lined the walls of Arete in Ateneo de Manila University as “Yellow Ambiguities,” an exhibit on the color yellow, was launched last Aug. 18.

The exhibit, curated by Palanca award-winning author Carlomar Arcangel Daoana and Fr. Jason Dy, S.J., focused on the color yellow and its interpretations.

“Yellow is first and foremost a visual element, a color. And you are, through this exhibition, exemplifying various manifestations of yellow,” Dy said.

The exhibit was divided into five sections.

The first section, “Properties and Surfaces,” presents yellow and its existence in the Philippine cultural setting. The section features precolonial funerary masks, local yellow pigments and native clothes in shades of yellow, among others.

The second section, “Halos and Illuminations,” displays the abundant use of yellow in religious iconography. Included in this section is the “Brown Madonna,” an oil on canvas by Galo Ocampo from the UST Collection.

“This work has to be here because it’s iconic and representative, and because it marks a very important period in the landscape of Philippine visual art, and we want the work to converse with other depictions of mother Mary,” Daoana explained.

“Illness and Struggle,” the exhibit’s third section, explores the role of the color in the call for social and political justice in the country.

The fourth section, “Forms and Ideas,” shows yellow in its abstract form. This section features “Nomadic,” a wall installation art of yellow plastics by advertising arts graduate Mars Bugaoan.

The last section, “Tropics and Heat,” exhibits the presence of yellow in nature. This includes artworks like “Still Life [Mangoes and Bananas],” an oil on canvas by National Artist and UST fine arts alumnus Ang Kuikok, and “Awit,” an oil on lawanit by fellow national artist and fine arts graduate Arturo Luz.

“What we intend is to look at yellow in a fresh way, and that fresh way is to actually look at it in a multi-perspective way and in a multi-valent way to appreciate that, though we are under the same sun and in this archipelago, we have different associations as suggested by these artworks and these materials,” Dy said.

Yellow Ambiguities will run until January 2020.


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