SIX Thomasian artists participated in the Philippines-India cultural exchange art exhibit held from Feb. 16 to 28 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The exhibit, organizers said, blended the cultures of the two countries to widen the Filipino and Indian artists’ “horizons of imaginations.” It featured 68 art pieces sized 24 x 36 in., created by 17 Filipino and 17 Indian artists for the exhibit.

Among the Filipino artists in the exhibit were architecture alumna Sarah Pallarca, advertising alumni Augusto Santiago and Raul Isidro, and painting alumni Cecille Artillaga, Juno Galang, and Nemi Miranda.

“We (Philippines and India) may differ in traditions and culture, but the arts always unified us as one. We speak one language when we talk about art,” Miranda, a painting alumnus and founder of the Angono Atelier Association Philippines (AAAP), told the Varsitarian

Miranda presented the acrylic paintings titled “Magtatanim” and “Pag-aani,” which focus on the everyday life of Filipinos in rural areas.

Pallarca depicted the exhibit’s theme in her oil paintings “Lyre” and “Jasmine.” The former symbolizes the musical instrument as a bridge of love, while the latter depicts the flower worn by a Hindu goddess when a newfound friendship was found.  

“The introduction of a different culture enables artists to understand and take a different approach from what they’ve been accustomed to, and hopefully be able to reflect these new experiences in the stories they tell in their brushstrokes,” Pallarca explained to the Varsitarian

Artillaga showcased Philippine art and culture in her realistic oil paintings of flowers called “White B,” or the Bougainvillea, and “Cymbidium,” a green-colored orchid. 

“We showed them the culture of the Philippines. In a way, we exchanged culture and traits. We had some kind of conversation about their art and our art. And we evaluate where Philippine art stands in comparison to other countries,” Artillaga told the Varsitarian.

The UST Atelier Alumni Association, led by its president, Marissa Pe Yang, hosted a tour of the University’s Manila campus and lunch for the featured artists on Feb. 17.

Miranda said the tour and lunch let their Indian counterparts get a grasp of the important cultural properties housed in the UST Main Building, such as the mural of Carlos “Botong” Francisco, the first Thomasian National Artist, at the building’s grand staircase.

The collaboration is an initiative between AAAP and Arth Art International India. A second leg of the art exchange will be held in India in September.


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