Paintings of tranquil landscapes, rural folks, and beautiful Filpinas comprise an exhibit celebrating the Filipino spirit and National Arts Month at Robinsons Galleria.
Titled, Figura Filipina, the art show features around 30 paintings and sculptures by Nemesio “Nemi” Miranda, August Santiago Jr. and Romeo “Romi” Mananquil who are all seasoned masters of Philippine genre painting.
The exhibit opened on February 24 (Friday) at the mall’s activity area and was attended by friends and peers especially from the Malabon art community.
The show’s opening also coincided with the annual celebration of the People Power Revolution and comes as a timely event that celebrates pride in being a Filipino. Frederick D. Go, president of Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) led the ribbon-cutting ceremony with other Robinsons officers and other VIPs. Among them were Elizabeth D. Gregorio, Robinsons Hotels and Resorts general manager, Grace Francisco-Torres of the Malabon City Tourism Council, Robert Hombrebueno, and Lito de Guzman.
Folk tales and rural landscapes
NeMiranda’s works revolve around urban imagery and mythology, taking inspiration from Filipino myths and legends, especially from stories shared by the elders from NeMiranda’s hometown in Angono, Rizal.
Using his distinct painterly style that he coined as imaginative figurism, and besides images culled from folktales, Nemiranda is also fascinated with Philippine historical events, his iconography characterized by heroes and histories.
He paints an idyllic, idealized Philippines where farmers work hard, have a strong sense of dignity, and where a lovely barrio lass (“Harana”) is serenaded and a vision of Malakas and Maganda are captured in a dance of cosmic courtship (“Himig ng Kalikasan”).
Romi Mananquil, on the other hand, is now based in Canada but continues to be greatly moved by the quiet rural scenes of his motherland.
He first caught the attention of local critics and art aficionados in the ‘80s when Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas commissioned him to design the flora and fauna series of banknotes and coins together with two other artists.
A member of various Philippine art associations, Mananquil depicts a gathering of trike drivers over a humble midday repast (“Tanghalian”), the breaking of morning in a small yet picturesque barrio (“Umaga sa Nayon”), and the solitude of a simple hut upon the outskirts of town (“Abandoned Hut”) that remind viewers of the simple life in the countryside or
August Santiago Jr. lives in Malabon and is a visual artists and visual arts instructor by profession. He is a Gintong Parangal awardee for the Promotion and Preservation of Culture and the Arts and was one of the country’s representatives to Malaysia for ArtDialogo in 2016 and to Toronto, Canada for the Philippine Independence Day Art Exhibition in 2001.
Like Nemiranda and Mananquil, Santiago also affiliated with various art organizations such as Agos Kulay Watercolor Society of Manila, Sining Tambobong, the Tuesday Group, as well as the Amber Art Group.
Santiago shows his mastery of a challenging medium such as watercolor in works such as “Child’s Play” (complete with a boy’s improvised hat with a National Book Store logo), “Dalagita” (two women conversing about something clandestine and intriguing), and “Water Bearer” (an archetypal maiden destined to fulfill an important role in the community).
Figura Filipinas is on view till March 4 (Saturday) at the Activity Area, Level 1 of Robinsons Galleria, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue in Mandaluyong City. Check Robinsons Galleria’s Facebook page for more event updates. ww.facebook.com/RobGalleriaOfficial.
For information, call 397-1888 or check www.facebook.com/RobGalleriaOfficial.