Monday, October 12, 2009

Cebu: People, Places and Faces, A Group Exhibit

CEBU is going to Malaysia through the colors of the rainbow. Twelve Cebuano artists, under the auspices of Artistscebuex, is bringing the festival city of Cebu to Malaysia through an exhibit dubbed “Cebu: People, Places and Faces.”

Hosted by ArtMalaysia in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Malaysia, the exhibit aims to strengthen the cultural and artistic linkages between the two countries through visual arts. The project was launched early in July with an art exhibit at the second level of Banilod Town Centre. Here are the 12 participating artists.

Celso Duazo Pepito, one of Cebu’s leading artists and the proponent of Artistscebuex, believes that visual artists have the capacity to help promote tourism by depicting scenes that would entice people to visit. “The exhibit will not just promote art but also Cebu,” he said. “It is a merger between art and tourism.”

A philosopher by heart, he is known to inject his ideals on human values and integrity in his works. His dramatic depiction of mother and child in different scenes cutting through the big divide among the different sector of Philippine society has earned him the respect of many art collectors in the region.

Jose “Kimsoy” Yap Jr. had his education at the National Academy of Design-School of Fine Arts in New York, and this exposure deeply influenced his works. A master with pastel and the watercolor, his still life and portraits project a sense of serenity giving his works an aura of mystery. So do his landscapes and seascapes.

Realist Audie Estrellada continues to experiment on different media including sculpture with works on religious icons. His most common media of choice include oil on canvas, watercolor on paper, and acrylic and oil on wood.

Billy Pomida, who hails from Samar, discovered his talent at a very young age. He took up Fine Arts at the University of the East in Manila and in 1986 worked as a graphic designer for a government agency. He committed to painting fulltime in 2001 and since then has participated in different exhibits both in the Philippines and abroad, including a series of Three-Man shows in the United States in 2002. His paintings on children at play capture the beauty of children magnified by their innocence.

Benji Goyha is a native of Samboan, Cebu. He is an undergraduate in Architecture at the University of the Visayas. His love for painting is fueled by his membership with Cebu Artists Inc. who encouraged him to pursue his passion. His works are characterized by his use of broad brush strokes and subdued colors. His subjects include different landscapes of Samboan and reflect his concern for nature and the environment.

Cesar Castillo is a mechanical engineer by profession, but he has given that up to pursue his love for the art. He started joining exhibits and began to earn the respect of his fellow artists and art patrons alike. He is now a full-time painter. Castillo’s eye for detail and his love for colors can be seen in his works.

Jobril Villaver completed his Certificate of Fine Arts in 1980 at the University of the Philippines Visayas College Cebu Campus. He then engaged in product and interior designing, but found no satisfaction. In 2005 he decided to go fulltime with painting. His works reflects the different aspects of Filipino rural life.

Fe Madrid Pepito is a self-taught painter, but her marriage to art icon Celso Duazo Pepito has helped her hone her craft. She is an optometrist turned full-time painter. She has exposed herself to various media like watercolor, acrylic, pastel and oil. Fe’s strength is in her flowers, which somehow conveys a sense of spirituality. She has also done several figure and landscape paintings.

Maxcel Migallos is a realist painter specializing in landscapes, seascapes and heritage structures. This is just ideal for him as he is an architect by profession, teaching both architecture and fine arts at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. Before becoming an architect, he finished his studies in Fine Arts at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila where he was named Most Outstanding Art Student. As an artist, he has mounted several exhibits and has been featured in several art books including Manuel Duldulao’s Century of Philippine Realism (1997) and Philippine Art Now (2008).

Gabriel Abellana’s uncle was one of the Philippines most respected artists and his father was a respected sculptor, musician and dentist. He comes from the town of Carcar, which was once Cebu’s center for culture and the arts. Abellana specializes in landscape painting. He upgrades his style by experimenting on new and innovative techniques and ventures to abstraction, using the beautiful landscape as inspiration.

Aida Sze is a scientific communications manager at a biotech company in Malaysia. A pharmacist by profession, she uses painting as an outlet of her artistic nature. Aida uses wet-on-wet technique taking advantage of the versatility of oil.

She uses heavy and bold brushstrokes and loves doing abstracts because by de-constructing her subjects, she creates a sense of intimacy and delivers a new perspective on what may otherwise be common and mundane.

Another Cebuana artist who is now based in Malaysia is Lillian Tan.

With ample time to hone her artistic gifts, she decided to study under Fernando Modesto, a Filipino painter who is now lives in Jakarta. Though she paints any kind of subject, she finds herself more at ease with flowers and human figures.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2009.