Obra Filipinismo 5: Celebrating Diversity, Celebrating Filipino Artistry

Last May 28, at the Art Asia Gallery in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong, the local art community has witnessed another feat in the Filipino art industry, when Kunzt Gallery headed by Virgilio Cuizon, gathered few of the finest artist in the Philippines in an annual art show called Obra Filipinismo. This is their fifth, and we’re expecting more shows of this kind in the near future, which show the artistic talent of the Filipino and celebrate our diverse and rich culture.

Mr. Aris Bagtas as he explains about Obra Filipinismo ;rior to introducing Mr. Cuizon

Ernesto “Aris” Bagtas Jr., the Philippines’ modern folk iconographer and Bill Perez are always the ones who help Cuizon to put up the annual show. It was Bagtas who helps Cuizon, who also heads the Batangas Culture and Arts Council, to find new “mines” in the rich soil of artistry in the Philippines.

The new show presented the works of Aris Bagtas, Dale Bagtas, Rene Robles, Lino Acasio, Jorge Banawa, Zorrick Enriquez, Joseph Albao, Arthur Marcelo, Angelito Lepalam, Ian Maigan, Vincent Gonzales, Vhan Dong, Janet Ballecer, Marichu Carstensen, Anna Lumpas, Bryan Yabut, Eman Sia, Reen Barrera, Wilfredo Rufon, Sr., Chressa Yee Rufon, Zhyra Ann Nedia, Bryan Barotilla, Nelson Tandas Jr., Raleigh Noel Astillero, Ar Fietas Fatallo, Anton Genosa, Peter Samillano, and Domeng Cruz.

The Douglas Nierras’ Powerdance rendered a very beautiful dance number, prior to the formal opening of the exhibit. Bagtas, Jr., on the other hand, has given a short description about the show, its purposes, and formally introduced the man behind Kunst, Virgilio “Tito Ver” Cuizon.

The man behind Kunst, Virgilio “Ver” Cuizon.

In his speech, Cuizon stressed the value of practice, professionalism, and of course, the continuous honing of talents of the artist. As he puts it, “Maraming marurunong magpinta pero iilan lamang ang mahuhusay (There are lots of artists who can draw, but only a few are considered real good).”

Cuizon also pointed out that Filipino artists must learn the art of selling their works and continuously communicate and talk about arts with the “outsiders.” The outsiders are no other than the people who are not directly connected with the arts but when their interest with the arts is awaken, they will become your potential buyers. Artists, like any other people, need to live; and their works and a few of their services like art tutorials, are the products that they can sell. And for an artist to make a sale, he or she needs to learn tricks of the business and as I have mentioned before, continuously improve his or her product.


 “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

At the show, I was ecstatic as I gaze to different artworks hanging on the gallery wall. I lost myself, but I find also found it, at the same time.  Truly, Obra Filipinismo 5 is one of the great shows that I have seen this month of May.

The show will run for two weeks.


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