The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents ‘Mars Ravelo Reinterpreted’ from September 15 to November 13 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) and Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino (3F Hallway Gallery).  The exhibit marks the start of a series of year long events, beginning last quarter of 2016 and to be held throughout 2017, commemorating Mars Ravelo, a writer and an artist, who created timeless and iconic characters such as Darna, Captain Barbell, Dyesebel, Bondying and Maruja.

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Ravelo was born a century ago on October 9, 1916 and spent most of his childhood in his hometown, General Trias, Cavite. He would, within the span of four decades, eventually produce more than 300 titles ranging from superhero stories to fantasy tales to comedy, sci-fi, drama, and romance narratives. This would launch him to the top of his field and gain him household name status.

The Mars Ravelo centennial celebration will present the continuing legacy and influence of his work in Philippine culture and society.

For the exhibit Reinterpretations of Mars Ravelo, a dozen artists were selected to individually interpret a specific character by Ravelo.  Each artist could create their own story behind their work, as based on the character’s impact on the Filipino culture. The artists may portray the character given to them with any medium, approach, or style. The artists’ line-up includes Kris Abrigo, Ang Gerilya, Virgilio Aviado, Mariano Ching, Ernest Concepcion, Maishadela Cruz, FaBo, Dex Fernandez, RM De Leon, Leeroy New, Jonas Roces, Jericho Vamenta, and MM Yu. Some of the key considerations for the selections were that they could effortlessly move from and into different styles and mediums, applying “komiks” sensibilities without their works losing their distinct personalities.

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This exhibit Mars Ravelo Reinterpreted—aside from shattering the dichotomy between the fine arts and comics—serves to commemorate the life of the talented man that created stories that are all deeply ingrained in the cultural consciousness of Filipinos from all walks of life.

The show opens with a brief journey through the body of work of Ravelo and how certain elements and concepts from his stories reached and influenced popular culture in everyday life. Also featured are some works by his children Richard, Rita, and Rex.

Guests are invited to revisit the wealth of Ravelo’s fantastical, larger-than-life, everyday tales that possess the potency to captivate millions in the present. Works that helped shape the world of local comics, through stories that were written in familiar tones, meant to expand and tickle one’s imagination.

To complement the exhibit, the following activities will be held: 

·         Forum on the Critical Analysis of Komiks
21 September, Wednesday, 4pm, CCP Main Gallery
Panelists: Atty. Marnie Tonson, Harvey M. Tolibao and Emil M. Flores 

·         Film Screenings with Introduction by Nick De Ocampo
5 October, Wednesday, CCP Dream Theater 
2 PM – Jack En Jill by Mar S. Torres (1954) 
4 PM – Tubog sa Ginto by National Artist Lino Brocka (1971) 

·         Mars Ravelo Centennial Celebration 
9 October, Sunday 
4 PM – Artist’s Reception, CCP Main Gallery
7 PM – Video Projection on the CCP Fountain, CCP Front Lawn 

·         Forum on Mars Ravelo Reinterpreted 
12 October, Wednesday, 4pm, CCP Main Gallery
Panelists: Kris Abrigo, Virgilio Aviado, Maisha dela Cruz, FaBo and Ang Gerilya 

Exhibit viewing hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6pm.

For more information, contact the Visual Arts & Museum Division, Production & Exhibition Department at landlines (632) 8321125 local 1504/1505, or (632) 8323702, mobile (0917) 6033809, email ccp.exhibits@gmail.com or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.