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ART ATTACK

Virtual art exhibit features works depicting pandemic narratives by Bicolano artists

Curated by Geri Matthew Carretero, the exhibition titled Pagbutwa II after the Bikolano word for the emergence and the resurfacing of something long concealed represents the emergence of artistic works by different artists and their ability to tell stories about the struggles of various communities before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kurit-Lagting Art Collective – in partnership with UAPSA Area B District 5, Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter (CAP Bicol), and the Sorsogon Initiatives for Culture and Arts Development (SIFCAD) – will be featuring artworks by muralists, filmmakers, and writers in the virtual exhibit titled Pagbutwa. 

Curated by Geri Matthew Carretero, the exhibition titled Pagbutwa II after the Bikolano word for the emergence and the resurfacing of something long concealed represents the emergence of artistic works by different artists and their ability to tell stories about the struggles of various communities before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Res Demdam, a visual artist and member of the Kurit-Lagting Art Collective and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines Bicol Chapter (CAP Bicol) said that the virtual exhibit is a great way to showcase artistic works that show the power of art in depicting real-life situations. 

“Even though we are not able to mount face-to-face activities, this exhibit brings together artists who share the same goal in narrating stories from communities and their own experiences about the ongoing health crisis,” he said.

Demdam finished Fine Arts major in Advertising at the UST-Legazpi (formerly known as Aquinas University of Legazpi) and has exhibited his works in various museums in the country. Most of his works speak about his personal struggles as an artist,and the social ills and injustices that plague our society.

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As one of the first batch of members of the collective in 2011, he started as a muralist before exploring photography, videography, and multimedia arts. He was also one of the few artists in Sorsogon who originally started the annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk organized by the Kurit-Lagting. As a multimedia artist, Demdam has worked for several advertising firms, graphic and web design companies, as well as e-commerce platforms. 

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Untitled Work (Mixed Media on Canvas) by Res Demdam

Jhon Fred Manaligod, another artist said that this current health crisis has prompted him to rethink the way he produces artworks. 

“ With the anxiety and uncertainty that this pandemic has brought us, I was able to reflect that art is such a powerful tool that is able to influence our consciousness and bring about social change. Right now the way I view our society in real life, must also translate into my process in artmaking and this exhibit offers a platform for these ideas to materialize,” he quipped.  

Manaligod was born in Valenzuela City on Jan 9, 1993. He was a student at the Department of Studio Arts at the UP College of Fine Arts in Diliman but later on decided to become a full time artist. He is one of the newest members of the collective and CAP Bicol.

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Manaligod’s watercolor masterpieces revolve around mysticism, folk traditions, and social issues and concerns. He has participated in several international juried art shows such as the online 2020 international juried exhibit “Visual Message Exhibition” in Germany. He also illustrated comic strips and book covers including Penzette III (2013), Pilat ng Digma (2018) and  May titik sa Bubong, May Sigbin sa Silong(2017).

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New Normal (Mixed Media on paper) by Jhon Fred Manaligod

Cesar Gueta on the other hand, who is known for his watercolor paintings chooses to create paintings, sculptures and installations mostly with the human figure as the main subject.

He experiments with form and figure and is fascinated with the concept of travel as an art process.His painting depicting a woman drying rice grains is a representation of the artist’s commentary on the current situation of our workers and farmers.

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Drying rice grains (Watercolor on paper) by Cesar Gueta

Born in Masbate, Cesar Gueta is a scholar, teacher, and one of the awardees of the Outstanding Albayano for Visual Arts by the Provincial Government of Albay. As a teacher, he is currently an instructor at the College of Industrial Technology in Bicol University.

As a member of the collective and CAP Bicol, he is also an advocate of community-based art education by organizing community art programs to improve and empower disadvantaged groups of people. He is presently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts Degree at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

The Pagbutwa II virtual exhibit will also feature other artists and will run until June 30 via Kurit-Lagting’s Facebook page.

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