DFA “Likha ng Mindanao” presents Mindanao's best visual artists PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00

Here’s good art news from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that can make Zambioanga City really proud. Zamboangueno-Tausug artist Rameer Tawasil was one of the four visual artists from Mindanao they presented to the general public from August 22 to 30, 2012 at the DFA Main Lobby in Pasay City.

The art exhibit dubbed, “Likha ng Mindanao,” was in line with DFA’s aim of intensifying its cultural diplomacy initiatives and of continuously educating its personnel on the developments in the Philippine art scene. The exhibit's August launching was likewise in line with the celebration of the Eid'l Fitr and was done so by introducing rising Mindanaon artists, featuring them with Filipino-Muslim National Artist Abdulmari Imao (www.dfa.com.ph press release).

The art exhibit's ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by former Senator Santanina Rasul, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Administration Rafael E. Seguis, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda F. Basilio, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Special and Ocean Concerns Jose S. Brillantes and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura Q. Del Rosario.

The three artists who joined Imao were Juan Sajid, Errol Balcos, and Rameer Tawasil. They showcased works of art depicting the diverse cultural traditions of our beloved Mindanao. Imao is National Artist and Presidential Medal of Merit awardee, who popularized the indigenous ukkil, sarimanok, and naga motifs.

Juan Sajid, on the other hand, mastered the use of metals, as well as resin fiberglass and stone. His works earned him several awards including the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World and Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines Awards.

A multi-awarded artist and first participant of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts' (NCCA's) Layag Residency Program, Errol Balcos takes inspiration from nature. The self-taught artist already staged two solo exhibits and has joined numerous group exhibits around the country.

Our very own, international visual artist Rameer Tawasil, is known for his vibrant artworks (bright and bold colors) that are reminiscent of his childhood and the way of life in Mindanao. He advocates peace through his paintings. He is inspires by the thought that there’s an inescapable reason to paint Mindanao, its culture, history, and even social issues.

Former Senator Rasul, herself a native of Mindanao, expressed her appreciation to the DFA's Cultural Diplomacy Unit (CDU) for recognizing the talents and the passion of Mindanaon artists. "Many are happy that the Department now has an official and a functioning unit that carries out cultural diplomacy," the Senator said.

Undersecretary Seguis, for his part, was elated for the Department's hosting of a National Artist and a fellow Mindanaon. The exhibit was organized by the DFA-CDU under the DFA Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations. (Thanks to Jes Evangelista for the photos here).

"The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. The arts can lift us up."  (Former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan). 

By Dante Corteza