Rant and Rave: Through the Looking Glass—Jose Rizal

3.5 out of 4 stars

Art galleries are not common in Metro Manila; culture manifests in art; therefore, Metro Manila is not rich in culture. Oddly enough though, it is rich in culture and history especially when it comes to the famous national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. His legacy still lives and burns.

And when art galleries and our national hero are put together, the result is not bad at all.

As the Philippines celebrates Rizal’s birthday, as well as Independence Day this month of June, the Manila Contemporary Gallery is showcasing artworks that present Rizal as he truly is—a common man who lived an extraordinary life.

The gallery is featuring the works of Don Salubayba, Luis Santos, Francisco Guerrero, Fernan Escora, Zeus Bascon, Clairelynn Uy, Carina Santos, Erik Sausa, among others; it will not disappoint. While the usual oil on canvas paintings is present, there are also many unique and intriguing artworks to see.

The exhibit boasts a painted collage on wood, which combined creativity with modernity. Life in its raw form emanate from the artworks, regardless of their composition and style.

Furthermore, RIZALPABETO, a project of the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS), made possible by poet Vim Nadera and artist Elmer Borlongan, was housed in the upstairs gallery. An impressive and effective way for many Filipinos to learn more about the life and legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal, every letter/artwork represented something that had much to do with the famous doctor.

The exhibit has not only shown the brilliance of Rizal’s life; it also showed the many talents Filipinos have.

Limited, as the collection may seem, the spread of artistry shows a different side of Rizal.

He dabbled in art and lived life to the fullest. Needless to say, the sheer artistic quality of the collection would inspire many to walk in his shoes or to throw their shoes, just as the hero had done before.

Photos at:

Stephanie Tan

By Stephanie Tan

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