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Saturday, May 26, 2007

2nd Philippine Arts Festival Hong Kong SAR

The 2nd Philippine Arts Festival Hong Kong SAR

presents several arts exhibitions in Hong Kong:

"ESTILO" at the Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong SAR
"Drawings on Square" at the Economist Gallery of the Fringe Club
"Tatlo" (Three) Show at the Karin Weber Art Galley
"Possession" a solo show by Charlie Co.

2nd Philippine Arts Festival Hong Kong SAR

"ESTILO", a group show by Filipino artists and creative professionals based in Hong Kong , will be showcased at the Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong SAR in 14/F Queensway, Admiralty, on June 7, 2007.

Spanish term for style, "ESTILO" will reveal the vibrant and growing community of Hong Kong-based Filipino artists and creative professionals, which include Arnel Agawin, Jun Cambel, Jun Canete, Tito Cascante, Noel de Guzman, Joel Ferraris, Ben Guia, Martin Megino, Dante Peralta, Manuel Rubio, Emilio Rivera III, Mario Rivera, Bobit Segismundo and Edgar Tapan.

Some of these artists will also be part of parallel shows in June, such as the "Drawings on Square" exhibition at the Economist Gallery of the Fringe Club on June 23 to July 3, and the "Tatlo" (Three) Show at the Karin Weber Art Galley on June 16-30, 2007.

For "ESTILO", around 25 recent works in painting and photography will be featured as part of the Second Philippine Arts Festival 2007 in Hong Kong . It is a follow-up show to last year's big event at the Central Library which served as the core of the First Philippine Arts Festival in Hong Kong . "Unang Sulyap: First Glimpse" also showcased the talent of Hong Kong-based Filipino artists as well as Philippine art works held by collectors based in the SAR.

Indeed this year's exhibition is proof of the ever-growing and inspired community of contemporary Filipino artists and creative professionals who see Hong Kong as a suitable arena to release their creative passion and compulsively produce art "made in Hong Kong " away from their home country. Given the fact that they have fulltime jobs and families to care for, still their productivity in art uncovers the variety in subjects and themes on display and is a cross-section of how wide-ranging their concerns on various issues are and how their individual and collective efforts all these years have contributed to the vibrancy of this multi-ethnic place. This reality had somehow spawned a new kind of art of a people whose cultural baggage blended with the influence of their adopted city.

Arnel Agawin presents a series of skillfully and meticulously done mixed media works in a modular set of drawings on handmade paper. Using carbon and colored pencils, he highlights and reestablishes the vital importance of the basic art of drawing by hand, whose partnership with the use of handmade paper is a challenge to the ever-growing dependence on art products made by machine and creative skills relying on computers.

Jun Cambel tries to raise people's environmental awareness through his art. For his love of nature, he creates pictures based on his observations of things that surround him as a means of self-expression. He intends to continue with his art, if his schedule permits, and to have the fun working that way. To him, his art is for a cause.

Jun Canete presents works from two different series: one is from the previously exhibited 'Aikea Guinea' (Karin Weber Gallery) series which explores ancient Islamic art through 'mediated' algorithmic imaging and some pieces from the new 'ISMs' series, studies in extracting pleasing compositions from visual representations of turbulent motions.

Tito Cascante's works deal with the poetic transformation of narrative views on wicked experiences of consciousness and carefully chosen symbols and form of contemporary everyday images that contribute to the making of good composition. Tito believes that art is a discipline that need not see the dark shadows of his pain, for in the process of this narrative and living expression his works offered him a kind of balance that revealed both the Beauty of Nature and the poignancy of this life.

Noel de Guzman's name still reverberates from the recent solo exhibition "Bayan Ko" (My Country) at the Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong last February 2007. In this exhibition his six small pieces, a return to his finger-painted acrylics on canvas distinctly emphasized by heavily textured lines and brightly colored pieces, redefine his expressionistic style.

Ben Guia's fascination of the human internal architecture and external form directs his brushes and pens to leave traces of vivid vertical lines inspired by the human D.N.A. sequencing technique as an artistic impression of the perfect being in this world. He further expands his current series of artworks to explore the external part of the human body by revealing a camouflage-like human pattern from intertwining lines, focusing mainly on how we should appreciate the beauty of our form and faces.

Joel Ferraris continues to work on mixed media with subjects that explore the booming property market's threat to the fast vanishing natural environment, replaced by urban life pulsating 24 hours with online and digital communication. He reasons that modern society's fast scientific and technological acceleration, powered by the arrival and prevalence of modern gadgets that threaten people's privacy, erodes memories of happy and carefree rural life.

Martin Megino's keen observations of Chinese history and culture translate historical elements into his canvas as his interest in these subjects grows. By using familiar objects and symbols that he playfully relates to his country's familiar lingo, he discovers an amusing artistic treasure to further explore.

Dante Peralta's trained eye captures images with his lens in a masterly manner only he knows in his new set of photographs. With subjects ranging from simple but repressive, rusty barbwires to disturbing smog that blur beautiful skylines he balances his themes to introduce hope and faith symbolized by the hand of a preacher.

Manuel Rubio's recent art creations focus on more meaningful subjects especially those that raise awareness on issues about global warming. His recent paintings about marine life lead viewers to admire the beauty of the undersea paradise which could hopefully be the last less spoilt frontier. He believes that people's modest but sincere contributions could spell great difference in the struggle for nature's preservation and for the survival of humanity.

Emilio Rivera's thought-provoking artpieces reflect the influences of Chinese culture on his art. Tweaked with Filipino elements on it, the results are a combination of commentary, editorial, comic and migrant worker-inspired rendition of Chinese-style paintings.

Mario Rivera's photographs reveal a fascination with street life and all its ordinariness and move him to find something extraordinarily surprising. With keen eyes trained to capture what others simply ignore, he is inspired by a Confucian thought that "Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it".

Bobit Segismiundo's visually strong series explores pain and suffering, which even beauty and desire could manifest, brought about by certain beliefs and ideology that sometimes deliver macabre results. These considered "burden" to love ones, who are left to carry the scar that these individuals perpetuated, seem to release individuals into some uncompromising situation that compels them to take their own lives to satisfy certain beliefs and ideology in the pursuit of power, and control and force them to justify mistakes that spawn other mistakes in the hope that it could release such burden.

Edgar Tapan's set of photographs draws viewers to reflect on the plight of OFWs and how they stick to their faith, or abandon it, when faced with life's challenges. Coming from a Catholic country in Southeast Asia where religiosity is deeply rooted, overseas Filipino workers are welcomed by the lure of the world city where worldly temptations are peddled by con artists often disguised as angels of light.

Launched some seven years ago, the annual exhibition of works by Filipino painters, muralists, art directors and creative directors, photographers, graphic designers and digital artists at the Philippine Consulate General coincides with the June celebration of Philippine Independence from Spain .

Filipino artists have been "painting" their mark here in Hong Kong since the early 1980s. Aside from sporadic exhibitions by Philippine-based artists like Anita Magsaysay-Ho and the late Santiago Bose, there have been pioneering shows by their Hong Kong-based counterparts as well, which served as inspiration to newcomers in the art scene, collectors and enthusiasts alike. Some of the past sponsors were the Philippine Association of Hong Kong (PAHK), PACES and several commercial galleries promoting Philippine art, such as the John Batten Gallery, Karin Weber Gallery, Asia Fineart Gallery and Osage Gallery.

"ESTILO" is sponsored by the Philippine Consulate General HK SAR in conjunction with the Philippine Arts Festival. For more information on the various activities under the Second Philippine Arts Festival, visit or contact the Philippine Consulate General or

Please call Eric Derupe at (+852) 2823-8536 or Marie Docas at (+852) 2823-8513 for further information on 2nd Philippine Arts Festival Hong Kong SAR and the "ESTILO" show which ends on July 7, 2007.

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