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Outstanding Filipino Artwork Portrays Common Humanity in Chongqing Exhibition

The Philippines Contemporary Art Group Exhibition was officially unveiled at the former site of the China-UK Liaison Office in Jiefangbei on November 3. It featured outstandingly creative works produced by seven Filipino head artists as part of the Philippine Culture and Arts Month in Chongqing. During this time, members of the public are welcome to view the special artwork representative of Filipino heritage.

The Philippine archipelago comprises at least 7,641 islands, with the actual number depending on the tide, as Filipinos say. The population of over 110 million has more than 80 major language groups and a blend of foreign influences, including Chinese, Indian, Spanish, and American. In this exhibition which opens to the public until November 26, it is hoped the selected Filipino artists will convey messages of common humanity, understanding, respect, and tolerance through their works.

Curator Vincent Deng described how the Philippines has one of Southeast Asia’s most active art markets. The first modern art school in Asia was established in Manila by the artist Damian Domingo in 1821, which later became the National Museum of the Philippines in 1901. While contemporary art from the Philippines may not have set off the whirlwind of popularity, as seen by artists from China, it has always kept pace with the progression of Filipino society. It provides a unique voice on the world stage.

Many pieces of artwork on display inside the attractively refurbished historical building have been produced by Jensen Moreno, a Beijing-based designer, and teacher who has exhibited works at the Philippine Embassy in Beijing and publicized her nation’s culture to many vital leaders and media organizations. At the same time, many other top artists are represented in this temporary exhibition.

Eric Dator began to create works full-time in 1998 and has held many art exhibitions in the United States, Germany, and Britain, focusing on traditional handicrafts through contemporary art and enjoying wide acclaim. Marvic Gile is currently chairman of the Guangdong Filipino Artists Association. He uses propylene, oil paintings, and watercolors to produce artwork themed on nature, such as traditional landscapes, animals, and people.

Further top artists include Fernando Regencia, who recreates lifelike animals native to tropical rainforests, the visual artist Nelson Medina, famous for his realistic koi and landscapes, Virgilio Reyes, whose images depict the social and cultural conflict between traditional and modern life, and Christian Mayo, who presents a creative expression focused on feminism, race, and environmental issues.

Sharon Fraser personally viewed the art gallery displayed in rooms on the second and third floors once the opening ceremony had finished. In the presence of many diplomats based in Chongqing who were deeply impressed by the work on display, she described the appeal the creative artwork personally held for her.

“I was amazed at the beauty and diversity the artists have created in their work, which intensely reflects the incredible natural landscapes, flora, fauna, and warmth of the people. These artists display the great talent of people from the Philippines, who are mostly known for their music. I am very grateful we have the opportunity to view such beautiful pieces of art, and I now feel even more desire to visit the Philippines soon.”

Hong Kong VA Galleries has joined hands with the Consulate General of the Philippines in Chongqing and the Chongqing International Cultural Exchange Center to hold the art exhibition. The former site of the China-UK Liaison Office regularly hosts themed art galleries, and members of the public are welcome to view Philippine Culture and Art Month through November 26, 2022.