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  • New discoveries in the art scene awarded at the 2018 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence

New discoveries in the art scene awarded at the 2018 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) recognized this year’s Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) awardees in a ceremony held on September 20, 2018 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City. U.S Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim and Cultural Center of the Philippines chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo graced the event as Guests of Honor, who were welcomed by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty, Metrobank vice chairman Francis Sebastian, Metrobank president Fabian Dee, and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

On its 34th year, MADE chose the theme “Discover” inviting Filipino painters and sculptors to immerse into a whole new experience—one that demands looking at the world with fresh eyes to discover the beauty in things mundane and overlooked. Since 1984, MADE has recognized more than 400 artists, architects and designers serving as the venue to discover emerging names in the art scene.

“MADE has continued to be a platform for discovery for the most passionate and persistent creative visionaries in the country. Our roster of winners—now counting to more than four hundred—discovered their potentials, and majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art scenes,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “But more than a competition that breeds artistic talent, MADE has evolved to become an implementing entity that facilitates a generation of fresh ideas for social development. The works of the artists we celebrate this evening are testaments to that,” he continued.

Two (2) Grand Awardees for the Painting Recognition Program and one (1) Grand Prize Awardee for the Sculpture Recognition Program received a financial assistance worth PhP500,000 and the “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol.

On the other hand, two (2) other finalists for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category, Painting Recognition Program were given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.

MADE Painting Recognition Program

Iloilo-based Noel M. Elicana is the Grand Awardee for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category with his piece “Kanya-kanyang Tinik, Kanya-kanyang Landas, Iisa ang Ginagalawan” portraying both creation and destruction.

A tree rooted in the artist’s deep familiarity of his hometown in Oton, Iloilo, serves as the center of the composition where otherworldly figures and flowers spring. While death and destruction are represented through bones and vultures.

“Every single Filipino has their own yoke to carry. But no matter what their differences are, their eyes shine with positive thoughts. These people envision their dreams and are searching to unlock their journey,” said Elicana.

Grand Awardee for Watermedia on Paper Category Alex P. Ordoyo from Santa Barbara, Iloilo portrayed the devastation that enveloped Marawi City through his monochromatic piece entitled “Destroyed.”

The painting stitches the various features of the capital city of Lanao del Sur through the presentation of the destroyed urban landscape — ruined houses, establishments, mosques and fleeing figures. “Destroyed” depicts the Marawi tragedy with a surrealistic approach so much that no visual point of entry is present as to encapsulate the full intensity of wreckage.

Bulaceño artist Francis Eugene E. Andrade’s Oil/Acrylic on Canvas piece “The Sacrifice” grabbed a Special Citation for its remarkable message tackling a mother’s undying love for her children.

Like most of his pieces, Andrade mirrors melancholic experiences through the symbolism of clothing. In “The Sacrifice,” a crumpled mother’s silken dress lie below three hanged clothes paired with hats depicting different occupations: flight attendant, seaman and engineer. Pieces of the mother’s dress are used to patch up some parts of her children’s clothing which are also smeared with stains. Rendered in sepia and with the dresses being old-fashioned, the work offers a simple but no less moving testament to parental love with no cost.

Completing the trio of artists from Iloilo, Roland F. Llarena’s “The Diminishing Memories of Home” which touches upon notions of departure also won a Special Citation for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category. Described as a subtle and sad representation of reality, his entry interprets the eventual estrangement from family values and indifference to family and friends through the depiction of an abandonment of a home.

“The Diminishing Memories of Home” is a snapshot of a parting moment painted to appear like an old tattered photograph. Mainly featured are a fading ancestral house and a trolley bag ready to be wheeled away from the picture. While the act of leaving depicts openness to new opportunities and aspirations for a greener-pasture, Llarena said “emotions and memories will always be tied to the place that we live in”.

This year’s MADE Painting Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was chaired by one of the country’s leading art critic and 13-time MADE judge Cid Reyes. Members of the Board included 1993 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Alfredo Esquillo, Jr., award-winning visual artist Marina Cruz and curator Ricky Francisco and esteemed member of the academe and art community, Professor Leo Abaya.

MADE Sculpture Recognition Program

Maria Ronna Lara-Bes won this year’s Grand Award for the Sculpture Recognition Program with “Interconnected”, a medley of spheres and lines symbolizing binding ties.

With three equidistant spheres representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as the base, the indoor sculpture is interconnected by “stems” inspired by different indigenous fabrics and stainless spheres of varying sizes that serve as vital connecting nodes of the composition. “Interconnected” is a visual representation of how the disparate islands of our archipelago are bridged together by the shared identity of the Filipino people.

In partnership with Federal Land, Inc., the 2018 MADE Sculpture Recognition Program challenged sculptors to design an artistic and modern indoor public art installation at the Atrium Lobby of Met Live, a three-level upscale mall at the Metro Park complex along Macapagal Boulevard, corner EDSA Extension in Pasay City.

To serve as the signature art centerpiece of the mall, the artwork should personify the visual design identity of Met Live which is described as “threads of fabric, fashion, and architecture all woven together creating an artisanal and innovative characteristic that is ethnic-inspired yet versatile, artful yet progressive.

The MADE Sculpture Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was headed by multimedia artist and 1990 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Mark Justiniani. Members of the Board included award-winning international sculptor Daniel dela Cruz, multimedia artist Gerardo Tan, Interdisciplinary artist Josephine Turalba, and sculptor Reginald Yuson.

Past MADE Awardees Paying-it-Forward

Another highlight of the night was an art exhibit by the MADE Network of Winners (MADE NOW) —the alumni organization of former MADE winners—entitled “Voyage of Senses”. Artworks displayed were made available for sale during the exhibit run of which a percentage of the proceeds go to the various pay-it-forward projects of the alumni organization such as art therapy.

Once young and amateur artists, most of the members are now the most sought after contemporary artists of today. Participating artists include Roberto Acosta, Andrew Tan, Samuel Penaso, Siefred Guilaran, Eugene Jarque, Jonathan Dangue, Melvin Culaba, Clarence Eduarte and Rolando Ventura.

The 2018 MADE Grand Awardees and Special Citation recipients automatically become members of MADE-NOW where they will be implementing pay-it-forward projects that benefit marginalized sectors.

Panoramic Endeavors: Lectures on Rediscovering Philippine Art and Cultural Heritage

A two-day lecture on rediscovering Philippine arts and cultural heritage, entitled “Panoramic Endeavors” was also held in the same venue—September 21 to 22. With themes “Arts and Design as Personal Advocacies” and “Conservation of Tangible Heritage” in day one and “Hubs for Creative Ingenuity” and “Shaping Creative Public Spaces” for day two, the lectures seek to rediscover the importance of arts, architecture and design in everyday life through the nationalistic efforts of dynamic individuals in the art and design community.

Now on its 34th year, MADE has set the benchmark among the country’s art competitions, raising the general public’s appreciation for the arts through exhibits and lectures and has long served as the career launch pad of the country’s most admired contemporary artists and sculptors. Among its past awardees are Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New, Salvador “Buddy” Ching, and Andres Barrioquinto.

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