By: Catherine I. Ibarrientos
Creative shot of the Opening Gala Night of the 11th Spring Film Festival held at the Grand Atrium, Level 2, EDSA Shangri-la Plaza on January 25, 2017. The main attraction is the Chinese Painting Exhibit by the Confucius Institute of the Ateneo de Manila University. – Photo by Catherine Ibarrientos
MANDALUYONG, Philippines – Chinese art and culture is once again showcased in the 11th Spring Film Festival organized by the Ateneo De Manila Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies. Welcoming the Year of the Fire Rooster, the annual event boasts the undying and preserved tradition of the China in terms of music, filmmaking, and visual creativity. The celebration is a week-long event at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza running from January 25-31.
The Opening Gala Night at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-la’s main wing also paved way to the grand inauguration of the Chinese Painting Exhibit where outstanding and spectacular art pieces are displayed for public appreciation. As this Chinese endeavour remains as one of the oldest continuous artistic custom in the world, no one can ever miss this opportunity to see the convergence of traditional and a bit of Western style in painting.
For the past 10 years of the festival, the Confucius Institute at Ateneo de Manila University always offered a variety of painting creations made by their students. This year the institute definitely hit the high bars in bringing the young skills and talents into the spotlight.
Featured in the exhibit is the student-artist named Rosie Chan Fuentes who have created a painting inspired by the rooster. Birds are not left out as well in her pieces. Her main theme is the charm of the nature and the strong power of the animal sign for this year.
Meanwhile, Helen Tansuk’s main theme in her paintings is flowers with significant symbols in the Chinese religion and art. Just like the lotus and tulips, Tansuk’s art pieces are pure and made full of love.
In Pablo Ong’s painting, he focused on the modern style of art. The cat is the lead character and is bravely looking out on its favorite target, the fish. Pablo surely satisfied the happiness of feline lovers.
On the other hand, Margaret Yu-Sy revealed her artistic side through her nature-enthused painting. The emblem of fertility – orchids, and the hardworking fisherman are the main persona in her pieces.
Minimalism and flora are the key points in the masterpieces of Penk Ching. Strength and the openness to wisdom as well as the Buddhist’s way of praying is embodied by Ching’s paintings.
Mountains play a prominent role in the Chinese art and culture. Even young artists are motivated to create pieces about the mountains which are sacred especially to Buddhism belief. Such painters are Neqita Cheng and Neinei Hui Chun who have shown the beauty of the high lands.
Albert Hamabad Libre III distinguished himself from the other artists as he painted a modern lady in a cocktail dress and fitted gown. Elegance and sophistication, with the hint of sketch-like strokes, are the focal ideas of his pieces influenced by the Western art.
Other new, young artists included in the Chinese Painting Exhibit are Rona Buenaseda-Chua with peonies and sunflower as her subjects of interest, Imelda Tan for her ‘Summer Lotus’, Lizeil Ong’s peacock-inspired ‘Abundance’, Joaquina T. So’s painting on hydrangea, and Grace Dadufalza centering on the birds and flowers. Some of the pieces are painted in the canvas, fans, while others are mounted in a hanging scroll, which follows the Chinese oriental way of painting and drawing.
Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ emphasized on the progressive impact of learning other nation’s culture to further appreciate the Filipino traditions as well. Moreover, he particularly compared the occasion into seed planting wherein mutual understanding can be attained.
Aside from the painting exhibit, other events of the 11th Spring Film Festival are the Chinese Music Concert, Chinese Pastel Painting Workshop, and the Chinese Film Fest itself.