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Artwork, encoded

There is a delightfully mysterious twist that can be found in the art of Valen Valero. Within the visually arresting abstractions showcased in her oeuvre, she has stealthily hidden codes and messages. Camouflaged between the organized chaos of her geometric lines and silhouettes set off by her clever manipulation of muted colors, these cryptographs are composed of letters and numbers. Representative of her refreshing optimism, they exist to connect Valero to the viewers as she bares her soul and shares her journey. Her abstractions owe its dynamic quality to her contagious positivity, which she materialized by putting in verses and inspirational quotes. Carefully concealed from all except those with knowing eyes, these codes are an inspired addition to what already stands as an alluring visual piece. It adds a unique dimension …

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Creativity through technology

By Mary Angela Barlongay For those who can’t get enough of serialized comic books, graphic designer and the co-founder of branding and design agency Plus63 Design Co, Dan Matutina and Apple Premium Reseller, Beyond the Box have drawn up something new in the local comic world for you. With the help of Digits Trading Inc. CEO Charles Paw, they brought together the country’s best comic artists to create a comic book compilation that aims to “inspire creativity through technology.” And thus, Beyond, a comic compilation, was born, “pushing limits and exploring possibilities” in the local comic scene. The three master artists Harvey Tolibao, Mervin Malanzano, and Manix Abrera created their artwork by solely using the Apple iPad Pro, in which, for them, made their entire creative process easier. “Traditional tools have brushes, pencils, …

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Make love, not war

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 after nine years of marathon negotiation among 160+ states.  It was then submitted to all participants for ratification. The Philippines did so in 1986 and China in 1996. The Convention established rules for the use of the seas and oceans, including navigation for trade and transport; exploitation of fisheries, offshore oil, gas, minerals, and other resources; control of pollution from ships and oil tankers; and the study, protection, and conservation of the marine environment.  It was a complex negotiation that took into account state sovereignty, developing country aspirations, and the needs of mankind as a whole. Broadly speaking, the convention entitles a country (including its habitable islands) to:  (a) a 12-nautical-mile (approximately 22 kilometers) territorial sea and …

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Reading as pastime

By Ana Valenzuela A bookworm is someone who would want to be alone and left to his own devices, not to be disturbed. He is curled up on a couch or on his bed with a good book. Last week at the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) at the SM Mall of Asia, one can put a face into that picture. You wouldn’t picture him as a scrawny young kid with glasses. Oh no, and he/she isn’t a loner. They came in throngs: men, women, boys, and girls, of all shapes, sizes, and colors, with or without the stereotypical glasses. SMX was packed with people who either were lugging about trolleys, if not armfuls or bagful, of books, snaking through the crowded aisles waiting for their turn at the counter. It was …

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Singing victorious

By Ana Valenzuela Images by Noel b. Pabalate Head held up high, Neil Pedrosa stood at the middle of the stage, with no one but him in the spotlight. Some might feel jittery, some might feel defiant, and some might even pass out because of stage fright. But not Neil, who, believe it or not, was a debut competitor. And this was no ordinary competition. This was the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA), touted as the Olympics of the performing arts. At the time, he would be contending in the Vocal Opera category, his fourth category in this year’s competition. As the music to an Italian song, “Nessun Dorma” by Puccini from the opera Turandot filled the room, Neil showed off his vocal prowess wowing audience and judges. Fast forward to after his song number when Pedrosa …

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Substance of space

Portrait Pinggot Zulueta  While most artists dedicate their careers perfecting that which is seen, multidisciplinary Australian artist Tony Twigg spends his time examining that which is not seen. Twigg cultivates a deep understanding of how the spaces within a visual composition are equally important, if not more so, than the actual focal points of the creative piece. Through his creations he revels in how shape and color operate relative to one another, proving that, at times, absence can hold even greater meaning than its counterpart. “The recurrent theme in my work and in exhibitions of my work is the voice given to the unseen and the way it partners the seen,” Twigg says. “It is an absent presence that is immediately a visual experience. For me this intangible balance generates a mood—something with wider implications, offering pause for reflection.” A distinctive form of awareness sets the artist apart, as he exhibits a sincere …

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Lav Diaz’s Golden moment

After winning the Silver Bear (Alfred Bauer Prize) at the 66th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin for his eight-hour opus Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery), art house filmmaker Lav Diaz won the top prize, the Golden Lion (Leone d’Oro  per il miglior film), for the B&W revenge tale Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), at the recent Mostra Internationale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia. “This is for my country, the Filipino people; for our struggles and the struggle of humanity,” said Diaz in his acceptance speech. Ang Babaeng Humayo is about a woman (Charo Santos-Concio) released from prison 30 years after being framed and wrongfully convicted and who plans to take revenge on her former lover. Like Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, the movie is also shot in black and-white. The four-hour film marks Santos-Concio’s return to …

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The Next Phenoms in the Art Scene

Another batch of artists will be awarded this year by the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), through its Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) program. Five artists will be recognized during the MADE awarding ceremony and exhibit opening on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park, Pasay City. Along with the winning artworks, art pieces of semi-finalists of MADE painting and sculpture recognition programs will be exhibited in a three-day art event, which will run until Sept. 24. Guided by the theme “Finding Phenoms in Art,” the 2016 MADE was launched during a series of public art exhibitions and art education activities dubbed as “Art MADE Public.” Information campaigns were held in different public spaces, universities, local government units, and cultural institutions to invite artists and students to join the search …

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The Met and the Moving Image

By Marife g. Tiangco Manila’s home of contemporary art opened its doors to the public on Oct. 3, 1976 with an awe-inspiring preamble featuring art pieces from Europe and the US. More than 400 successfully mounted exhibitions after, the Met can now be considered as one of Manila’s premier museums of modern art. ART IN MOTION The museum marks its 40th year with an exciting lineup of collections and activities. Opening the anniversary series is a film exhibition helmed by award-winning director Brillante Mendoza. True to the Met’s intent on highlighting film and the moving image as a contemporary art form, Mendoza says, “While many of us consider films to be a form of entertainment, film—especially alternative cinema—is also an important art form, and a powerful medium  of communication.” The exhibition showcases the Ma’Rosa …

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Images by Noel B. Pabalate How often have we lived through the death of a loved one by giving way to the birth of a new passion as well as the rekindling of a long-forgotten one? For veteran PR woman Ginny Guanco, it took the death of her beloved ginger cat Simba and her immersion on social media to make her pick up her idle brushes again. Unknown to many of her friends in the media business, Guanco graduated with a Fine Arts degree major in Painting from the University of the Santo Tomas (UST). After more than 40 years since leaving school, she recently opened her first one-woman art show of 32 acrylic works at SM Megamall’s Galerie Y. The ongoing exhibit, which ends on Sept. 24, revolves around the theme boho …

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