lrtart1Passing through LRT2 Cubao Gateway Station…

I chanced upon this art exhibit/competiton results.  It’s called ‘Art along the Riles’ from the recently concluded LRT ART 2009.  The theme of the competition was “LRT at ang Buhay Pinoy” (LRT and the Filipino Life).  This is the first art event from LRT and would probably be held annually. Being a commuter for generally all my life (and a Fine Arts grad in case you belittle my ability to comment on the entries), my interest was piqued.  But I am more of an MRT commuter than LRT’s. Either way, it’s still the same.

It has been some time since I’ve seen an art exhibit and decided to look stuff 3076around and take pix.

The venue is in the station itself which serves to be too dark and gloomy to be a proper place for an exhibit.  The lighting fixtures don’t help either. However, it does make the passers-by and LRT commuters stop and look and dawdle for awhile.

Here are some of the winners and non-winners. You can click on the pix for closer look:

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Finalist “Via Caballeria” by Vincent Paolo De Pio (acrylic on canvas) on the left. Pinoy cosplay in the LRT?  Guess it means old meets new. On the right is a Juror’s Choice, “Sa Bisig ng Panatag” by Alexander Roxas (oil on canvas).  A guy (looking like a cross between Rizal and Cesar Montano) symbolizing LRT while cradling a child (let me guess–that’s us?) and words describing LRT in the background (like dependable and environment-friendly) can sure kiss the jurors’ asses but hey–it worked.

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Finalist: “Korona Po ng Pagyabong” by Jerry Morada (oil on canvas). Great technique but a head scratcher. I get the crown of lrt tracks but what does it mean? Should we recycle foil?  Sometimes the baffling can be eye-catching and intriguing though.

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Both Juror’s Choices: At left, “Sakto” by Johann Padiemos (oil on canvas); and at right, “Buhay Pinoy” by David de Vera (acrylic on canvas).  I am in favor of “Sakto” being one of the winners. It speaks volumes of how LRT can be a useful and convenient way of traveling for us Pinoys.  That could be me– holding the wallet but with prettier hands though. “Buhay Pinoy” shows how integrated lrt is (along with the classic jeepney) in our everyday lives.

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Finalist: “Samu’t – Saring Pinoy sa LRT” by Malyn Bonayog (acrylic on canvas).  This could be even better as a series than as a single piece. Great job!

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Finalist: “Pananaw” by Proceso Gelladuga II (oil on canvas).  Good composition.  Epitomizes the young urban Pinoy as a cool lrt commuter.

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Grand Prize: “Sakay Na Rin Po Kayo” by Mario Panis (oil on canvas).  A disappointing and lousy choice.  It’s naive, too safe and unimaginative. But I have to remind myself that this is really not an art competition.  More like a commercial and business one (you join this competition to win, not to express yourself).  So jurors value technique (and a kiss-ass message) more than concept and style.

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“Welcome to Republika ng Pilipinas” by Joannalyn Wong (oil on canvas). I like this one though it did not receive any commendation. It’s honest and beautiful in all its chaotic splendor! Looks better in person…er, in object. Kudos, you’re a winner in my book!

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“Makulay na Buhay” by Eduardo Chiomico (acrylic on canvas).  Did not win, too. Why? Give you two words: PLDT Directory. Too bad, I kinda liked it, maybe it was because of the hard work and effort obviously put in by the artist. Plus it exemplifies what makes Asian art unique–the intricacy and delicateness, and (sometimes) the spiritual fervor put into the workmanship.  But compositions like these have been done by so many others that, alas,  some are already too numbed by it. But still, I like it.

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I also like this one–another non-winner. Sorry! So dumb of me not to get the name of this piece.  I like simplicity, intelligence and sophistication in an art work because incorporating all three qualities in one piece or design can be challenging and tricky– it could be the hardest thing an artist could do as well. The only letdown here is the bottom part that cuts off the metal door which ruins the over-all composition. I know it is a blurry shot but if you could look closely, there are faces reflected on the metal door and on its glass. Nice!

The exhibit by the way runs until July 31.

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