In celebration of National Arts Month, alumni of the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts opened a group show entitled “UpDate: A UPCFA Dekada ‘90 Reunion Exhibit last Saturday, February 17, at the Art Anton gallery in Pasay City. It was a gathering of artists from different batches comprising the decade of the ‘90s.
The exhibit “proposes to be a platform of reunion and camaraderie” and much like a reunion, it is a way for the schoolmates to “UPdate” each other and the arts community, as well. “We coined our exhibit ‘UPdate’ precisely because after 20 years apart, finally we are reunited,” shared exhibit organizer Simkin de Pio from batch 1998. De Pio added that the idea for the exhibit came about organically, through kamustahan, after a handful of them felt an urgency to connect with one another through their individual art practices.
After much preparation, fifty-eight artists from different batches of Dekada ’90 came together to mount an exhibit “that asks of each of its participating artists to provide a narrative or any expression of how their respective lives are shaped by the intervening two decades of being on their own.” Nearly 80 works are on display and are a mix of paintings, sculptures, and art objects.
Seen at the opening night were brilliant artists and professors Nestor Vinluan (who was UPCFA dean in the 1990s), Ruben David Defeo, maestro Gig de Pio, maestra Cora Hila, master printmaker Rey Concepcion, installation stalwart and National Artist candidate maestro Junyee, and art critic and writer Cid Reyes.
Speaking to the artists present at the exhibit opening, Cid Reyes remarked, “You are all young and I feel a great ball of appreciation and emotion when I see the next generation manifesting such talent such as yours, I feel very confident that the future of Philippine art is assured.”
The participating UP Iskolar ng Bayan artists are Jertie Abergas, Cinderella Aguilar, Nina Alagao, Ana Lisa Alcantara, Jose Santos Ardivilla, Elden Ardiente, Sol Arnaez, Raphael Levi Arnan, Bong Banal, Hilario Barrozo, Aaron Bautista, Jimi Bautista, Jeng Cabrera, Glenn Cagandahan, Juano Concepcion, Nemcy Cruz, Bo Cumaguin, Simkin de Pio, Anton Del Castillo, Amrei Dizon, Aileen Familara, Brian Garcia, Esther Garcia, Sasha Garcia, Raphael Gregorio, James Hermogenes, Jacq Hernandez, Emman Hernandez, Riel Hilario, Dino Ignacio, Dyani Lao, Lette Lazaro, Tina Vibar Ledesma, Nina Libatique, Avid Liongoren, Riza Manalo, Niko Maravillas, Eric Masangkay, Chito Miranda, Rhonda Miranda, Christel Pichay, Myk Peñamora, Ian Ramos, Albert Rodriguez, Biboy Royong, Jeric Sadullo, Jerson Samson, Julius Samson, Kim Samson, Aman Santos, Juanito Torres, Anna Valencia, Jericho Vamenta, Alim Vela, Ann Vitug, and Rembrandt Vocalan.
The UpDate exhibit will run until March 8, 2018 at Art Anton in S’ Maison at The Conrad Hotel in Pasay City, Metro Manila.