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(from left) Ian de Leon, Emmanuel de la Cruz, Edna Vida and Noel Garrovillo

Four artists purge stereotypes and break borders

It was award-winning filmmaker Emmanuel de la Cruz (”Sarong Banggi,” a runaway winner the 2005 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival) who invited me over to attend the opening of an art exhibit which would present him and fellow artists, actor Ian de Leon, dance diva Edna Vida and regional arts organizer Noel Garrovillo in a gig at the Hot Off The Press in 163 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. 

Aside from the raging threats of the new coronavirus, there was a looming typhoon Rolly to challenge the first day of the show. 

But Emman—de la Cruz’s pet name—Ian, Edna and Noel weren’t rattled by the two natural disasters and even proclaimed to the whole world that no one could ever stop them from going anywhere and stage their artistic creations. “We will conquer the world,” said Edna as she toasted the celebratory wine to her jubilant colleagues. 

Wearing face masks and face shields, spraying and rubbing disinfectants, maintaining physical distancing and displaying their interpretations of life on canvas were the four artists’ arsenals in combating the plague. 

It was because they believe that art can contain challenges even of gigantic proportions. As the press briefs stated: “Art is unbounded but for a certain reason, artists have to choose a specific genre to master and work hard for its perfection. Excellence is always the goal and it’s always coupled with hard work, knowledge, and resources.” 

In “Breaking Borders,” the four artists have mastered their craft in their chosen fields. They have proven their worth and established names in the industry where they belong and joined each other’s turfs to convey unity in diversity. 

As an accomplished creative dancer and visual artist, Vida exemplifies the spirit of artists—going beyond limitations, transcending, and endless rediscovering. 

Show business, meanwhile, doesn’t limit de Leon’s capabilities and possibilities. For him, the exhibit is an off-screen opportunity and chance to showcase his ideas, visions, and emotions through oil paint and canvas as his primary medium for more creative explorations and artistic expressions. 

According to de la Cruz, “’Breaking Borders’ for me is an act of imagining and re-imagining. If we can imagine these borders and barriers between us as illusory and ephemeral, we can go beyond ourselves…I think that’s the goal of every artist, to go beyond the self.” 

Lastly, Garrovillo espouses freedom in the arts. “The exhibit posits a statement that artist cannot be confined to limitations – they break borders to be free.” 

The show runs until November 25, 2020. 

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