Post 385

Ferdinand Cacnio’s Uplift (2017) is a figure of a maiden suspended in the air, supported only through her voluminous hair. Some say the figure resembles the sculpture Oblation – closed eyes, serene countenance, outstretched arms, and bare – thus calling it the “female Oblation”.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

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Post 380

Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist, is a master of his craft and a defender of conservatism in Philippine sculpture. Here is Venus (1951), made from plaster of paris, exuding the classic qualities of feminine beauty.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 328a

The Philippines – long inhabited by the Austronesian people and had interacted with its Asian neighbours for thousands of years – got its name from a foreign royalty, Felipe II of Spain. Ever since its colonisation, its culturally scattered people have tried to determine their collective identity which is now muddled with the prevailing globalised culture.

Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 292a

The Philippines celebrates every 30 December the martyrdom of Jose Rizal, considered to have inspired the revolution of other nationalists. Rizal is a man of capabilities, including being a sculptor. Here is the terracotta figure La venganza de la madre (The Mother’s Revenge, 1894) which he made while in exile in Dapitan town.

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Photo by I.R. Arenas

Post 280a

A close-up of the lid of the Manunggul Jar, a funerary pot, reveals a design depicting sea waves. Interesting is the boat that caps the lid. The figure at the bow is the dead soul while the figure at the stern is the boatman. Belief in the journey to the afterlife has long influenced the culture and ways of living of early ancestors.

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Photo by I.R. Arenas