A CALL FOR FILIPINOS TO ‘LOOK FOR JUAN’

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‘KKK’ by Bencab, acrylic and ink on paper (2013)

To commemorate the nation’s 116th Independence Day, the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development’s (Canvas) mounts its five-year-old exhibit anew at the Araneta Center’s Gateway Mall Activity Area. Titled Looking for Juan: Revolution, the impressive collection of works from both National Artists and contemporary Filipino painters hopes to stir discussions on social issues and national identity among everyday Filipinos.

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Looking for Juan was originally conceptualized to herald the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Andres Bonifacio on November 30, 2013, and was last on view in June of the same year at the Vargas Museum.

The exhibit’s timeless theme, however, allows the group Canvas to fulfil its continuing mission to explore the use of art in nurturing a sense of pride and love for country among Filipinos, despite the endless personal challenges and national controversies.

It its official website, www.lookingforjuan.com, Canvas asks, “What does it mean to be Filipino? What does it matter? Why does it matter?

“The answer to this question is important, not least because the lack of a common and shared sense of identity could be one major reason why we cannot seem to get our acts together, and live up to our full potential as a nation.

“This is a basic theme that we should explore and discuss, and most importantly, pose to anyone (especially the young) who might listen—if only so that they will not take their identity for granted.”

Among the featured artists of Looking for Juan are National Artists Ben Cabrera; Fernando Sena, considered as the “Father of Philippine Art Workshop;” and prominent contemporary painter Elmer Borlongan.

A grand opening will be held today at the Araneta Center, which will also feature talks from local Filipino artists and guest appearances from the Bb. Pilipinas 2014 Queens at 3 p.m.

The exhibit runs at the Gateway Mall Activity Area until June 21. For more information, log on to www.facebook.com/canvas.ph, www.lookingforjuan.com or please visit our blog or email info@canvas.ph and www.aranetacenter.net.

TMA

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