In the exhibit, the artist depicts the various characters of a typical sabungan setting like the mananari, cristo, manggagamot, among others.
“Sabong is not a mere manifestation of the Filipino culture but a culture in itself. Surrounding this culture are political, spiritual and social forces,” shares Ong of his theme.
But it is spirituality and superstition that is highlighted in Gallum Sanctos. The largely catholic concepts of holy trinity, Christ and communion are interpreted through Ong’s hands.
Each painting is also accompanied by a prayer of the mananabong to the various santos. These prayers are written in old Filipino text with a mixture of Latin.
Ong newest paintings come fresh from his garage. Besides working as creative director for Filipino Artists’ Magazine, he also creates commissioned work and organizes exhibits through Pintig Art Circle.
The exhibit is on view until March 31 at the NCCA Gallery.