'Kristo,' both a Lenten and art ritual, returns this year
by Junio De Los Reyes
Since 2005, artist Salvador “Buddy” Ching and Delan Robillos of The Artery Manila have been presenting the “Kristo Manila” Lenten exhibitions which offered viewers a venue, via the visual arts, for reflection and meditation in observance of the Holy Week. The well-received shows were held annually until 2009 when it became necessary to review the shows’ objectives. Though the public welcomed the addition to other Holy Week traditions, it seemed that the endeavor was seen by some as just a commercial opportunity. Thus, the two exhibit pioneers opted to give the exhibit a rest last year.
This year, Ching and Robillos are bringing back “Kristo Manila.” To stress on refocusing, it shall simply be titled “The Offering.”
“This is to remind everyone that the creation of the artworks and appreciating these are part of the Lenten offering and reflection,” Robillos said.
Participating artists are Leonard Aguinaldo, Hermes Alegre, Conneth Amido, Felix Amoncio, Mark Arcamo, Anton Balao, London-based artist Yveese Belen, Gerrico Blanco, Franklin Caña, Ross Capili, Roen Capule, Salvador Ching, Salvador Convocar, Farley Del Rosario, Anna De Leon, Robert Deniega, Ferdinand Doctolero, Shalimar Gonzaga, Jaime Gubaton, Cathy Lasam, Dante Lerma, Norlito Meimban, Agang Maganda, Francisco Nacion, Roel Obemio, Singapore-based artist Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr., Danny Pangan, Jill Arwen Posadas, Omi Reyes, Jef Samonte, Aner Sebastian, Ojing Señara, Janelle Tang, Rex Tatlonghari, Palma Tayona, Jomike Tejido, Migs Villanueva, Orly Ypon, and Pinggot Zulueta.
''This is our way of using our talent to pay tribute to the true Master,'' said Ching, who put together the first Kristo (Malolos) show in Bulacan in 2001.
Simultaneously, Kristo (Malolos) shall open on April 13, 2011 and will run for a month at the Museo ng Bulacan located at the Malolos capitol while Kristo Manila is slated from April 11 to 30, 2011 at the Looking for Juan (L4J) Art Space in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City. L4J Art Space (formerly 1/of Gallery) is owned and operated by Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS), a non-profit organization that promotes Philippine art through exhibitions and the publication of children's books. Changing the gallery’s name from 1/of to L4J is in keeping with CANVAS’s thrust of furthering causes such as defining the Filipino identity and free expression.
“L4J is meant not only to be a venue for exploration of and dialogue on what it means to be Filipino, but also what it takes to be a proud one,” CANVAS executive director Gigo Alampay explained.
Part of cultural pride is the strength of belief in tradition, not the least of which are spiritual practices. This makes L4J Art Space an even more fitting venue for Kristo Manila 2011.
The exhibit’s offering shall go to CANVAS’s ongoing initiative to work with The Global Giving Foundation to bring its children's books to public schools and children's hospitals throughout the Philippines. For more information on how you can help, please visit CANVAS' GLOBAL GIVING PROJECT.
***An edited version of this article was published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on pages E1 and E2 of the Lifestyle Section on Monday, April 4, 2011.