THE Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) announced this year’s winners of the prestigious Thirteen Artists Awards. They are: dancer Eisa Jocson, performance artist Bea Camacho, filmmaker Shireen Seno, photographer Carlo Gabuco, and intermedia artists Zeus Bascon, Cian Dayrit, Janos dela Cruz, Dina Gadia, Guerrero Habulan, Russel H. Trinidad aka Doktor Karayom, Raffy Napay, Archie Oclos, and Lynyrd Paras.

The winners will receive cash grants that will let them produce new works which will be exhibited on Oct. 18 at the CCP. The occasion will also be the winners’ formal recognition rites.

The winners were chosen based on their body of work and integrity, “responsiveness to contemporary realities,” engagements with contemporary visual art forms, and sustained artistic pursuits in individual or group shows for at least the last three years.

The winners must also be less than 40 years old. This year’s youngest awardee is Mr. Trinidad who is 27.

“It’s still a puzzle what art means and the artists mean in this age and society,” said Mr. Dayrit, speaking in Filipino. “What is the essence of the award and the institution? What do the artists have as privilege? What issues can we tackle and play? Hence the need to remain critical in receiving awards like this.”

Mr. Oclos, a street artist and painter, considers his award as another platform to showcase the stories of minorities, especially of the farmers and fishermen. A recent mural he made depict the stories of the poor and victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

The goal of the Thirteen Artists Awards, which was initiated by the first CCP Museum Director Roberto Chabet, is to showcase the works of artists who “restructure, restrengthen, and renew art making and art thinking… that lend to viability to Philippine art.”

This year’s panel of jurors included past winners such as Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi (1972), Leonilo Doloricon (1990), Noel Cuizon (1994), Yasmin Sison-Ching (2006), and Rica Estrada, officer-in-charge of the Visual Arts and Museum Division representing the CCP. — Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman