THE FIGURE of a suffocated god of harvest; a self-portrait of an artist; the picture of a blindfolded man; and an upside down reflection of a woman all triumphed at the 51st Shell National Student Art Competition (NSAC).
“Appreciation for the visual arts in the country has grown over the years, with more people being drawn into art collection. This landscape is promising for budding Filipino visual artists who now have a thriving market for their artworks. As a platform for launching the careers of local artists, the Shell National Student Art Competition (NSAC) promotes the cultivation of the Filipino youth’s creativity and skill to world-class standards,” Cesar G. Romero, country chairman of Shell companies in the Philippines, wrote in the competition catalogue.
Pilipinas Shell launched the Shell National Student Art Competition (NSAC) in 1951 as a search for art for a calendar. It grew to become one of the most anticipated art competitions as through the years it launched the careers of some of the country’s top artists including those of National Artists Jose Joya, Ang Kiukok, and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera.
On its 51st year, the art competition — with the theme “Perspective” — received 987 entries from 46 participating schools. The young artists expressed their visions and aspirations for the future in their works. The competition has four categories: digital fine arts, sculpture, oil/acrylic painting, and watercolor.
Patricia M. Mangahas from Far Eastern University, the first place winner in the digital fine arts category, drew a self-portrait titled I.C.U. in which her face was partially covered by shards. Ms. Mangahas said that it is reflective of her self-perception. “I only see the perspective of others,” she told BusinessWorld of her work shortly after the awarding ceremonies on Nov. 12 at the Ayala Museum. She said that it was a challenge for her to create a perspective of herself and her surroundings.
Lorebert M. Comision’s LODI, a figure of a bulul (an Ifugao granary god) wearing an oxygen mask and carrying the burden of a city at the back of its head, won first place in the sculpture category. “Many people have the idea of a city as a sign of progress. But while the city progresses, many suffer of the effects it has on nature,” the Adventist University of the Philippines student explained in a mixture of English and Filipino.
Almario D. Tangalin’s Upside Down won first place in the oil/acrylic painting category. The piece by the Navotas Polytechnic College student depicts an upside reflection of a woman. “Sometimes our society depends on the physical aspect of the person only,” he said of his work, adding that it also reflects how he tries to look at things fairly.
Michael Jay D. Ramos of Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, took first place in watercolor for Retrospective, an image of a young man’s head blindfolded by a ribbon with foliage growing out of the side of his neck.
The second and third place winning pieces are: Coming by Charles Bryan A. Alba and The Barkada Never Goes Away by Azriel T. Domingo in the digital fine arts category; Building One Nation by Harlem C. Sunga and Infinity by Joegan G. Espina in the sculpture category; Magkakaiba Pero Magkakapareha by Joshua D. Villena and Hopscotch for Life by Bernice Michaella M. Cruz in the watercolor category; and The Grid of Progress by Gyles Maverick O. Abac and Tomorrow’s Fool by John Michael E. Pujante in the oil/acrylic category.
“It has been an honor and privilege for Shell in the Philippines to provide these great talents a channel to harness their creative excellence and contribute in establishing a rewarding career in arts. Inspired by these achievements, Shell continues to look forward to fueling the development of student artists from all over the country by enabling them to express their insights and viewpoints through brilliant masterpieces,” Mr. Romero wrote. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman