History can be such a challenging thing to discuss as it requires an understanding of beyond knowing the dates, places, and events that figured in the past. As our elders would say, we cannot move forward to the future if we do not look back at our past.
That is why any medium that helps people understand our history even a little better is very much welcome. Which is what the recently-opened exhibit at the Gateway Tower in Araneta Center, Cubao called Sining Saysay aimed to accomplished.
The exhibit was made possible through the efforts of the Araneta Center and the University of the Philippines. Thus the paintings in the exhibit are works of students and alumni of the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman, notable of which are those of National Artists Bencab and Abdulmari Imao.
The art showcased in this exhibit manages to tell the story of the Filipino people from prehistory to the present day, highlighting not only the chapters people are familiar with, but also some of the lesser known aspects that people should know like the artistry of our prehistoric forebears, the Muslim Filipino culture, and the history of the Philippine labor movement. (which some may say is not surprising given that…hey, it’s UP)
To an extent, the saying that a picture paints a thousand words holds true looking at these paintings as they were able to tell our history in a straightforward, comprehensible, and artistic manner. You won’t see much abstract art that some people dislike in art these days. After all, these artworks aimed to educate and inform of how much we have gone through as a nation.
But art can only do so much. There is still the role education has to play in order to further provide the knowledge that will be added to what was already gained from such art. We hope this exhibit has managed to at least create some level of awareness and understanding of our history so we can understand our present and create a better future for our nation.
The exhibit will run until 2017, so if you have time, check out Sining Saysay at the Gateway Gallery, 5th level of the Gateway Tower near Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.