By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine Embassy in the United Kingdom has extolled fast-rising young Filipino visual artist Ronson Culibrina for leaving his indelible marks in international art circles.
Culibrina paid a visit to the Philippine Chancery in the British capital last week after completing his brief residency at the Liverpool Hope University in London.
“Over the years, Filipino visual artists have made indelible marks in international art circles. Mr. Culibrina’s residency at one of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom shows that the works of Filipino artists continue to occupy an important place in contemporary art,” Philippine Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo said after his meeting with the Filipino artist.
Culibrina exhibited his works and delivered a lecture at the British university through a grant from Ateneo Art Gallery’s residency partners.
Lagdameo said the Embassy is keen on supporting Filipino visual artists and promoting their works in the UK’s artistic circles as it has hosted several exhibitions featuring the works of both emerging and established Filipino artists in the past years.
The Morong-born artist was one of three winners in the 2018 Ateneo Art Awards, and the much-coveted Fernando Zobel Prize for Visual Arts.
Culibrina is known for works that merge pop culture elements in iconic classical paintings. His first series of works tackled socio-political issues anchored on the allegorical style of old Filipino masters.
Among the prevailing themes of his work are cultural exchange, globalization, the Filipino diaspora, and the collision between art and the economy. His works are highly coveted by art collectors in Asia.
The 28-year-old artist earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Major in Advertising at the Technological University of the Philippines and has won various awards such as the Grand Prize of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company Painting Competition in 2009 and the Special Citation from the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence.
In July 2016, Culibrina debuted in Berlin with his solo exhibition called “Resurreccion” at the Galerie Michael.
In that exhibition, Culibrina selected key pieces from the works of Felix Resurrección Hidalgo, a key figure in 19th-century Philippine art, with interventions that bridge classical Filipino paintings with contemporary times.
He has also participated in several groups and solo exhibitions in the Philippines and in Singapore.