Celebrating the power of the ox and Filipino art

Published February 22, 2021, 3:43 PM

by John Legaspi

After all, the ox is a symbol of strength and resilience

‘Niulang’ by Maria Magdamit and ‘The Ox’ by James Frani Dayrit

With all the things we’ve experienced in 2020, you may have lost your trust in the mystical, including feng shui. But, much like myths and legends, the things forecasted by the numbers and stars in feng shui are still worth learning from. 

This year, a lot goes with the metal ox. A symbol of strength and resilience, the metal ox gives 2021 a sense of possibility and recovery, and we should learn how to initiate our own healing process.

Metal embodies persistence, resistance, and collective interest, with the Yin metal element representing independence, money, and instinct. In terms of this year’s animal, the ox is known for its diligence and dependability. This makes the metal ox all too relevant in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

‘Dragon Bull’ by Fhiexbird Orozco

Like many industries, the arts have withstood last year’s challenges through hope and constant reinvention. That’s what Gallery Nine aims to show this New Lunar Year with works celebrating the new normal in the arts scene and lessons we can get from the metal ox.

‘9 Bulls’ by Jinggoy Salcedo

This exhibit brings the works of participating artists are Fhiexbird Orozco, Glenn Cagandahan, James Frani Dayrit, Jik Villanueva, Jinggoy Salcedo, Maria Magdamit, Mark Gil Beringuela, Merlito Gepte, Myra Molina, and Ral Arrogante, as they rally behind the Latin phrase tollesque taurum cornu (take the bull by the horns).

‘Twin Fighter Ox 2021’ by Mark Gil Beringuela

“Artists and galleries will continue to remain even in our new normal. Last year’s drastic changes—online exhibits, physical distancing protocols, and the like—are not just for compliance with health guidelines, but also setting the standard within the art industry moving forward,” Gallery Nine says. “As we move towards recovery this 2021, art continues to be a good investment. The pieces not only bring joy, inspiration and spiritual enrichment; investing in art supports its creators and curators alike, offering a contribution to the ongoing cultural conversation.”

The exhibit is open for viewing until March 12, 2021, at Gallery Nine on the fourth floor of Building A, SM Mega Mall, EDSA Corner, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong.