Panay artists portray life under the new normal in online exhibition

Published September 6, 2021, 11:54 AM

by Tara Yap

Truth in a time of new normal

Just when everyone thought that there will be a sense of normalcy this year, the government reinstated stricter community quarantine status with the existence of new COVID-19 variants. As Panay Island is not spared from rising new cases and deaths, an online exhibition illustrates life under the new normal.

In “Nawong Sang Kamatuoran” (Faces of Truth), more than 20 artists from Himbon group have their own visual perspectives of what the pandemic has done to the socio-economy.

The many faces of truth—the artists participating in ‘Nawong Sang Kamatuoran’

John Ernie Acedera, Gina Apostol, Jonathan Arro, Brando Banga, Gerundio Buendia, Daryl Dalipe, Kevin Fernandez, Joy Fernando, Leo Gali, Ronnie Granja, Bea Gison, Rachelle Acla Kim, Nick Lanes, Maria Victoria Layson, Vic Nabor, Ariel Pineda, Carol Salvatierra, Angelo Sobrepeña, Sheena Marie Tubiano, and Vincent Bulahan tackle directly and indirectly the impact of the pandemic.

“With low and irregular incomes and lack of social support, many of the lower class are spurred to continue working, often in an unsafe condition exposing themselves and their families to additional risks. We must rethink the future of our environment and tackle environmental degradation with urgency. Only then can we protect the livelihood, health, and total security of all people and ensure that our new normal is a better one, we could survive,” the group says in a statement.

While each of their art works can stand on their own, the artists are able to use their backgrounds—whether as a medical worker, a government worker, or a teacher—in imparting a more meaningful message to the viewers.

The works, which range from oil painting, acrylic painting and mixed media, not not only portray the pandemic’s challenges or fears but also speaks of resilience and hope.

Capturing images of the ‘new normal’

Vic Nabor, Himbon’s president, notes that “Nawong Sang Kamatuoran” is supposed to be both an online exhibition and a physical art exhibition at the Himbon Art Hub in Iloilo City.

“But with the new circumstances, we couldn’t hold the physical exhibit anymore,” Vic tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.

Iloilo City was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for a month and then under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ). In both ECQ and MECQ, operations of museums or art galleries are still not allowed.

“We just have to utilize the online platform,” Vic adds.