Championing Filipino watercolor artists amid the gloom of the pandemic

Published October 14, 2021, 3:05 PM

by John Legaspi

Here are the winners of this year’s ‘Kulay Sa Tubig’

A celebration of art, color, and life was held at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall as the 33rd “Kulay Sa Tubig” Competiton gathered Filipino watercolorists and crowned its new champions earlier this month.

“Truly, watercolor is a demanding medium in its own right, even for the brightest of talents,” the gallery said. “It’s often considered one of the most difficult mediums to master. Yet there is no shortage of talent in the Philippines. From hundreds of entries, Gallery Genesis carefully curates only the best to be exhibited in ‘Kulay Sa Tubig.’ Naturally, what emerges are different facets of what it is to be Filipino, as seen in these myriad depictions of pastoral landscapes, urban sprawls, cultural heritage, historical narratives, and deeply human stories.”

Led by Gallery Genesis, “Kulay Sa Tubig” is seen as one of the prestigious watercolor competitions in the country since its establishment in 1983. And it happening this time of pandemic has been a great source of joy for the competing watercolorists and art enthusiasts as well

Malaking tulong ang ‘Kulay Sa Tubig’ sa panahon ng pandemiya dahil sa maraming naging positive ang pag-iisip (‘Kulay Sa Tubig’ is a great help during the pandemic, pushing many to have a positive mindset),” said artist Angelito “Jo” Florendo. “Meron tayong show, meron tayong competition. Pero hindi ka lang naman sumasali dahil sa nagco-competiton ka. Part nung exhibit is yung pagmo-motivate ng mga tao (We have a show, we have a competion. But you’re not just joining becasue you want to compete. Part of the exhibit is motivating people).”

From its talented pool this year, the invitational art competition has chosen five top Filipino watercolorists who exemplified the medium’s aesthetic nuances: “the luminosity of light, the finesse of each stroke, and the fluid movement of pigment.”

Here are this year’s best artworks.

‘Bamboo’ by Victor Ng

Photo from Gallery Genesis

‘Ataraxia’ by John Carlos ‘JC’ Vargas

Photo from Gallery Genesis

‘Standstill’ by Renato ‘Rene’ Canlas

Photo from Gallery Genesis

‘Lend a Hand’ by Joie Pabilando

Photo from Gallery Genesis

‘Sparklings and Silhouettes’ by Lorenzo Ignacio

Photo from Gallery Genesis

Apart from putting the spotlight on watercolor art, “Kulay Sa Tubig” also honored the heroes of the pandemic: the medical frontliners. This year’s event benefited the staff and workers at the UP Philippine General Hospital, with proceeds from the contest and exhibition to be used to supply them with face masks, personal protection equipment, and other essential medical items.

See more watercolor masterpieces of the 33rd “Kulay Sa Tubig” Competition here.