Dancing metals

Published December 13, 2021, 12:04 PM

by S.C. Fojas

The Manila Bang explores this Ferdinand Cacnio’s experiment with movement

“My artworks are my diaries. I don’t want to be confined. I love nature. Even if I’m alone, I find time to explore. Because of the pandemic, I decided to move my workshop to Tanay. My place is surrounded by trees,” says Ferdinand “Ferdie” Cacnio.

Ferdinand “Ferdie” Cacnio with his artwork

These trees are what inspired him to create his artworks in “Dancing On My Own,” and “One with Nature,” which were recently displayed at The Manila Bang Show Artfest International. Though his pieces are still images of paintings and sculptures, they are filled with movement.

“My current exhibit is divided into two subjects: the dancer series and the man and nature series. The exhibit may be considered as the continuation of both series. My work is my visual diaries. Hugot ang mga ito sa aking sariling buhay, mga karanasan, at pananaw,” says Ferdie.

This artist is always fascinated with movement—whether it is from his passion for dancing or the dance he always encounters in nature.

“Taking from the art show theme, ‘proof of life,’ I was inspired by my love for dancing. There is still a time to dance even if it’s just by yourself and for yourself. I dance every day as my form of exercise. I’m also fascinated with mangroves and the nature part of the exhibit is an ode to my roots. The subtle difference would be in the dance poses for both paintings and sculptures of the dancers, and the use of iridescent colors in paintings for the first time. In my Man and Nature series I use the trees to represent nature, the glass puddles as water,” he says.

Dance of Hope, Welded brass, 2021

I want them to be amazed by the illusion of movement and realize that metal sculptures can be fluid, soft, light, and dynamic, and that sculptures are not supposed to be stiff and awkward.

For years, Ferdie has amazed his audience with his illusion of movement in his artworks. He has the power to make hard metal look fluid and soft.

“I want the viewers to feel happy and to give a positive vibe of faith, hope, and love whenever they look at my paintings. I want them to be amazed by the illusion of movement and realize that metal sculptures can be fluid, soft, light, and dynamic, and that sculptures are not supposed to be stiff and awkward,” he says.

Let’s Stay Together, Welded brass, 2020

His Stay Together welded brass is a golden shoe that seems to grow as it grows its vines and leaves. Though it is but one shoe, it gives the message of growing gracefully together in every step. In You’re the One I’m Dreaming of, Ferdie gives the enchanting illusion of a dancer floating on water, with little droplets of rain on her flowing skirt. In his painting, A Blue Sky Waiting, the dancer continues on hoping and dreaming while doing the thing she loves the most, dancing.

Even though he is the son of renowned painter and layout artist Angel Cacnio, Ferdie has never felt the pressure to follow in the footsteps of his father. He learned to develop his own unique style. 

“I didn’t take up Fine Arts so I don’t know how to label my style. What I know is I did something unique and pioneering. I already developed my own style before I exhibited my work in 2005. My dancers are welded yet you don’t see the seams. The way I crumple the metal is like it’s not metal. You will notice the uniqueness of my work, they ‘move,’” he ends.

The Manila Bang: Art Fest International 2021 showcased works of contemporary artists in the Philippines and from other countries. It was organized by Galerie Roberto. www.galerieroberto.com