These ‘Kuya Daks’ sculptures give a new idea to the LGBTQIA+ slang

Published August 16, 2022, 11:05 AM

by John Legaspi

Lines and patterns come to life in Janos Delacruz’s latest exhibit ‘Pag-ibig at Lumbay’

Through its beki lingo, the LGBTQIA+ Community over the years has added color to our local conversations. We hear the “charot” at the end of every remark to make sure what was said was just a joke, or not, depending on how it was delivered. Then there is “jowa” as an alternative to “partner” and “Tom Jones” for when one feels the need to eat. 

Among the beki terms both queer and cisgender people know is the word “daks.” A derivative of the Ilonggo word “dako,” which means “big,” daks has been used as a cheeky slang for well-endowed men. But with Filipino artist Janos Delacruz’s new masterpieces, the word gets a new meaning.

‘Kuya Daks’ E, G, and C

His series of sculptures entitled “Kuya Daks (Big Brother)” tells the story of a man in his most fragile state, removing the “smiling mask” that he showcases in society. The artwork is a commentary on hiding your beliefs and true self as we try to conform to social pressure, norms, and biases. It represents the reawakening of unique thought and the removal of the shackles of docility—to be able to love freely and to create without limitations.

“Kuya Daks” is part of Janos’ latest showcase “Pag-ibig at Lumbay” presented at Art Lounge Manila in The Podium mall. The exhibit is a collection of artworks that tackles a journey of adoration and unrequited love between the artist and his muse amid the reality of a global pandemic. Although Janos’ icons do not revolve around a particular key image or subject, each artwork is intended to be viewed as a chapter illustration for an unwritten novel (a self-contained short story in an ongoing narrative). Filipinos are invited to explore the machination and inner musings of the artist as he explores one diatribe to another.

“The paintings, sculptures, drawings, and fine print in the exhibition are used as vehicles to capture the frantic search for both meaning and creation,” the gallery says. “Our eyes are invited to matriculate the etched linear and spiral patterns as if we’re looking at striations of exposed musculature under a microscope. The viewer is asked to participate and self-reflect on each artwork to create their own truth and find their own narrative in each panel.”

Pag-ibig at Lumbay” exhibit runs until today, Aug. 16, at Art Lounge Manila – Podium, Ortigas Center.


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