KULAY BERDE: Likhang Sining ng mga Lasalyano
September 29 – December 9, 2012

In celebration of De La Salle University Centennial, The Museum presents Kulay Berde: Likhang Sining ng mga Lasalyano – an exhibition of works by Lasallian achievers in the field of Visual Arts, from September 29 to December 9, 2011.

As it is nationally known that DLSU has produced numerous achievers in Business, Economics, Computer Science, Engineering, and Science, the Centennial is an opportune time to celebrate and highlight Lasallian achievers in the field of visual arts.

Steeped in art history and aware of the various contemporary art trends and movements, these Lasallian artists have mapped their own individual direction, in accord with each own vision. They are recognized by the Philippine art community as among the best in their field.

Participating artists are Lee Aguinaldo, Mariano Ching, Daniel Dela Cruz, Sid Hildawa, Cid Reyes, Judy Freya Sibayan, Cesare Syjuco

The exhibition shows representative works of the Lasallian artists from different phases and stages of the artists' evolution. The Museum presents them as inspiration to the present generation of Lasallian, in order that they, too, may respond to their own artistic calling and make their mark in the contemporary Philippine art scene.

The works on exhibit are from the DLSU Art Collection, Silverlens Gallery, Mrs. Josephine Hermano, and private collection of the participating Lasallian artists.

Participating Artists

  • Lee Aguinaldo
  • Mariano Ching
  • Daniel Dela Cruz
  • Sid Hildaw
  • Cid Reyes
  • Judy Freya Sibayan
  • Cesare Syjuco

Religio. Mores. Cultura.

Three words that comprise the guiding philosophy of every Lasallian throughout his life.

Every Lasallian --- instilled with love for God and committed to his faith, abiding by the highest moral values, and devoted to the enlightenment of his intellectual faculties --- is a living embodiment of the complete, well-rounded man.

The act of creation is man's highest activity.

To a Lasallian artist, each piece of artistic creation --- whether realized through painting, sculpture, music,literature, dance or film --- is a homage to the Divine Creator, to whom he owes the spark ofinspiration, proffering it to his fellowmen in celebration and exaltation of the human spirit.

KULAY BERDE Exhibition Notes

“Verde Yo Te Quiro Verde” - Cid Reyes

Green, which is the color most meaningful to the artist-critic Cid Reyes, is the impetus that moved him to create the misty apparitions of his spray paintings. As a nature-lover, green is where Cid finds the most comfort. In green he finds the solace that soothes his spirit. Being the color of his alma mater, where he spent some of the happiest years of his youth, green for Cid is affectionately loaded. Here he has assembled a set of inspirational quotations as a verbal tableau– including a pop song by the rocker Tom Jones. As a collective set, they crystallize a sense of emotional solidity affirming our affectionate relationship with nature.

Verde yo te quiero verde.

Verde viento. Verdes ramas.

El barco sobre la mar

Y el caballo en la montaña

(Green, how I want you green.

Green wind. Green branches.

The ship out on the sea

And the horse on the mountain.)

- Federico Garcia Lorca

  •  Annihilating all that’s made /to a green though in a green shade.
  • - Andrew Marvel (1621-1678), British metaphysical poet.

  •  I’ll dance above your green, green grave/ Where you do lie beneath.
  • - Unknown. The Brown Girl (1. 59-60)…

  •  Her green mind made the world around her green.
  • - Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet

  •  Green leaves on a dead tree is our epitaph-green leaves, dear reader, on a dead tree.
  • - Cyril Connolly (1903-1974), British critic. “The Journal of Cyril Connolly 1928-1937”

  •  Still green with bays each ancient altar stands above the reach of sacrilegious hands
  • - Alexander Pope (1688-1744) British poet.

  •  In spring, when woods are getting green, /I’ll try and tell you what I mean.
  • - Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (1832-1898), British poet.

  •  I got daisies in green pastures.
  • - Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), U.S. songwriter.

  •  For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.
  • - Martin Luther (German Priest and Scholar)

  •  If I keep a green bough in my hand, then the singing bird will come.
  • - Chinese Proverb

“Green Green Grass Of Home"- Sung by Tom Jones

The old home town looks the same as I step down from the train,
and there to meet me is my Mama and Papa.
Down the road I look and there runs Mary hair of gold and lips like cherries.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green, grass of home.
The old house is still standing, tho' the paint is cracked and dry,
and there's that old oak tree that I used to play on.

Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries. It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly.
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home.


Then I awake and look around me, at the four grey walls that surround me
and I realize, yes, I was only dreaming.
For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre -
arm in arm we'll walk at daybreak.
Again I touch the green, green grass of home.
Yes, they'll all come to see me in the shade of that old oak tree
as they lay me neath the green, green grass of home.

Daniel Dela Cruz: “Woman”

     Indeed, life begins at forty. For Daniel Dela Cruz, life – his artistic life, that is, nourishing and sustaining the spirit – started when he staged his first solo exhibition in 2006. It was the realization of a life–dream to become a sculptor, instilled since childhood when he became playfully fascinated by clay, the humble material from which he summoned shapes of figures and animals. Not clay, however, but metal, was the medium which Dela Cruz eventually chose to envision and his subject, one that had exerted the most intense, inexhaustible fascination for artists: Woman.

     Dela Cruz’s first show was titled “Kandungan,” which depicted Woman in three-dimensional form, as “literal laps of comfort and ease.” In the words of an art reviewer, “it was an exhibition of full-figured women shaped into rocking chairs, benches, vessels and musical instruments.” This was followed by “Parangal” where Dela Cruz deviated from the woman theme. Instead, the Christ loomed as a gaunt and attenuated figure, a piteous apparition of humanity. For his third show “Himig,” the sculptor returned to Woman as a wellspring of strength and musicality.

     Next came “Passage” which aspired to spiritual yearnings and a connection with the Divine. All these were realized and given physical dimensions embodying the various experiences of man as related to his life journeys.

     The two works on exhibit are titled “Be Still” and “Vajra.” Both are elegant sculptures that distinguish Dela Cruz’s unique quality: the superb and supple rendition of the womanly form through the exaggeration and elongation of volume.

     “Be Still” is an upright stance of a woman encircled by a frenetic spiral of wire spinning around her body like an electric charge. The irony of the title is deftly communicated by the tension between stillness and motion.

     An allusion to the Three Graces of Western art, Dela Cruz’s “Vajra” delightfully parlays the classic admonition “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

     These sculptures stand on the mirrored surface of a pedestal, thereby suggesting that these artistic forms mirror the various states of our humanity.

Lee Aguinaldo

     In the Sixties, when Abstract Expressionism was all the rage, led by the late National Artist Jose Joya, another significant Filipino artist had emerged. His name was Lee Aguinaldo, often referred to in the media as the scion of a business tycoon. The name Aguinaldo after all, was always preceded by the reputation of a high-end retail store patronized by the country’s elite. For the young artist, it was a name that was, by turns, a benediction and a burden.

     Aguinaldo was early on exposed to the works of the so-called New York School when he, as a youth, studied at a military academy in the U.S. The movement was variously named Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting by the influential critic Harold Rosenberg. The works were characterized by large scale dimension, a physical manipulation of material, and an obsession with grand universal themes.

     Of all the Abstract Expressoinists, among Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, et al, it was Pollock who had the greatest influence on the impressionable Aguinaldo.

     In the late Sixties, Aguinaldo, almost as an act of purgation and defiance, turned his back on Abstract Expressionism, focusing his attention instead on his “Linear” Paintings – clean, immaculate, finesse-driven chromatic fields.

     An inveterate doodler and sketcher, Aguinaldo’s love of figuration, however, persisted. It found a delightful outlet in his frottages, or rubbings. Popular images drawn from the media were appropriated and configurated, thereby contrasting and commenting on each other by sheer subconscious association.

     A book titled “The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo was published recently.

Mariano Ching: “Mounds and Moles”

     No the artist is not making mountains out of molehills. Or is he?

     Whatever your “take” may be on Mariano Ching’s artworks is as good as what he had meant his works to be. A much awarded artist in the field of children’s book illustration, Ching inevitably mines the world of childhood. In his works, the eyes of innocence have been sharpened by the depth perception of cynicism and censure typical of wizened adults.

     “Mounds and Moles” are rendered in a clean, punctilious manner, almost prissy in its neatness, which belies the seething temper of his subject. To depict a wasteland in such a tidy and refined style is an indictment of the rapacious destruction man has wrought on his environment. More startling is the metaphoric shape of a mound, alluding to the sacred mountains that have been the site of divine revelations, such as Mount Sinai, Mount Calvary, and Mount Carmel. Other mountains have served as aesthetic subject to works diverse as Cezanne’s Mont Saint-Victoire and Hokusai’s Mount Fuji. Man’s pillage of his environment has reduced the majestic mountain to the destitution of a Smokey Mountain. Thus the mounds of Mariano Ching are a collective mess of detritus in a tidal wave of rubbish shored upon our lives.

     And the moles? Wrote one reviewer: “The Moles are a series of drawings of decaying people spewing rainbows, some projecting visions of greener pastures and some bleeding the object they hold on to. They are living zombies, empty and without purpose, only left with a vision of utopia.

     “Tis the eye of childhood/That fears a painted devil.” Thus wrote Shakespeare.

     Mariano Chingo’s seemingly innocent artworks by turns delight and ultimately bedevil in order to prick man’s conscience.

Judy Freya Sibayan: “The Scapular Gallery Nomad”

     This work is, quite simply, a piece of genius.

     In one fell swoop, Judy Freya Sibaya, the artist behind “Scapular Gallery Nomad Portable Archive-in-Progress,” performing the multi-faceted role of curator, gallery architect and builder, press relations officer, architect, writer and publisher, demolished the entire structure of artmaking and its presentation. At once, our notion of exhibiting artworks – the entire system of galleries and museums, the materiality of artworks, their reduction into mere objects of desire – was reduced to a house of bricks, now piled into a useless heap, an illusion, nothing but the emperor’s new clothes.

     Sibayan’s inspiration comes from the monastic habit, the scapular, described as “a somewhat large length of cloth suspended both from front and back of the wearer, often reaching at the knees.” (There is also the devotional scapular, a smaller item evolved from the religious habit.) The scapular is a symbol of commitment, with specific promises and indulgences attached to the wearer.

     Indeed, that is how Sibayan carries her “nomadic” museum, slung on her tiny frame and seemingly frail shoulder, present wherever she goes, like a shadow trailing behind a moving, peripatetic figure.

     The artworks are contained within hand-sewn pouches of the scapular. Started in 1992, the scapular has “hosted” numerous one-person exhibitions by artists, composers, painters, filmmakers, and ceramists. Thus, while wearing her scapular “gallery”, she naturally attracts the attention and curiosity of people from all walks of life: pedestrians, waiters, shoppers, taxi drivers, and of course, the artistic community.

     Declares Sibayan: “Scapular Gallery Nomad’s maintenance and integrity are dependent on the resources and reality of my daily living. It has no demands beyond the small scale of my life… I only carry small, light delicate artworks; photographs, prints, books, computers, diskettes, egg white meringue and textile sculptures, oil paintings on paper. They are unframed, unpropped on pedestals; protected, wrapped only in cloth, never a burden on my shoulders.”

     And to answer the question that occurs in most people’s minds: “Only those who love me have had the courage to tell me I look like the fool.”

Cesare A.X. Syjuco:“Testimonial for the Unknown Archer”

     “I’ve arrived at the part where I think of art and poetry at the same time… I am trying to come up with what I think will be the art of the future, which is art and poetry together,” states contemporary multimedia genius Cesare A.X. Syjuco, an art iconoclast also touted as the “Radical Renaissance Man.” Indeed, he has conquered not only the written and the visual medium, but the musical and philosophical arts as well. In the mind of Syjuco, each medium refuses to be confined within the periphery of its material and instead merges into another in an intriguing elastic relationship, breeding a new species of experience and changing notions once held sacrosanct and inviolable.

     “Testimonial for the Unknown Archer” is comprised of several panels of unprimed canvas upon which is diligently scrawled a long rambling text, written in indecipherable script. At a glance, the writer of the interminable missive, seems engaged in some deep rumination, engrossed with an intensity that transcends mere communication, drawn into a mesmerically self-expostulation as if in defiance of some grievance or hurt. The audience absorbs the intensity of the writer’s concentration almost as a parody of an unblinking reader whose eyes have glazed into stupor and ennui.

     The script is written continuously with a disciplined flourish, without a disruption in the flow of thought. Not a single erasure, as is typically found in real documents, mars the execution of the script. If we consider a painting as any mark on a surface, then this ritualized writing partakes of the very act of painting, recalling the so-called “Blackboard Paintings” of the American artist Cy Twombly. No central image dominates the pictorial space. In Syjuco’s work we see a doggedly intent performance of the act of writing on a ruled sheet of canvas like a long-winded non-sensical speech, brazenly ambitious only in its manic assertion that it is in fact a painting.

     Syjuco’s rationality at this affectation of language, is a master stroke of illusion. The paintings are a fodder for the meditation on the real essence of writing and painting, and the boundaries between genres of expression. The “unknown archer” in the title – itself an affectionate manifesto to a La Sallian – must be, nodding in pleasure and delight at the privilege of receiving Syjuco’s document.

Sid Hildawa

     Gone too soon…

     A certified nice guy in the art community, Sid Gomez Hildawa was also among the most multi-talented, combining verbal, visual and architectural skills. His untimely passing occurred during Easter week. The passage into the after life was presaged by writing his last poem. It was titled “Sick Leave.”

On my 4th day in hospital

With dextrose feeding me 20

Drips a minute

I paint in my mind

A space I may have left behind,

Not entirely empty, but of air made

Thinner by my absence, or of lighter

Tissue, so that people pause, ask.

And imagined what used to be there:

So where’s the painting?

     In the space that is the DLSU Museum, Hildawa’s absence is a memorial to his psychic and spiritual presence. It is the space waiting to be filled, a vacuum of loss and sorrow, a space from which death has sucked the very life of the artist.

     Earlier on, Sid Hildawa had written what was to be read by CCP Chairman Emily Abrera in her eulogy for the artist. It was titled “God Explains Space To His Angels.”

     Requiescat in pace, Sid!