'A World of Pun' art exhibition to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day

Young artists hold multimedia exhibit
By Walter Ang
April 7, 2008

Three young multimedia artists are featured in an exhibit billed "A World of Pun" at the Alab Art Space of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines). The exhibit is not only the thesis showcase of the works of John Ryo Manaluz, Jerold Manalili, and Cris Dumlao, graduating students in AB Multimedia from Asia Pacific College, but also serves as IP Philippine's prelude to the 8th World Intellectual Property Day celebration on April 26.

IP Philippines was created to administer and implement the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and deals with copyrights, invention patents and trademarks.

The three artists are classmates and came together with the concept of creating works based on the theme of "puns" for their group thesis. Curated by filmmaker and multimedia artist Elvert dela Cruz BaƱares, the artists use both traditional and digital media to "juxtapose signs and symbols with imagery to decode meaning in word play. Most of the works of these three emerging artists confront the idea of how words and expressions are used, perceived, and misused."

Mixed media Dumlao has a Certificate in Fine Arts major in Painting from the University of the Philippines and is taking AB Multimedia as her second course. While this 26 year old has no preferred medium and is most likely to "select the most appropriate medium for the concept," she does admit to being partial to large canvasses. This is evidenced by her diptych ""Paper Cut," all of two four feet by six feet of mixed media on wood.

21 year old Jerold Manalili, a finalist in the U.P. Cursor Digital Fine Art 2005 competition, is more adventurous with his use of brush and canvass, exploding a gamut of primary colors onto his piece "Kalye Krayola." This vibrant piece is Manalili's attempt at experimenting with different paints such as latex, acrylic, poster paint and oil. Taking two and a half weeks to paint, he was inspired by his earliest recollections of his awe of crayons and the hues they could produce on paper.

Showing the strongest potential of the three is multi-awarded 20 year old John Ryo Manaluz, whose works demonstrate depth, emotion and thoroughness. His digital prints like "Under the C" and "The Missing Peace" showcase his ability to layer meaning into the theme of puns beyond a literal take, while his "The Mysterious Karnebal" tells a macabre and melancholy story with the striking figure of a decapitated chicken/humanoid body giving birth to a head amidst a landscape of silently screaming twisted faces.

Aside from the pride of being part of a group exhibit, Dumlao is "simply enjoying the moments leading up to graduation." Manalili, on the other hand, is preparing to begin an apprenticeship to further hone his skills while Manaluz is looking forward to doing more video editing work aside from his current projects doing freelance illustration and graphic design.

Intellectual property culture Guests of honor at the opening ceremonies were Prof. Napoleon Abueva, National Artist for Sculpture; Mr. Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature; and Dr. Abdulmari Asia Imao, National Artist for Visual Arts.

IP Philippines Director General Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. said that since the launch of Alab Art Space in early 2007, the gallery has opened its doors to both seasoned and budding creators. The art space not only provides a venue for showcasing original works, but also aims to cut across age groups and sectors in stressing the importance of copyright protection to national development.

"We strongly support both established and up-and-coming artists because our goal is to foster a vibrant intellectual property culture," Cristobal said. "We have a wealth of talent in our current generation of creators. They are our future national artists."

A World of Pun runs until April 25. Alab Art Space is at the ground floor of the IP Philippines Building along Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia Ave.), Makati City. 

Open from Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 6pm. For details, call Betty Uy-Regala at 752-5450 loc. 610 or 0917-859-1872 or email betty.regala@ipophil.gov.ph.