Envisioning Healing and Inspiration from Abroad: Overseas Filipinos Supporting Filipino Artists in T
As the world continues to adjust to the ‘new normal’, many of us have turned to online or more remote work. Thanks to technology and social media, we are all still able to connect and experience different events or occasions made available online. On September 11, the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt, in partnership with Transwing Art Gallery, launched an online art exhibition with an opening event that streamed live on the Consulate’s Facebook page. As part of its virtual cultural diplomacy initiatives, the event’s aim was to support Filipino artists affected by the pandemic. The online exhibition entitled “Envisioning Healing and Inspiration from Abroad: Overseas Filipinos Supporting Filipino Artists in Times of Pandemic,” featured artwork of self-taught Filipino artists from Transwing Art Gallery. The art pieces in the collection represent each artist’s response to the pandemic, or otherwise called ‘pandemic art’. Each piece shows the different emotions of the artists, such as expressions of pain and anguish that could turn into hope and healing. The online exhibition showcased 31 art pieces from the various artists. (Transwing Art Gallery, under the direction of Mr. Klaus W. Hartung, has been a longtime institution exclusively dedicated to Filipino art and artists to both German and European markets.) During the opening event, Consul General Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia stated, “It is vital that we recognize and protect the work of our artists both for their economic well-being and for the preservation of a part of our culture.” She also further encouraged Filipino-Germans to lend their support to Filipino artists especially in these unprecedented times, adding “Let us ensure that they emerge even more nuanced and vibrant.” The virtual art exhibition aimed to spark hope and for the audience to find more means to cope with the anxiety and stress brought about by the pandemic. For me, it was certainly eye catching to see the vibrant colors and designs in each of the pieces — one could really feel the impressions / atmosphere created by each artist. “The creativity of the featured artists is cathartic as it unleashes their pain and fears, and turns them into hopes and aspirations for a better tomorrow through their artwork,” Mr. Klaus Hartung, President of Transwing Art Gallery said during the live opening event. Some of the notable artwork include the ‘Genesis’ oil on canvas by Kristian Karlo Gonzalez; ‘Lockdown Stories’ oil, acrylic and magazine on canvass by Joshua Villena; and ‘Colors of Valley’ acrylic on canvas by Jerelyn Donguines. With increasing views, the Facebook live streaming event has certainly stirred online interests among viewers. Footage from the online event can be viewed on the Philippine Consulate’s Facebook page.