‘Crusaders’ and Cordillera textiles on exhibit at BenCab Museum
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 02:45 AM May 24, 2016
THE CRUSADERS were knights called by the Pope in medieval times to free the Holy Land from Mohammedans.
In modern times, it refers to passionate and dedicated campaigners for a cause.
Known for his hyper-realistic painting style, Orley Ypon portrays crowds of Filipinos in their naked glory, half-smiling, half-smirking, in a seeming race to nowhere. In many of the works, the playful, cavorting bodies are seen rising from the sea—the genesis of all life.
The paintings highlight the artist’s mastery of the human anatomy and eye for interesting detail. Well-composed and beautifully executed, the works subtly comment on societal ills and concerns of the present.
It is coincidental that the show opens in May, the month of the Santacruzan, which recalls the discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great—arguably the first crusader.
Ypon is largely a self-taught artist, with a few semesters of art studies at the Cebu Institute of Technology and University of the Philippines’ College of Fine Arts.
He has won several national and international art competitions including First Prize in the Figurative Category of the 2012 Art Renewal Center International Salon. He was honored with the Ani ng Dangal award in 2011 by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Museum visitors can also view the textile exhibition Upland/Lowland Tingguian/ Iloko at the BenCab Museum’s Print Gallery.
The textiles of the Tingguian of Abra and its uplands are the most spectacular of the weaves produced by the people of the Cordillera. This exhibition includes 15 examples of these types from the collection of Floy Quintos.
The hardworking Ilocanos of the lowlands, meanwhile, contribute their own brand of hard-wearing textiles: the inabel. It shares the tradition of the binakul with the Tingguian, often trading their finished fabrics for mountain products such as wax, honey, gold and copper. Rene Guatlo highlights the textiles of the lowlands with samples of both vintage and new materials.
Both exhibitions will be on view from May 28 to June 26.
BenCab Museum is on Km. 6 Asin Road, Tuba, Metro Baguio, and is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. For more details, call (074) 4427165, 0920-5301954, 0915-1286393.