Fundacion Sansó, in partnership with the SM Foundation, will open today (Aug. 19) a special exhibition, “Exceptional,” at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
The exhibition, which marks the fifth anniversary of Fundacion Sansó, tells the storied careers of two very good friends—artist and Presidential Medal of Merit Awardee Juvenal “Juvy” Sansó and the late tycoon Henry Sy.
Both figures have lived parallel lives since the start: Sansó struggling to become an artist and later achieving international renown, and Sy starting a business that would become the Philippines’ largest conglomerate.
Growing up as neighbors in Paco, Manila, Sy and Sansó were two men destined for history. Henry was minding his father’s sari-sari store when he met (and scolded) the younger, playful Juvy, who would be kicking the back door of the store in. The two would then later have more pleasant encounters and become very good friends. The close friends got separated during the start of World War II, during which Sansó suffered shell-shock when a bomb exploded.
Sansó survived and the two reunited after the war and continued a life-long friendship, with Sansó joining Sunday family lunches at Henry’s home.
Henry and Juvy inspired and encouraged each other as their individual careers began to take shape.
Sansó’ held a series of major all-Sansó exhibitions upon the opening of SM Megamall in 1992, starting with “Bulaklak: A Floral Retrospective,” which inaugurated the Artwalk with a multigallery show of 150 pieces.
In 2004, Sansó made a floral series in honor of Henry Sy’s wife, Felicidad. The special series depicted overwhelming and overcrowded bouquet of flowers, spilling out of its vase and on the edges of the canvas, drawing the eye to wander over the layered textures created by the artist’s skilled brushwork.
Sansó later held exhibitions of this series at the more upscale Podium from 2004 to 2006.
The “Felicidad” series, which was also a tribute to the Sys’ admirable way of life, is the inspiration of “Exceptional” and shall feature some of Sansó’s iconic “Felicidad” paintings. A limited-edition set of Giclée prints of a selection of his flowers from the same series will be sold in the exhibit.
Fundacion Sansó, the museum set up in San Juan to promote the legacy of the artist, is now on its fifth year.
It has made the artist’s catalogue raisonne, set up a scholarship programs for deserving fine arts students, holding diverse exhibitions and public lectures, and providing authentication services.
Since 2015, Fundacion Sansó has been offering authentication services for Sansó’s collectors and institutions that have the artist’s works in their collections.—CONTRIBUTED