In “Kalendaryo 20/20,” artist and University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts professor Marco Ruben T. Malto II reconstructs the Filipino calendar to represent how unfortunate past events in the country seem to recur today and may shape—or distort—the future.
By using the calendar as a central motif in his exhibit, Malto wants to alert people yet again on some of the critical issues facing our nation.
“What’s so important about keeping track of time?” writes essayist and fiction writer Mario I. Miclat, as he explicates the role of the calendar in helping Filipinos remember the past, appreciate the present and plan for the future.
As he narrates the history of the Filipino calendar in Filway’s Philippine Almanac of 1991, the accomplished author asks: “If there were no calendar, how would Filipinos remember Rizal or the Revolution? How would June 12 or even Aug. 21 be recorded? And how would the country appreciate the long process of building a nation?”
In recent years, Malto’s solo exhibits—“Bayang Magiting” (2013); “Siete Estaciones” (2014); “Ang Petroglyphs ng Angono” (2015); “Susmaryosep!” (2016); “Peksman!” (2017); and “Kahimanawari” (2018)—tackled the country’s crucial concerns and how they interplayed with history and Filipino culture. The professor in the artist constantly aspires to educate by engaging his public in important national discourses—using his works to characterize and to comment on the socio-political conditions of the present, while remembering history and drawing on cultural references from thematic beliefs and practices that are distinctly Filipino.
“Wading through the country’s calendar of celebrations, crises and catastrophes, Malto’s “Kalendaryo 20/20” wants viewers to remember so that they can see clearly what is ahead of us before it is too late,” curator’s notes say.
“Kalendaryo 20/20” will open Nov. 22, 5 p.m., at Gallery 2, Art & Design West Hall, UP Diliman College of Fine Arts; Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It will run until Dec. 6.