Filipino Artists Conduct Lecture, Art Workshop for University Students in Morocco

As part of its cultural diplomacy program and in celebration of National Heritage Month, the Philippine Embassy in Rabat, in partnership with Kapatiran at Ugnayan ng Natatanging Sining at Talentong Pilipino (KUNST), organized an art lecture and workshop at the Université Internationale de Rabat (UIR) for the students and members of the university art club on 03 May 2024.

The lecture was delivered by Mr. Virgilio Cuizon, a multi-awarded art impresario, a renowned and accomplished Filipino curator, seasoned artist, and a leader of the Filipino community in Germany. He is also the founder and managing director of KUNST, an organization of Filipino artists. 

In his lecture, Mr. Cuizon gave a brief overview of the history of Philippine visual arts, highlighting the important contribution of Filipino artists to the impressionist movement, particularly Juan Luna when he won the 1st Gold Award at the 11th Edition of the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1884 with his piece Spoliarium.

He also introduced the concept of “Filipinism” to the students, which he described as a unique expression of an artist’s personality and character to form a Filipino identity. It is the aesthetic conceptualization of the artists’ ideas and the infusion of their heart and soul into every piece they create that define “Filipinism”. 

According to Mr. Cuizon, inspiration can emerge from the artists’ childhood environment, their places of origin, and their language or dialect. He believes that these elements contribute to the expression of ‘Filipinism’ in their work.

Following the lecture was a workshop facilitated by visiting artists from the Philippines, namely Lerma Julian, Eric Punzalan, Frederick Epistola, Doy Kastilyo and Yelcast, using oil pastel and felt paper. Participants were keen to learn various drawing and coloring techniques since it was their first time to use this medium. During the workshop, Mr. Cuizon encouraged the students to create a piece that would reflect their values and their identity as Moroccans. 

One of the participants drew a teapot as a symbol of her childhood memories and her identity as a Moroccan.

As tokens of appreciation, the artists presented souvenir artworks to all the participants which were warmly received. 

The Filipino artists are in Morocco for the Viaje 3 Filipinism What Makes Art Filipino exhibition which will run from 6 to 15 May 2024 at the Abla Ababou Gallery in Rabat. This is the first exhibition from Asian artists mounted by the gallery since it opened its doors in 2017. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines.

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