If history has the power to repeat itself, it also has its sway to revise its story and make it more fascinating, beguiling...and yet even more Romantic!
It was April of 2000 when I spent my summer break in Sindangan, a town about 2 hours drive south of Dipolog. That summer has no difference from the previous years that I've visited the small family land. . . too small to dig for artifacts!.
Bird watching, trekking or swimming in the river was one of the main interest the place has to offer; not to mention those tropical fruits and coconut juice all waiting to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite... the place is purely organically agricultural!...truly exotic and marvelous, until I've took part of planting corn seeds and fighting the scorching heat of the sun. . . Indeed, I was really a son of a proud farmer!
Traditionally, planting corn is a meticulous task. Digging the soil is almost a rythm. By accident, we uncovered broken pieces of blue and white porcelain while digging, until we found out that the whole place was almost littered by those indigo to cerulean blue color against the alabaster white glazed pieces.... my jaw cannot move of what i saw!...
I made a study...
Originally, the place was inhabited by the "Subanens" a tribe of the entire Zamboanga peninsula. Known a the "river people", historically, they traded with the Chinese long before the presence of the Spanish Conquistadores. . . probably around the Ming dynasty period wherein China almost ruled the entire continent in terms of importing porcelain jars including the Philippines. Its a vow of two great cultures!
Based on the accounts of the locals, the place was a settlement area of the tribe, a burial grounds or it could be a ceremonial site, a place for tribal council or whatever that is.... history was unveiled out there!...
I decided to incorporate the artifacts into one of my paintings ( the picture shown aboved) copied the motiffs, characters and prints (of poor caligraphic brushstrokes) in the foreground and the colors of the tribal dress and stitching of the Subanens in the background to form into an Abstract painting. . .
At present, after 8 years I've met a friend in Singapore who happens to be an artist and at the same time a lover for all Chinese antiquities, and she explained of what she saw at the upper left corner of the broken porcelain was a Chinese character for a man and a woman - a character for Marriage.
The Painting is in itself a product of study, a product of passion for history, a product of two great cultures. The painting unveils the story of affection, of love, of romance. . . the painting is History itself!
The Painting was renamed 8 years after it was made. It is now in its private collection of the Artist.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It was the year 2001, that i presented my work for public viewing. . . and that was the first and the last time the painting was seen in public... what is was thought to be an imprint of (my) soul as an artist was taken away in view.... forever?!
Who would thought that at that time an amateur artist who dreams that his work be recognized and make it known at the opening of an art exhibit... and it was.... it was SOLD...it was sold to a woman named Shiela Solon. . . . God where is she now?!
"Pamasin" - a group exhibit by University of the Philippines - Cebu Fine Arts Students and Alumni and it was organised by the Luna Gallery (no longer existing today).. also, it was held at the former Mezanine hall (now the Duty Free area - lobby) at the Cebu Waterfront hotel in Lahug, Philippines.
As a juvenile in the Arts arena at that time, the feeling of having your painting sold at the opening of an was extremely overpowering! the exhibit can be paralleled to that of joining a auction attended by the highest echelons of society (to exaggerated!) or like an athlete running not for gold but running to beat a world record imaginably!
Until now everything was still clear to me at that time........rage?!.. no!..
As the exhibit was formally opened... i stand beside my painting trying to entertain and answers questions to whoever wants to take a glimpse of my artwork.... until, suddenly a Woman by that name stated above approached and asked information...........in anticipication of, she announced to buy the painting!... Holy Ghost!... its Sold!.... and the organisers put a Sold mark at the top right area of the painting. We took photos of the painting, me and the organisers and of course the new owner of the artwork... for sure, the documentations of that exhibit are still kept today..... if I may try to dig it....
The arrangement was, the painting will be paid and to be claimed after the exhibit ends for a month,.... we exhanged contact details (no emails yet at that time - i regret!) and she'll be the one to fetch the painting and contact me for the bill.......i waited until month ends.
Also at that time (around February, 2001), I was busy finishing a number of paintings intended for another group exhibit as part of a project completion for that school year.....Busy! ... extremely busy!.... its normal if your a Fine Arts disciple.. you may never forget an oil paint than food and time...but spare red horse please!... its the solvent for every artist dead or alive.......
So, time has come ive contacted the woman who "bought" the painting.....i was greeted by her tremendous reasons that she doesnt want the painting ..... and stated that she only reserved the painting and she never bought it......reserved, bought, sold or whatever conditions I was stunned!.... i don't know how to react..... and the phone conversation was cut at that time as she said that she is leaving for Thailand.... catching her flight..... all my neurons shuts down!
For all I know....time has passed by so quickly, so quickly that I wasn't able to attend the egress of the Pamasin exhibit....... i wasnt able to keep track of the painting..... i didn't get a chance to ask the management of the hotel about the painting.......... i was lost!...
Was it a negligence?.....or someone must be pointed on this?....... i dont know!......
The last information about the painting that it was hanged at the west side lobby at the hotel as seen by a friend of mine who is also an artist herself....
Almost a decade had passed by still no news about the Painting......is the Painting lost forever?!
The picture above is an original study of the lost painting which was completed in year 2001. The lost painting is part of a series of paintings made in 2001.