As part of the recent National Heritage Month celebrations, mallgoers had the rate opportunity to have a glimpse of the life and works of National Artist Larry Alcala in an exhibit at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura Premier.
The Larry Alcala: Slices of Life, Wit, and Humor exhibition featured a collection of archival reproduction of Alcala’s works alongside works in drawing, print, and digital media of selected artists influenced by Larry Alcala, including members of the organization Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan (INK), which thrives to this day.
The event was a partnership of The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (M) and the Filipino Heritage Festival Inc. (FHFI), with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and SM.
The exhibit explores Filipino comics and illustrations as popular and enduring art forms that channel humor alongside hard-hitting commentary about Philippine society. It is a testament to the endurance and timeliness of Alcala’s observations, candor, and wit through visual form.
At the height of his career, Larry Alcala was part of every Filipino’s life. Picture a day in the life in the Philippines: the bright pops of color brought on by passing jeeps and tricycles on Manila’s busy streets, the chitter-chatter of neighborhood gossip outside their houses, children climbing trees and playing wherever they can, and the warmth of the tropical sun shining down on all of this. Of all the Filipino artists who worked with these subjects, perhaps none was more prodigious or influential for generations to come than Larry Alcala.
The exhibition received curatorial guidance from visual communications educator and award-winning illustrator Professor Ruben “Totet” de Jesus of the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Fine Arts.
The exhibition at the SMX Aura was complemented by the M’s education and public programs from June to July: including an M Collab participatory project, inviting participants (aged 18 to 25) to share “à la Alcala” digital art contributions online.
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