02 May 2013 – The Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur shines the spotlight on the culture and heritage of Mindanao in art though an exhibit entitled Glimpses of Mindanao: Peace in the Land of Promise, which will open at Level 1 Centre Core of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KL Convention Centre) on May 6.
Featured are the works of renowned Mindanao-based artists Al-Nezzar Ali, Saud Ahmad, Chester Mato and Nicholas Aca Jr. There will also be on-the-spot paintings by visual artist Nemesio Miranda, Jr., who is the Chairman of the Committee of Visual Arts of the Philippine National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
"Malaysians have a natural affinity with Mindanao, especially in terms of culture and way of life. The exhibit aims to uniquely showcase the similarities existing in Mindanao and Malaysian cultures through the visual arts," Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya said.
Mindanao has been much in the news recently, most notably with the signing of the Framework Peace Agreement between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in October 2012, which was witnessed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib tun Razak.
"We also consider the mounting of this exhibit featuring Muslim and Christian artists as part of the journey towards deeper mutual understanding, unity and peace among the peoples of Mindanao," Ambassador Malaya added.
Painter Al-Nezzar Ali aims to present significant realities in Mindanao in general and the issues concerning Bangsamoro society in particular through the use of rich cultural heritage that bring forth influence and inspiration to others, as well as create dialogue and interaction towards openness, peace and respect.
By using contemporary expressions and vibrant cultural traditions of the Filipino Muslim community, Saud Ahmad bridges the values of past to the present and to render them relevant to the next generation.
The artworks of Chester Mato illustrates the interweaving of culture and technology each affecting the other in a sequential manner. The concept also protects and preserves the cultural richness and identity of Mindanao by using the gifts of technology, thus bringing up progress for the said land of promise.
Makeshift houses of the marginalized got Nicholas Aca, Jr. interested in this art form, as these showed traces of culture in their structures. It just seemed natural for them to have lines that reflect their wondrous indigenous heritage.
Glimpses of Mindanao is being staged with the support by the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture and the KL Convention Centre and sponsored by Philippine Airlines and PLDT-Malaysia (SMART Pinoy).
The event also serves as a kick-off activity to commemorate the 115th Anniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12.
The exhibit is open to the public starting May 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run until May 10. END