By portraying the everyday life of Maguindanaoan women in their home and community, visual artist Leonardo Rey S. Cariño showcased his newest works in an exhibit, “Bai Nu Galang (Women of the Brass)” Friday afternoon at 11/F Community Center of the First Companions.
The exhibit showcased his paintings such as “Kapendulang” (Preparing for a Feast), “Kapamando sa Kabatya sa Qur’an” (Teaching a Child to Read the Qur’an), and “Kepembedak sa Pinilo” (Applying Face Powder).
Cariño’s subjects were the women of Maguindanao and their daily lives that for him, are not seen by ordinary people.
“I depicted the daily lives, the ordinary lives of the Maguindanaoan… scaling the fish, cooking, the domestic things, ‘di ‘yan natin nakikita madalas. In fact, most of the stories in the paintings are not from me. Somebody told the story to me and I just painted it,” Cariño told Atenews.
Cariño gained inspiration from the vibrant colors and patterns in the Mindanaoan culture, which was new to him, having been done imageries outside of Mindanao.
“If you’re in Mindanao, I think it’s your responsibility to promote it… I found that it’s really also nice, ‘cause Mindanao colors are colorful, there’s a lot of patterns… in a way it’s cultural education also,” he said.
As a modern dancer, he was able to integrate the two art forms in his painting.
“You can see movement in my works even if it’s static… Maybe my background in dance is manifested in that when you look at it… If you watch me paint, you’re like looking at a dance performance also,” he said.
Maguindanaoan filmmaker Teng Mangansakan curated the exhibit, which also displayed Ar. Jose Rancho Jr.’s brass artifacts collection. The exhibit will be open until December 12.
Ateneo students and staff flocked the exhibit during its opening, like first year Finance student Herris Latorre who praised the cultural education portrayed in the artworks of Cariño.
“It’s really good that Ateneo is implementing this kind of program to the students, to appreciate arts, to appreciate our culture and other cultures,” he said.