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Published September 30, 2021, 2:26 PM

by Noel Pabalate

An exhibit that highlights hope for a renewed life

In our days of isolation due to the health crisis, there are organizations that value the essential role of art continues to play in our lives. In its various expressions, art makes our existence meaningful especially at a time like this pandemic. Take Lawig-Diwa Inc., for example, and its efforts to make the quarantine experience pleasant through this year’s MindanaoArt Fair.


Lawig-Diwa is hosting MindanaoArt 2021 starting tomorrow, Oct. 1. until Oct. 30, 2021 at the Poblacion Market Center in Davao City with the theme “Art in Between: Mindanao Art in Liminal Space”—a recognition of our situation being in a space of ambiguity and disorientation. Nevertheless, the exhibit lets viewers experience the theme’s narrative the moment you step on the venue’s entrance.

The lighted butterfly installation and the surrounding murals by Jeff Bangot at the venue’s entrance.

What welcomes you are sculptures of tree stumps that symbolize our lives having been cut off, isolated during this pandemic. But you’ll see that they are sprouting again and growing new branches to represent our resiliency. Then, it will lead you to see and feel isolation inside a cocoon tunnel, showing the liminal space before metamorphosis. And as you come out, a lighted butterfly appears right before your eyes giving you the feeling of a renewed life, full of hope, changed.

Also, featured at the entrance that interprets this years’ theme is the two giant murals measuring 8 ft x 20 ft by Davao artist Jefferson “Jeff’ Bangot.

As MindanaoArt 2021 carries the butterfly as its icon, it invites art lovers to reflect on how COVID-19 has affected humanity and to realize that beauty is ever-present in the face of a cruel past and uncertain future.

Some of the paintings and sculptures at the MindanaoArt 2021

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, only a limited number of visitors are allowed per day at a two-hour intervals. Interested viewers need to book an appointment on its website to view the artwork display. A virtual exhibit is also available on the said site and on its Facebook page MindanaoArt. In its third year, the art fair brings together more than 300 artists featured by 35 galleries from five regions, more participants than MindanaoArt’s previous years (200 plus artists from 16 galleries). A significant number that shows art is not dying in these trying times.

A preview of the list of artists and artworks at Davao City’s Poblacion Market Center

One of the highlights of MindanaoArt 2021 is a special exhibit entitled “4 Artists, 4 Mindanao” by Tanya Lee, Elenita Dumlao, Jag Bueno, and Lucas Ranola. Moreover, it will air a fashion show dubbed “Art Walk, Art Talks” on Oct. 10, 2021 via its online platform, presenting eight Davao fashion designers’ wearable apparel that interprets masterpieces of eight visual artists.

MindanaoArt 2021, which will have a virtual opening ceremony tomorrow, is made possible also in partnership with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCCA-NCAG).

Source: MindanaoArt 2021 presents beauty in disorienting times – Manila Bulletin (