중앙데일리

Artist depicts a disappearing way of life

Mar 12,2007
“Fishers of Humanity” Provided by the Korea Foundation Cultural Center
In celebrating the Philippines’ national art month, which is an annual event, the Philippine Embassy in Seoul has organized “Lahi: Ethnicity,” an exhibition at the Gallery Nuri of the Korea Foundation Cultural Center downtown Seoul. The exhibition displays 24 paintings by Filipino artist Edsel Moscoso.
The word “Lahi” means ethnicity in Pilipino, and the artist’s works show the simple rural life of his countrymen, such as a fisherman working on his fishing nets, a farmer with his children running around the house or people selling fruit at market. The paintings show a life that is slowly disappearing in the Philippines, according to the artist.
In his paintings, although the subjects are simple villagers, halos appear above their heads. The colors are basic and the style is closer to pencil sketches. While the people are not washed in the backgrounds are usually colored with burnt red, blue or green.
Mr. Moscoso, born in 1952, was raised on a family farm in Antique province, in central Phillipines. While growing up, the artist observed the daily lives of the people around him, and these became the main subjects of his paintings.
He majored in art at the University of the Philippines and later studied archeology and fine arts in Italy for eight years through a scholarship program offered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was a background in archeology that made him decide to record the daily life of the simple Filipino people. Because of the subjects Mr. Moscoso chooses to draw, his drawings were called “Manscapes,” a term coined by the famous Filipino writer Nick Joaquin.

Filipino artist Edsel Moscoso
“The Philippines is very well known to Koreans given the robust people-to-people exchanges, but Koreans have not yet been exposed to Filipino contemporary art,” said Yoon Keum-jin, director of the Korea Foundation Cultural Center.
Susan O. Castrence, the Philippines’ ambassador to Seoul, expressed hopes that the exhibition would help spread Filipino contemporary art appreciation in Korea.
“Mr. Moscoso is one of the most notable contemporary artists in the Philippines and we want him to be known in Korea and the rest of Asia,” said Ms. Castrence. “The Korean public and the diplomatic community will appreciate the genius that Mr. Moscoso has in him, which is dedicated to the rural folks under the milieu where he grew up.”
The ambassador also noted that the artist has remained true to his Filipino ethnicity although he would probably have benefited from the influence of Western culture had he lived in Europe for an extended period.
She added that Christianity is more strongly visible in Filipino art than in any other Asian countries as the Philippines was heavily influenced by the West when it was colonized by Spain and the United States. The ambassador said that although Christianity was not the main subject in Mr. Moscoso’s work, religion is undoubtedly the motif.
The exhibition will be held until Friday this week from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. On Wednesday the exhibition will be open until 9 p.m.
Admission is free. For more information visit the cultural center’s Web site at www.kfcenter.or.kr or call at (02) 3789-5600.


By Lee Ho-jeong Staff Writer [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]



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