The Philippine Star

The Filipino-chinese artistic connection


The Gulangyu Heritage Society holds its inaugural art show, which is on view until June 7 at Robinsons Galleria.

The society was formed by 10 artists of Chinese-filipino descent who all share deep connection­s to the tiny island of Gulangyu in China, off the southern coast near the Fujian Province. Filipinos of Chinese descent have direct ties to Gulangyu, including the grandfathe­r of the society’s founder Rudy Yu. Rudy’s vision, and the mission of the Gulangyu Heritage Society, is to bring together Chinese-filipino artists to showcase and celebrate this common connection through their artwork.

Rudy and his sister, artist and fellow painter Patricia Yu-vanasse, fondly recall the stories of Gulangyu told by their father who was born there. Both of their work will be on display at the show, along with that of eight other artists with ties to the island.

Sculptors Seb Chua and his son Kylo use cast iron and cast marble, respective­ly, to create intricate and sensual pieces inspired by the collaborat­ion among these varied artists. Seb’s grandfathe­r was born on Gulangyu.

Addie Cukingnan has heard many stories of Gulangyu and Xiamen from her grandmothe­r, and later researched the history and people of the island. This led to the creation of the three- piece series called “Women of Gulangyu.”

Margarita Lim’s great grandfathe­r was from Gulangyu and passed down his oral history of the island through her father. Her unique perspectiv­e of the island features a doorway and brick wall ubiquitous among the ancient and historic buildings on Gulangyu.

Ronnie Lim instantly felt the connection to Gulangyu after studying many photos and collected pieces of the island, and rendered an image of the island lighthouse at sunset.

JHG TDQ GHOYHV GHHS LQWR fiqh GHWDLO of the buildings and nature of the island, making the viewer feel both the history of the architectu­re as well as the solace of island life.

Janice Young, whose grandmothe­r is from Gulangyu, brings to the exhibit two intricate and colorful paintings of koi, symbolizin­g the eternal hope for wealth and prosperity.

Gulangyu is commonly referred to as “The Piano Capital of China” due to the Music Hall of Gulangyu Piano School. Bernee Yu Lee pays homage to this heritage in her abstract paintings of enormous piano keys.

 ??  ?? “Gulangyu Girl” by Addie Cukingnan
“Gulangyu Girl” by Addie Cukingnan
 ??  ?? “Mother Gulangyu” by Rudy Yu
“Mother Gulangyu” by Rudy Yu
 ??  ?? “Gulangyu by the Sea II” by Rudy Yu
“Gulangyu by the Sea II” by Rudy Yu
 ??  ?? “Summer Glow” by Margarita Lim
“Summer Glow” by Margarita Lim

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