The kids, as The Who says, are al­right

The Philippine Star - - MODERN LIVING - By IGAN D’BAYAN

Sasali ka na na­man? Hindi ka pa ba nag­sawa sa pagkat­alo? (You’re join­ing again? Aren’t you tired of los­ing al­ready?)” This is what one naysayer told stu­den­tartist Fran­cis Eu­gene An­drade of Bu­la­can State Univer­sity, the first place win­ner in the Oil/Acrylic cat­e­gory of the 47th Na­tional Stu­dents Art Com­pe­ti­tion. What a bum­mer! But An­drade was un­de­terred.

It’s not ac­tu­ally los­ing, An­drade cor-

rected the un­named nega­tron, “Ito ang magig­ing pun­dasyon ko sa kinabukasa­n. (It will be the foun­da­tion for my fu­ture.)”

The Shell Na­tional Stu­dents Art Com­pe­ti­tion — the long­est run­ning and most an­tic­i­pated contest for young Filipino artists — en­tered its 47th edi­tion this year by adding a new cat­e­gory, Dig­i­tal Short Film.

This year’s com­pe­ti­tion, aptly themed “Art Spark” to sym­bol­ize the new revo­lu­tion in mod­ern art­forms, and which cul­mi­nated in an ex­hi­bi­tion of win­ning en­tries at the Ayala Mu­seum, re­ceived a record to­tal num­ber of 1,600-plus en­tries across all cat­e­gories. Just imag­ine: thou­sands of stu­dent-artists, thou­sands of sto­ries be­hind each of their art­works.

An­drade’s win­ning piece de­picts a clus­ter of paint­brushes wrapped in plas­tic and placed on the ground — painted deftly, re­al­is­ti­cally.

It is sym­bolic of one thing that he doesn’t have — well, in the tra­di­tional sense — he ad­mits. “I come from a bro­ken fam­ily. ’Yung mga brushes magkaka­pam­ilya. (Th­ese brushes come from the same fam­ily.)”

For first place Dig­i­tal Fine Arts cat­e­gory win­ner Wes­ley Jelo Al­mazar of E.A.R.I.S.T., ex­is­tence ticks and tocks 25 hours a day.

“Nakuku­lan­gan kasi ako sa isang araw

para gawin la­hat ang da­pat gawin ka­gaya ng plates, etc. (I feel that one day is not enough for me to fin­ish ev­ery­thing that needs to be fin­ished such as plates, etc.).” Al­mazar did ev­ery­thing on a desk­top, by the way — shad­owy houses sur­round­ing one room (Wes­ley’s) that never sleeps.

“Bot­tom of the Au­tumn” by Arnesto Ibanga of the Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity of the Philip­pines was ren­dered in water­color, yes, but how the stu­dent-artist achieved the il­lu­sion of tex­tures (cracked, craggy, ooz­ing) is as­tound­ing.

Arnesto says that he has been at­tracted to Na­ture ever since he was lit­tle. He loves nat­u­ral forms. “I was in­spired to do an art­work based on this. I thought of the them ‘Art Spark’ and naisip ko, ‘What sparks my art?’ The en­vi­ron­ment.”

He goes on to say that even tech­nol­ogy nowa­days is ma­nip­u­lat­ing ev­ery­thing, even nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non. “But Na­ture has its own process,” Arnesto coun­ters. “May ka­gan

da­han at ka­ha­la­ga­han ang Na­ture kahit tag-la­gas na. (There is beauty and im­por­tance in Na­ture even dur­ing au­tumn.)”

The grand prize in the Sculp­ture cat­e­gory went to Jan An­drew De­nila of Philip­pine Women’s Col­lege-Davao City, while in Dig­i­tal Short Film three stu­dents re­ceived spe­cial recog­ni­tion nods: Shar­maine Re­quine of TUP-Manila, Paulo Eric Garinganao of La Con­so­la­cion Col­lege-Ba­colod, and David Ryan Vi­ray of Far East­ern Univer­sity.

As one of the Shell ex­ec­u­tives notes, “Filipino artists have found a staunch sup­porter in Shell as it con­tin­u­ously raises the bar in mold­ing young tal­ent into the change-mak­ers of to­mor­row. The fu­ture Na­tional Artists are trea­sures wait­ing to be un­earthed, the fire in them yet to be ig­nited.” Art just wait­ing, sim­ply wait­ing, to be sparked.

Pho­tos by JOEY MEN­DOZA

“Ipinagkait na Kalayaan” by Fran­cis Eu­gene An­drade “Bu­uin Natin Ulit. Ban­gon Na, Su­lung Na!” by Jan An­drew De­nila

Scenes from Shar­maine Re­quine’s “Beat Me Up with Col­ors”

“25 Hours a Day” by Wes­ley Jelo Al­mazar

“Bot­tom of the Au­tumn” by Arnesto Ibanga

Artist-judges Danny Dalena, Ral Ar­ro­gante, Egai Fer­nan­dez, Ray­mond Red and Pablo Biglang-Awa

47th Shell Na­tional Stu­dents Art Com­pe­ti­tion (NSAC) grand prize win­ners Wes­ley Jelo Al­mazar, Arnesto Ibanga and Fran­cis Eu­gene An­drade with Pilip­inas Shell so­cial in­vest­ment man­ager Jackie Ampil and NSAC project man­ager Sonia Te­jada

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