18 November 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Sentro Rizal Washington DC, in cooperation with the US Philippines Society and with the support of Philippine Honorary Consul in Florida Henry B. Howard, hosted the opening reception of “Liwanag: A Journey through the Philippines Way of Life”, featuring the works of award-winning Filipina-Spanish artist Maria Mari Murga and Mindanao craft makers on 15 November 2019 at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex.
“The title of the exhibit, Liwanag, is the Filipino word for ’light’. It therefore perfectly captures the intent behind Maria’s works, which is to shine the light on regions that seldom receive the positive attention and recognition that they deserve,” said Consul General Renato Pedro Villa in his opening remarks.
“Apart from the paintings, Liwanag features the frames that were handmade by Mindanao craft makers. These soulful pieces are artworks in themselves, and they embrace and celebrate the rich cultural history of Mindanao,” Consul General Villa added.
Maria, who specializes in Renaissance Painting Techniques, traveled to remote and rural areas of the Philippines including in Mindanao where she spent a part of her childhood in order to capture real-life images illustrating the indigenous peoples’ way of life in these provinces.
“Liwanag: A Journey through the Philippines Way of Life” chronicles my year across different provinces of the country. ‘Liwanag’ is a Tagalog word for enlightenment and it represents the light an artist uses to render painting, but it is also the light of knowledge by putting a spotlight into scenes out from the shadows of the unknown,” Maria tells the audience in her remarks.
US-Philippines Society President Ambassador John Maisto likewise emphasized the importance of featuring the works of Filipino artists to American audiences.
“It is seldom that you see an artist of this caliber in our contemporary time. It is a great story of cooperation. It is a great story of what we are trying to do together,” Ambassador Maisto emphasized.
During the short program, Maria fielded several questions from the audience including on her experiences while living with indigenous groups, her artistic process, and a detailed back-story of one of her paintings.
Prior to its debut in the US capital, Liwanag was likewise featured at the Philippine Center in New York from 24 September to 11 October 2019.
The Washington DC exhibition will run until 26 November 2019 (except on holidays and weekends) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the 2nd floor of the Chancery Annex.
Interested parties may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a visit. ###