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June 2, 2014

Renaissance Art Gallery's 11 th Anniversary celebrates with“Tinuod/Truth” by Bag-ong Hinan-aw set to open June 25

One of the trendiest art galleries in Metro Manila, Renaissance Art Gallery boasts of having among the finest collections of established and upcoming Filipino contemporary artists. 

Among the events celebrating its eleventh anniversary this June, Renaissance Art Gallery is proud to present the grouped art exhibition “Tinuod/Truth,” featuring sixty-four masterpieces created by the artists and mentors of the Cebu-based art group Bag-ong Hinan-aw. 

Cebuano for “New Perspectives,” Bag-ong Hinan-aw is a group inspired and guided by the giants of Cebu’s academic realist tradition: the art philosophy of Martino Abellana, the Amorsolo of the South; and his two greatest apprentices, Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza (also known as Sym); and Romulo Galicano. 

Bag-ong Hinan-aw is composed of ten artists: Publio “Boy” Briones, Jr.; Buboy Cañete, Audie Estrellado, Ramon De Dios, Carlos Florida, Jonathan Galicano, Luther Galicano, Bernardo Hermoso, Facundo “Dodong” Tallo, and Jose “Pepe” Villadolid. 

Their works are suffused with the academic realism that came from National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, and bequeathed through the teachings of Abellana, Sym, and Galicano. 

Cebuano for “truth,” tinuod exemplifies their artistic values: to render the truth of nature through the honest and ethical work of painting, bringing the highest standards of craftsmanship and new visions to enthrall their audiences with unique concepts and newer ways of looking at art. 

“Tinuod/Truth” shall also feature guest works of Martino Abellana, Sym, and Romulo Galicano.

“Tinuod/Truth” will have its opening cocktails on June 25, 2014 – 6 p.m. at the ART CENTER, 4th Level, Bldg. A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. It runs until July 8, 2014. 

For further details of the exhibit, you may contact Renaissance Gallery the following ways:
By phone: 637-3101 
By e-mail:
By Internet:

Connect to Renaissance Gallery online through the following social media networks:
Instagram: renaissanceartph

A certain faithfulness to depicting the world around them characterizes the work of the members of Bag-ong Hinan-aw. Cebuano for “New Perspectives,” the group has been enriched by the traditions of academic realism instilled into this emerging group of Cebuano painters by three generations of excellent master teachers: the seminal influence of Martino Abellana, the Amorsolo of the South; the fusion of modern thinking with faith in naturalism by Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza, or Sym; and the elevation of a successfully fused academic realism and abstraction by Romulo Galicano. 

Currently composed of ten artists, Bag-ong Hinan-aw has refined their already-excellent technical craft with ever-newer restatements of vision and technique that makes their respective bodies of works unique, and yet feels congruent to each other’s perspectives that form a consistent movement typifying the combination of concept, technique, and faithfulness to the perceived world. The group’s fidelity to the truths of both artmaking as a communion between artist and materials, and the absolute verity of natural depiction is what informs and enriches this exhibition. Tinuod is the Cebuano term for Truth, and it is through this meditation on the ability of art to present both the natural vision of the world, and the artistic truth of individual creativity, that best exemplifies the works of these ten artists of Bag-ong Hinan-aw. As a manifestation of Contemporary Philippine Art, Bag-ong Hinan-aw’s Tinuod aims to continue the legacy of past masters, and also to transform this tradition to suit today’s socio-cultural contexts and conditions of production. However, their fidelity as “sons of the South” continues to linger through their specialized subject matter, and ways of seeing.

(Boy Briones, Hello Kitty)
Capturing a scene infront of the Santo Niño Basilica, Boy showcases his academic realist credentials, while introducing his own modern element: the balloons that bring life out from weathered faces.

Publio “Boy” Briones, Jr. (b. 1949) focuses on the formal play of his otherwise traditional subjects, which are primarily exterior scenes of churches in Cebu City and Carcar, focusing on the dramatic contrast between the austere classicism of colonial architecture and the bright toy balloons lit by tropical sunlight. Through this contrast, Boy showcases both the deeply indebted tradition of academic realism, as well as the artistic innovation brought by Pop Art that updates his work, and makes it more relevant to today’s issues of globalization. Boy originally graduated with a BS and MBA from UP before learning how to paint during landscape sorties by fellow Cebuanos in the provinces. He subsequently took watercolor workshops and sketching classes at the National Academy of Design in New York (1987-1994). Boy was also mentored by Romulo Galicano starting from the 1980s.

(Boboy Cañete, Lady w/ CP)
A scene of domestic tranquility is riven with a moment of tension: is the lady reading through her lover’s cellphone, detecting illicit text messages? Her surreptitious glance seemingly indicates so.
Wilfredo “Boboy” Cañete (b. 1968) combines the tropical scenery of his urbanized hometown of Cordova, Cebu with the intimacy of contemporary domestic interiors, whose telltale bright lighting situates scenes of modern uncertainty, accelerated lifestyles, and the contemporary hassles of city life. For Boboy, tropical domestic life is both blissful and full of invigorating tensions, as constant life changes are recorded, commented upon, and rendered in the domestic vignettes that Pieter de Hooch and Vermeer would find familiar. Done with a combination of vigorous brushwork and attention to detail, Boboy’s contemporary domestic scenes are also a homage to Velasquez and Watteau. Boboy has been exhibiting professionally as an artist in Cebu and Manila since 1985. He was a finalist at the 1997 Metrobank Young Painter’s Annual in 1997 and 1999; and third prizewinner at the 1998 Metrobank Young Painter’s Annual. 

(Ramon De Dios, Bandera Spagnola)
Reflecting on Cebu’s Spanish heritage, Ramon captures the beach house scene in Oslob from a flowering garden. The title alludes to the lily in foreground, and the locale’s colonial past.
Ramon De Dios (b. 1956) is an architect who has found his true calling as a painter. Educated at the University of Southern Philippines, Ramon was involved in architectural heritage preservation (notably the rehabilitation of Malacañang Palace) before taking the leap in painting in 1998 through the guidance of Romulo Galicano. Ramon’s advocacy as a heritage preservationist perseveres in his paintings that combine aspects of Surrealism with narrative painting and still life. His rendition of Manila’s Carriedo Fountain is juxtaposed with the “real” story of a lost toy balloon flying off in the far distance; whereupon a vacation house in Oslob is foregrounded by a giant still life of a lily. Ramon has participated in grouped exhibitions since 2010, like the BPI Centennial Art Ehibition, the Sining Cebuano exhibition, and the recent “Artabang” exhibition for victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

(Audie Estrellado, Summertime)
The innocent joys of taking a communal bath at the seashore in summer animates Audie’s grouped portrait of children frolicking in the surf. Here, nature and delicate humanity are fused.

Audie Estrellada (b. 1957) uses the everyday life experiences and scenes of his hometown, the mystical island of Siquijor, as his personal testament to the singular importance of perceiving and contextualizing the social encounter between artist and human subject matter within a tropical paradise long associated with magic. A graduate of MSU, Audie has been a fixture of the Central Visayan and Northern Mindanao art scene since the early 1970s, when he first won on-the-spot painting contests in Marawi City and Tagbilaran City. Audie is a prizewinner at the 1983 Lazi Centennial Celebrations; 1986 Open-Air painting competition sponsored by the AAP Cagayan de Oro Chapter; and 2009 GSIS National Painting Competition. Audie is a member of various art groups, like VIVAA, Grupo Siquijudnon Visual Artists, and Kolor Sugbo. Audie was also awarded Outstanding Siquijudnon for Visual Arts in 1993.

(Ber Hermoso, Tuna Weigh-In)
Detailing the rich, dramatic textural contrasts between slick fish bodies, sweaty muscled torsos, and the grimy port, Ber showcases his command of paint in this magisterial portrait of southern commerce.
Bernardo “Ber” Hermoso (b. 1952) is a self-taught artist who has developed a uniquely “northern Cebuano” version of Martino Abellana’s dictum of acute naturalist observation in art. Based in Danao City, Ber focuses on nature, and humanity’s presence within it, as a test of both artistry and the faithfulness of being at one with the natural world. Boys frolicking at shore, or a mother and child next to a famed waterfall, find cognizance with his superb rendition of fishermen landing tuna at General Santos City’s famed wharf. Ber has mounted ten solo exhibitions since 1976. He was grand prizewinner at the 1980 International Year of the Child Competition in Manila; 1981 gold medal awardee at the UNESCO Art Competition in Manila; 1997 Grand prizewinner, Andres Bonifacio Portrait Painting Contest; and 2012 Grand Prizewinner at the 1st PAGCOR Art Competition. 

(Carly Florido, Lutopan Landscape)
Known as a mining community in Toledo City, Lutopan retains its natural charms through Carly’s sensitive handling of foliage and rocky outcrops. A winding river softens man’s intrusion with sublimity.

Carlos “Carly” Florido (b. 1940) focuses on the domestic space of family, as well as landscape scenes of Cebu as starting points in investigating the effects of light on his human subjects. Carly, who returned to Cebu after residing in the United States, is a self-taught artist who has been guided by Romulo Galicano through specialized master classes. He looks at landscape and humanity as interdependent elements that speak of both reflection, as well as the vital moment when mind, body, and space interlock seamlessly. He has been a member of the group Kolor Sugbo since 1993, and has participated in group shows in New York, Washington D.C., and Germany, (1993-1994). He participated in the “Homage to the Masters” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (2002), and “Ode to the Pasig River” exhibition at the Ayala Museum (2006). 

(Jonathan Galicano, Oslob Church After the Fire)
Jonathan renders the ruin of a famed southern Cebu church with documentary pathos and artistic verve. Its roofless, monochrome hulk contrasts with the colored belfry and sky, awaiting restorative redemption.
Jonathan Galicano (b. 1978) focuses on vistas of his father’s homeland (being born and raised in Manila), by combining traditional academic painting with conceptual elements—in this case a monochrome-mixed-with-color approach that is a homage to photography, as well as its translation into paint. Jonathan studied Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and has been guided by both Romulo Galicano and “Sym” Mendoza. A landscape artist who has mastered the mixed-monochrome/color technique, Jonathan captures both the poignancy of an upland farm, as well as that of a ruined church through this translation of photography into painted contrasts that bring out the contributions of young contemporary art. Jonathan has participated in numerous group shows here and abroad and received awards since 1990. He is also a member of Portrait Society of America and Ugnayang Pilipino Arts Foundation.

(Luther Galicano, Peace Valley)
The richness of tropical foliage, intermingled with city views, shows Luther’s superb handling of composition: the farmer and his cows are on one side, assuring dynamism and one’s roaming eye.
Luther M. Galicano II (b. 1961) takes as his artistic inspiration the sunlit outdoor scenes of flower gardens that remind us of the great Impressionists like Fantin-Latour and Monet, but decidedly depicting the tropical flora of Cebu. Luther took informal lessons in drawing and painting under Martino Abellana and Romulo Galicano, and is a frequent participant in the plein-aire sessions of Cebuano landscapists, from which he derives scenes of outdoor beauty and chromatic contrast in the various flower gardens, parks, and plant nurseries of this tourist island. Luther has participated in several group shows in Cebu City, Manila, New York, Washington D.C. and in Germany. He won First prize at the Cebu On-The-Spot Painting Competition sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism (1984); Third Prize, Cebu Art Association Art Competition (1995); and Second Prize, Kaalyado Ng Sining Art Competition (2011).

(Dong Tallo, Vanitas)
Art and reality intermingle and play against each other in this dense grouping of depicted paintings, sculpture, and props. Dong displays supreme handling of textures and colors in still life.
Facundo “Dong” Tallo Jr. (b. 1952) masters still life and the formal balance of objects set in space. Like Mulong Galicano and Sym, Dong studied under the maestro Martino Abellana from 1972 to 1978, and continued painting lessons with Romulo Galicano in 1979. In his still life arrangements, Dong shows a magisterial command of composition, as well as a sometimes-humorous look at the visual elements that makes still life an inner world worthy of extensive investigation, like characters coming to life in a miniature theatre. Segueing from mid-tone lighting to dramatic chiaroscuros and full daylight scenes, Dong gives a contemporary hyperrealistic feel to his still lifes and figure genre works. Dong Tallo has participated in numerous group shows since 1980. He is a member of Habagatang Art – Carcar, Kolor Sugbu- Cebu City, and Portrait Artist Society of the Philippines.

(Pepe Villadolid, Sunset With Rainbow)
Reflecting the complex hues of twilight, Pepe sympathetically renders his home island with a cosmopolitan relish. Beached fishing boats and the low tide mirrors sea, sky, and humanity as one.

Jose “Pepe” B. Villadolid (b. 1946) has made a lifetime commitment to depicting the richly-endowed and dramatically-lit seascapes of Cebu. Being born in Bantayan Island, Pepe learned earlier the rudiments of painting from his uncle. In 1988 he took up painting seriously and started joining outdoor painting with fellow Cebuano artists. In 1991 he met and befriended Romulo Galicano. As a seascapist, Pepe’s works can be comparable to the melodically-lit seascapes of Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, and is characterized by rich, Impressionistic colors, faithfully depicting the rich palette of aqua greens and blues of the tropical seas. He has recently gone back to Bantayan to depict its seascapes. Pepe has participated in numerous group exhibits since 1988. He won the Grand Prize for the Martino Abellana Painting Contest (1996), and Third Prize at the Badian Island Beach Resort Art Contest. 

(Romulo Galicano, Boating Party at Bagac)
Mulong’s masterful handling of academic realism, here showcasing a “fantasy setting” in Bataan, is contrasted by his equally magnificent combination of abstract vertical lines that gives credence to his contemporaneity. 

(Sym, The Three Cherries)
Alluding to the tiny fruits on upper right, Sym gives us a masterful rendition of Cubism via this tour de force of intersecting and parallel planes—a tabletop with sophistication.

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