‘Kalinangan’ at Robinsons Land ARTablado Antipolo 

Bigkis Sining Binangonan celebrates its 40th anniversary with a group show at ARTablado Robinsons Place Antipolo. Photo (from left) Bigkis Sining Binangonan artists: Jhune Bernardo, Marlon Constantino, Bong Anore, Oiet Aramil and Rey Punelas

As Bigkis Sining Binangonan celebrates its 40th anniversary, its members saw it fit that they celebrate that milestone in a place that — just like the Binangonan-based group itself — is bringing art closer to Filipinos from all walks of life: Robinsons Land ARTablado. 

On view at the Upper Ground Floor, North Wing of Robinsons Place Antipolo until June 30 is “Kalinangan,” which features the works of the group formed in the summer of 1982 at the heart of Rizal Province, a haven for artists. 

This humble wander-land was the inspiration behind the founding of the artist group to “sustain and uphold the creative and artistic legacy of the province itself” and its vision of “preserving and promoting awareness of the bountiful and rich culture and tradition as well as its historical values and beliefs that linger in every corner of the land.” Founded by Reynaldo Punelas through the guidance and help of fellow senior artist, the legendary Jose “Ka Pepe” Guadalupe Jr., Bigkis Binangonan became a creative lab for talented artists from the area who were able to mount exhibits in galleries and museums, as well as garner awards, win contests, and be featured in coffee-table art books, calendars, Christmas cards and souvenirs. The roster keeps expanding and the art is constantly evolving. 

For the “Kalinangan” show, each member was given the freedom to define and express his or her identity in the subjective world of color “for art must record (the soul of) our time — for this generation (and the generations to come) to draw inspiration from.” Each member of Bigkis Sining wants us to reflect on what is essential even in the most trying of times. 

Bong Anore creates these tableaus of uplifting subjects in “flight mode”: as his figures are usually depicted flying kites — to stir in each viewer a sense of joy and jubilation.  

Jhune Bernardo paints landscapes, still lifes and koi fish, but people remain his true obsession. His portraits do not aim for photographic smoothness, but for “accurate observation made with painterly, expressive marks.”   

Marlon Constantino — who has competed in chess competitions in Manila and abroad —  is obsessed with chess and creates paintings based on his beloved game’s pieces and concepts.   

Claudio Aramil Jr. coined the term “Graphic Impressionism” for his distinctive style: strong vivid colors rendered with heavy black or white outline define his figures.” Mother and Child, the Last Supper, and children are a few of his favorite subjects.  

Reynaldo Punelas as a painter deals in human drama: farmers during harvest season, a father and son in a deep emotional bond, participants of colorful festivals, etc. The man is also a public servant who supports the local government in its establishment of the Binangonan Museum, which houses artworks and artifacts that give this area a sense of soul. 

ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work.  

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