Saturday, October 30, 2010


UE Buklod Sining held art talks with internationally acclaimed painters Max Balatbat and Ronaldo Ruiz
By UE Buklod Alumni Society

The University of the East Buklod Sining, one of the oldest art organization in the UE College of Fine Arts, held two art workshops last September 8 and October 2, 2010 as part of the organization’s 21st anniversary celebration in conjunction with Buklod Alumni Society and Sininggang Art Group, and took place in each studio of both world class painters.

The idea of organizing a “Studio Visit” is for the members of Buklod Sining to witness and experience the creative vigor of Ruiz’ and Balatbat’s art haven. This enables the students to understand more and visualize the stories behind the process of their works outside the four sides of their canvasses.

International Art Bienale winner Max Balatbat, a product of UE, is the first painter visited by Buklod Sining. Undeniably, this young artist has inspired the members with their dreams of becoming painters and visionaries. Max Balatbat, better known as Maxbal, won the grand prize in the 2009 GSIS Art Awards in the Abstract/Non-representational Category. And last year, he represented the Philippines in the prestigious International Art Biennale in Florence, Italy and received the second highest award, Silver Magnifico Award for his obra “Avenida Manila”. Year 2010, Max Balatbat once again proved that an artist from University of the East, College of Fine Arts, is truly one of the finest, being a 2010 winner of Philip Morris Art Award.

During the workshop, Balatbat shared to Buklod Sining members the importance of dreaming and doing something to achieve your dream, and that as an artist you have to be true to yourself and to your art. No one can stop you to share your ideas and stories through your paintings.

His art depicts his imaginative interpretation of austere landscapes of buildings as modernist abstraction, and according to Buklod Sining president Jeremy Joy Francisco, “We’re fortunate that Sir Max is generous to share his thoughts and experiences about the art scene today, and as I stare at his paintings, they reminded me of my childhood dream. Flying thousand feet above and mesmerized by the colorful collage of houses that will suddenly turn into reddish-gold. “

After the successful Art Talk with Max Balatbat, Buklod Sining alumnus and 1991 president Ronaldo Ruiz, shared his glory to Buklod Sining by inviting the current members and alumni to his studio in Fairview, and shared his remarkable experiences, recognition and knowledge as one of the finest Filipino Painter and world class performance artist of his generation.

Ronaldo Ruiz studied Fine Arts at the University of the East, Caloocan. He was awarded by the Cultural Center of the Philippines as one of the Thirteen Artist Awardees of 2003, in recognition of his significant contribution to the expanding language and evolutionary dynamics of the Philippine Contemporary Art.

Two time winner of the Philip Morris Philippines Art Awards in 2000 and 1997, Ruiz was also an artist in residence at Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore 2009, and Artspace at Sydney Australia in 1999, and has presented his artworks in a 22 one-man exhibitions in the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Belgium, Seoul Korea and Denmark and often incorporating painting, photography, installation and performance into his show.

Ruiz is the artistic director of Tupada Action and Media Art (TAMA), an international action art event held every year in the Philippines.

The talk was divided into three parts. The first part is about his journey and struggle as an artist, on how he survived the crucial days during his college, his experiences and contributions as a street muralist that made him conscious about the true meaning of social equality.

The second part was about his ideas, inspiration and advocacy as a painter and performance artist. He also discussed his style that focused on the human figure as metaphor for the society, and how he started the idea of Performance Art in the College of Fine Arts way back in 1990. The third part pulled in an excitement for the Buklod Sining members when Ronaldo Ruiz demonstrated his techniques in painting and generously gave his two paintings to senior Buklod members, just like Max Baltabat when he raffled two paintings after his demonstration.

Ruiz was pleased to conduct art workshop for his school organization, for he was overwhelmed by the interest of the students, not only in painting, but also in other art forms. According to Ruiz, “Studio Visit is not easy because they need to travel from one studio to another and I think this is one of the best way of reaching out. I remember when I was the Buklod Sining president before, we were also eager to learn outside the box, and so we need to conduct some workshops like this, exhibits and art caravans.”

Ronaldo Ruiz’ passion in sharing his knowledge is beyond measure, that’s why Buklod officers decided to organize another workshop that will focus more in painting styles and techniques.

Since, Buklod Sining is not only known for painting, art workshops, advertising forums, film screening, like Cine-Silangan multimedia Arts festival in 2005, but the organization also brought to UE Caloocan Campus the 4th Philippine International Performance Art Festival 2005 that featured body painting and live art performances from participating countries like Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, and Wales or also known as the ‘UGNAYAN”. Come February 2011, UE Caloocan will experience the most unforgettable Art’s month through the line-up of Buklod Sining Organization’s 21st anniversary celebration activities. Projects held this year have been successful like the inter-high school painting contest in cooperation with Faber Castle and Dong-A, the Educational Tour at Angono Famous Galleries and workshops about Illustrator, Animation and Packaging Design from industries professionals.

Buklod Sining Advisers Professors Ed Garcia and Ellen Villanueva added that the organization will continue to provide activities that will explore and develop the member’s range of skills and creative accomplishments, for building solid foundations for professional careers in art and design.

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