Lawig, a Hiligaynon word which means umbilical cord, is an exhibition of scultpures and installations by Bacolod-based artists Moreen Austria and Peter James Fantinalgo. It probes into the umbilical connection between the neighboring islands of Negros and Panay in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The provinces’ tightly tangled history, shared language and unique culture has undergone significant transformations that produced two distinct mental mode of realities – one elitist, and another populist, that resulted in the incessant “sibling rivalry” that has existed for decades.
Lawig envisions a contemporary exhibition that stages the uniqueness of the Negros and Panay relationship as shaped by its past and reflected by the vitality of its shared and separate present. It aspires to create a venue for Hiligaynon historical and sociocultural reevaluation.
The two paragraphs that precede this one are lifted from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Calendar of Events for May – June 2016. When I saw the standing tarpaulin outside CCP with the word lawig, I thought it means “long” or “prolonged”. Then I realized that my understanding of the word was not Ilonggo or Hiligaynon, but Karay-a. I was surprised to learn that lawig means umbilical cord. Now, I am questioning my knowledge in Hiligaynon and fear of having my Ilonggo card revoked. 🙂
Notes by Noell Farol and Mervy Pueblo state that “Moreen Austria explores the use of welded steel and salvaged hardwood from old houses that reminds us of the extravagant social conditions in the past.” Negros Occidental is known for old Spanish houses, The Ruins has been featured in a local film, Everyday I Love You. The welded figures in her works represent the laborers called sakada in sugarcane fields (sugar was the main product and export of Negros Occidental during the Spanish period up until recent times).
Meanwhile, Peter James Fantinalgo use “multiple layers of mixed organic powder and polymer-based binder” to make human figures. It is his way of symbolizing “social and cultural effects as metaphoric representations of a variety of laborious practices and their effects on the human psyche”.
Lawig exhibit runs from May 19 to July 3 at Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery). Like other CCP exhibits, its viewing hours are from 10am to 6pm from Tuesday to Sunday. For more information, contact the Visual Arts and Museum Division, Productions and Exhibition Department at (02) 832-1125 local 1504 and 1505 and (02) 832-3702, mobile 0917-6033809, email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph for more detail.