MANILA, Philippines--The nude provokes its viewers to acknowledge the bare truth of the human body.
With this in mind, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) recently launched an art exhibit, "100 Nudes/100 Years" featuring the work of graduates of the university, among them nine national artists.
According to Romy Carlos, one of the event organizers whose work is also featured in the exhibit, the inspiration for the art show came from the Oblation: UP's symbol for freedom to accept and pronounce wisdom and truth without reservation.
"We (UPAA members) were thinking in terms of coming up with something worthwhile for the centennial of the university, an enriching program. I suggested 100 nudes," Carlos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He said the exhibit is aimed at showcasing the massive amount of talent UP has turned out in the last 100 years.
He admitted with a laugh that if they had not limited to nudes the artwork to be displayed at the exhibit, they probably would have had a difficult time determining which pieces to include as there was an open invitation to all UP artists to participate in the event.
Although the UPAA had less than a month to organize the exhibit, the task was made easy by the willingness of alumni tapped by the group to lend their artwork.
In fact, the organizers exceeded their target. "There are 116 works now in the exhibit," Carlos said, adding with a smile, "But who's counting? The more the merrier."
Art collectors also gladly lent the valuable pieces in their collections--the masterpieces of National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Guillermo Tolentino, Carlos "Botong" Francisco, Napoleon Abueva, Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, Jose Joya, Benedicto "Bencab" Cabrera and Abdulmari Asia Imao.
Likewise featured in the exhibit are the work of second generation artists: Abueva's son, Mulawin; Imao's son, Juan Sajid and Angel Cacnio's sons, Ferdie and Michael.
Other artists also taking part in the exhibit are Mauro Malang-Santos, Inquirer artist Jess Abrera, Federico Aguilar-Alcuaz, Reb Belleza, Greg Bolaños, Elmer Borlongan, Alfred Capiral, Araceli Dans, Jeff Dizon, Neil Doloricon, Ben Francisco, Nonoy Gamboa, Ofie Gelvezon-Tequi, Ding Hidalgo, Ben Infante, Gigi Javier-Alfonso, Pete Jimenez, Aileen Lanuza, Herman Lazo, Alfredo Liongoren, Romy Mananquil, Popo San Pascual, José Santos, Nestor O. Vinluan and Janice Young.
Randy Solon, who just graduated this year from the UP College of Fine Arts, said it was his first time to put his nude artwork on display.
He added that he was proud to take part in an important and meaning project of the university in promoting the arts.
The "100 Nudes/100 Years" exhibit will run until June 25 in the Mandarin Oriental Suites at the fourth floor of Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.