Duterte, Kathniel rice art subjects
Images of President Rodrigo Duterte and the onscreen love team of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will emerge in the paddies of the Philippine Rice (PhilRice) Research Institute in the coming months.
They will be the subject of the PhilRice’s annual “crop painting” this year.
Besides the President and the “Kathniel” love team, expect to see the likenesses of Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the rice fields.
“The FutureRice program creates rice paddy artworks to boost interest of younger generations and other rice stakeholders in rice farming, promote agritourism and promote examples on how farmers can develop their farms both productively and creatively,” PhilRice Executive Director Roger Barroga said.
Midsayap town in North Cotabato province will feature Mr. Duterte; Central Mindanao, Dela Rosa; Ilocos Norte, Marcos; and the Science City of Munoz in Nueva Ecija province, Kathniel.
For these “rice paintings” to come alive, PhilRice’s genetic resources division will use two modern rice varieties, the green (PSB Rc10) rice and Korean purple rice to provide contrast for the images.
FutureRice ICT specialist Nehemiah Caballong said laying out the image on a rice plot was no different from cross-stitching.
Using the principle of anamorphosis, they would create two-tone images based on photographs of the subjects. He would then distort these images through Photoshop.
“It’s the same principle used in 3D street and room art,” Caballong said.
From a distance, these crops may look ordinary. To appreciate the artwork, viewers need to stand by the edge of the rice plot so the artwork will be visible, facial features and all.
It will take three weeks for the rice seedlings to transform into an image. But once the plants bear fruit, the green variety will grow over and cover the purple variety, which will eventually distort the art.
By then, the rice will have been ready for harvesting.
Paddy art originated in the Inakadate village of the Aomori prefecture in Japan. Barroga studied it to help the agriculture sector gain support from Filipinos.
“We want to encourage the younger generation to go into farming. This is our way of presenting our sector to them … farming is not only about hardship and getting dirty,” he said.
In 2015, PhilRice started doing paddy art with a portrait of national hero Jose Rizal. They also made portraits of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza’s love team called “AlDub” and “Ang Probinsiyano’s” lead actors Coco Martin and Fernando Poe Jr.
Barroga said public response to the initiative last year was “overwhelming.”
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