Saturday, September 28, 2002


At the recently concluded 19th Young Painters Annual, a prestigious national painting competition for artists 35 years and under mounted by the Metrobank Foundation Inc, art critic Emmanuel Torres noted that the theme most recurrent in the artworks was critical of our nation’s condition.

“[It] is by turns ironic, joyless, elegiac,” Torres says. “The dominant theme is one of perpetual sorrow in need of perpetual help in a postcolonial, postmodern, post-Asian bubble Philippines.”

The works of young people, one might have expected that the entries would be bursting with optimism, reinforcing mostly the positive or, at least, conveying a sense of youthful spunk. In general, however, what can be gleaned from the entries are images so disturbing and so depressing, one wonders if the youth themselves have become resigned to the reality that what lies ahead is a future as dim as that depicted in their artworks.

Is this so surprising? You should read the fiction.


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