|Retablo with ostrich eggs bearing carved religious icons.|
Opening night. We were first drawn to a retablo reminiscent of preserved/conserved altars of Philippine churches that date back to the Spanish colonial times. The artist though filled the niches up with ostrich eggs, lamps to our mind with carvings of religious images such as the Sto, Nino and the Mother of Perpetual Help, instead of the the traditional statuettes of saints and martyrs, the Virgin Mary and the crucifix.
That re-invention of a cultural artifact is a counterpoint to the predominance of bulols, ancient deities in the Cordilleras, in the Shambala Living Museum exhibits of indigenous handicrafts including a couple of low wooden chairs with phallic handles.
|Ancient gods at the Shambala Living Museum exhibits.|
Later did we think that the retablo and the ancient gods provided some kind of religious context to sculpted human forms: whole bodies, torsos, heads, done in the conventional or modern manner, that convey various artistic expressions such as -
Traditional values ...