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Art That Binds

CEBU, Philippines — The luster of a watercolor painting can outshine the glow of an oil-on-canvas piece, inflect vivid renderings of emotion in copious dabs of color and dramatically suggest structure when there is none.

This aspect of the medium is part of the highlights of the exhibit “Gasa,” an exhibit featuring artworks by members of the Vios family.

Mainly watercolor renderings of urban scenes, local landmarks, flowerscapes and life-in-the-countryside montages, the exhibit presents the works of Ramon Vios Sr. and his children Ramon Vios Jr., Richie Vios, Rowena Vios and Rhea Marie Vios-Uy – all visual artists who are not only bonded by familial ties but also by an unwavering desire to make art.

Regarded as a medium that’s ‘basic’ in terms of execution techniques, yet quite difficult to master, watercolors can intone degrees of detail without being acutely astute about them. “Gasa” underscores how the medium can be clear without being literal in the way it does so.

The show consists of close to a hundred paintings. The pieces are base-banded by the wet-on-wet, wet-on-dry and dry-on-dry watercolor techniques. It’s a mix between “plein air” (on-the-spot-made works) and reference-based works – all in all hinting of the versatile watercolor skills of the exhibiting artists.

Quite vividly illustrating the creative processes entailed in the making of art and the quest for creative identity, the show presents the dynamic balance between content and process-oriented approaches in artmaking with watercolor – given that the making of a watercolor piece requires a significant amount of planning before its execution can be started.

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Opening on August 31, the exhibit doubled as the birthday celebration of Ramon Vios Sr. It runs until today, September 14, at the first level of Robinsons Galleria Cebu. (FREEMAN)

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