THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee - The Philippine Star

(From left) Benito Chua, Lito Siy, Orley Ypon and Rudy Tantuco.

It’s rare that when one walks into an exhibition, one is transported to the days of the Roman arena and Juan Luna’s Spoliarium. But that’s what happened at painter Orley Ypon’s exhibit titled Spectacula.

Spectacula, an ancient Roman word for amphitheater, was where the gory gladiator games would take place.

Cebu-based Ypon, through his artworks, skillfully transported guests to another gritty, intense and sensual time and place. Nine works — more than half of a massive scale — filled the León Gallery at Corinthian Plaza in  Makati City.

Ypon is a consistent award-winner of major art competitions. His awards include the grand prize of Art Petron in 2001 and 2004 that earned him the honor of being the first member of its Hall of Fame in the history of Art Petron painting competitions. He is also the first Filipino to be included in the list of “Living Masters” by the prestigious Art Renewal Center in New York after winning successive awards in the organization’s competitions from 2011 to 2013. 

Ypon continues to have his own individualistic “genre” and continues to adhere to the traditional painting technique made famous by Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. He had formal training for Architecture at the Cebu Institute of Technology and Fine Arts training at the University of the Philippines in Cebu.

Ypon has an equally distinct and avid set of followers so it’s no wonder that majority of his artworks at the exhibit were snapped up that evening. 

Spectacula was curated by Lizza Guerrero Nakpil and was a joint project of León Gallery and DF Art Agency, the newly formed artist management company of Derek Flores.

Indonesian Ambassador Johny Lumintang is flanked by Thai Embassy Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Urawadee Sriphiromya and SM SVP for marketing communications Millie Dizon.

A taste of Indonesia

The one-day Exquisite Indonesian Food Festival 2017 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall gave mallgoers the opportunity to experience authentic Indonesian food.

The event, a joint project of the Indonesian Embassy and SM Mall of Asia, featured authentic Indonesian culinary specialties from different restaurants and brands. It raised funds for the benefit of Hospicio de San Jose and the internal displaced persons (IDPs) of Marawi. The funds will be coursed through the Philippine Red Cross.

Indonesian Ambassador Johny Lumintang and embassy officials welcomed guests to the event.

The festival showcased Indonesia’s rich culture with performances of Tari pendet or welcome dance, Teri merak or Peacock dance, and Cendrawasih or bird of paradise mating ritual dance. And of course, Indonesian culinary delights were the stars of the festival, which included Nasi tumpeng or cone-shaped yellow rice with meat and vegetables; my personal favorite Ayam bakar or Indonesian barbecued chicken; Sate ayam or grilled marinated chicken satay; crowd-favorite Beef rendang; and Batagor or Indonesian dumplings served with peanut sauce.

Sinar International, a company based in Indonesia, featured its products such as batik clothing and batik umbrellas

The Indonesian Food Festival was one of the many exciting cross-cultural events at the SM Mall of Asia.

(Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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