What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next in Arts

Published February 1, 2021, 8:00 AM by MB Lifestyle

This is part of a series of profiles on a new generation of leaders, thinkers, creators, innovators, and trailblazers across many fields in the country. The list is drawn under the theme “What’s Now, What’s New, What’s Next” in celebration of Manila Bulletin’s 121st anniversary as an exponent of Philippine progress.

Kublai Millan: Opening a window to Mindanaoan art

If you follow singing contests both here and abroad, you know there is an abundance of talented Filipino singers the world over. The same can be said of visual artists in the country—there are so many talented artists from various regions of the Philippines who are not given enough attention. 

To ensure that his fellow artists from Mindanao do not suffer this fate, Kublai Millan has made it his mission to promote the arts from the region, with the help of other artist members of the Lawig Diwa group.

Kublai Millan

“There is so much that needs to be done for visual arts in Mindanao. The work is never done, so I see myself continuing with the vision of helping propagate the desire for rootedness to help create an art genre that is truly Mindanao,” he tells the Manila Bulletin. 

As an artist, Kublai felt the effects of 2020 on the art industry, with galleries and museums closed, and planned exhibits put on hold. Yet he did not let the year that was take away what could be, particularly for his own art and for Mindanao art as a whole. Lawig Diwa and Kublai, in fact, were able to successfully stage the 2nd Mindanao Art, thanks in no small part to the help of virtual exhibits. 

“I have been consistent with my aspirations and message: To plumb the depth of your art you have to be grounded to who you are, be in touch with your heart, and to always care for the environment,” he says. “The year 2020 happened because we ignored all these. Meaning, the message will remain the same. Maybe what will change is the coverage, the immensity and intensity. That’s just how it is. We must just keep on stepping up.”

And step up he continually does, to put Mindanao art and culture at the forefront of the Philippine art scene. (Rom Mallick)

Source: Manila Bulletin

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