THE WORK AT HAND
The panorama of Goddesses begins with the azure sweep of Ang Kiukok’s universe: barebreasted avatars descend gracefully to earth, floating among the shapes that are infinitely recognizable as Ang’s. Flowing dark hair, narrow waistlines, curvaceous limbs fill the space, punctuated with the red orbs and his familiar geometry. A pale but sacred chalice symbolizes the divine.
Next, Hugo Yonzon depicts Adam and Eve entwined in the Garden of Eden. The first man is a bronzed Filipino as he cradles the first woman, made from his rib. In the background is the Tree of Knowledge and neither Adam nor Eve have still tasted the forbidden fruit. Around them are motifs from the Maranao ‘Okir’, the flowing floral patterns that also symbolize Life. Yonzon thus depicts the unity of the West and the East, North and South as well as the dream and the reality.
Finally, Malang Santos brings the myth of the heavenly beings back down to earth in his beloved signature themes. A vista of houses (one inhabited by a happy coupling), a fetching maiden and a jeepney, the word “Hello”, a colorful matriarch that could be a church’s dome but also a busy mother. The exuberant pink, purple and peach tones of an endless summer day make his contribution immensely appealing.
This astonishing work is indeed a testament to the artists’ brotherly friendship and singular world view — inhabited, of course, by the women they venerate as goddesses.
- Lisa Guerrero Nakpil