Filipino Deaf Artists exhibit at Sigwada


Guys, if you’re not busy this week, I proudly invite you to view the painting exhibit of the multi-talented team from Filipino Deaf Visual Art Group (FDVAG) titled “Natural Nudes”. In celebration of their eighth year as a group, they will showcase their famous art works at the Sigwada Gallery, 1921 Oroquieta cor. Tayuman Sts., Sta. Cruz, Manila from December 8-18, 2008 starting at 6:00 pm.

Established in 2001, Filipino Deaf Visual Art Group is an all Deaf organization of talented artists who would like to develop and showcase their talents in shows, group exhibits and team projects. Together they wish to raise public awareness about deafness, as well as provide a source of livelihood for themselves and their families.

I have seen most of their art work during their annual exhibitions at the University of the Philippines Church of the Risen Lord since 2001. Their paintings are truly world class. They have also exhibited at the Tomlinson Gallery, PhilFirst Building, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, SAMU’T SARI, and Pan Pacific Manila. Members’ works (greeting cards, etc.) have been sold in the Philippines and overseas to Japan, U.K., and the U.S. Most of their members have participated in the prestigious nationwide competitions of the DOW Chemical, Metrobank, Shell, Philip Morris, Faber-Castell, and AAP (Art Association of the Philippines), and garnered awards and recognition for their works.

Let's Talk Deaf Way Oil on Canvass (Rommel Agravante)
Let's Talk Deaf Way Oil on Canvass (Rommel Agravante)

I have worked before with their president, Rommel Agravante and interpreted in one of his lectures. I also invited him to participate in the Regional Skills Competition held last 2005 which he won hands down. He represented the National Capital Region (NCR) in the succeeding Philippine National Skills Competition which was also happened in 2005. However, he was beaten by another equally great deaf painter, Amelito Regalado from Bulacan.

Philippine Team at 7th IA Skills Competition
Philippine Team at 7th IA Skills Competition (Amelito in right)

It is Amelito that I really got to know quite well. Since he won in the national contest, he automatically represented the Philippines in the international skills competition. So I was with him for almost a month undergoing rigid training in preparation for the 7th International Abilympics Skills Competition which was held in Shizuoka, Japan November of last year. Although I wasn’t there as his official interpreter, I had a chance to bond with him together with the rest of the deaf participants. I was the trainor/sign language interpreter and personal coach of three participants who won in the information category so I’m not his handler. hehehe

Pag-asa (Hope) Oil on Canvass (Amelito Regalado)
Pag-asa (Hope) Oil on Canvass (Amelito Regalado)

I saw his great work! It was truly amazing. His detailed impression of Japanese animals and nature are very lifelike. His color combination and smooth stroke are very professional! We thought we had a winner there. We were so dismayed that the Japanese jurors selected the amateurish, almost kindergarten painting style of a participant from another Asian country. Sigh…

I also find him very jolly and amusing. I remember he often crack jokes saying that after we land our plane from Manila, we must be careful that we might encounter Japanese students clad with their famous “The Ring – Japanese horror film” uniforms of high cut skirt and above the knee black socks. We had a hearty laugh when after resting ourselves comfortably on our hotel rooms, we suddenly had an urge to go to a nearby McDonalds. There we got our wish! Those Japanese students were at one corner playing card games. We introduced ourselves to them but we can’t get through. I found out that not many Japanese know English. This is also a situation where deaf people can easily win hands down. Since oral communication is difficult, visual and gestural approach can be adapted.

Anyway, going back to their exhibit, our deaf students volunteered to design their websites for free. We want to present their awesome work to the world wide web so we decided to make one. You can visit the FDVAG Website here and view their gallery.

FDVAG is one of the specialized deaf associations that are affiliated with the Philippine Federation of the Deaf, a national Deaf people’s organization. Aside from Rommel and Amelito, other deaf exhibitors include Gil P. De Guzman Jr. and Manuel V. Adonis. I hope that you visit their exhibit. You can see for yourselves how talented our Filipino deaf people are. 🙂

All of their exhibited paintings are for sale. For more information, you can contact their group at c/o 18 Medicion 2nd, Imus Cavite 4103, Telephone: (632) 920-4502 or (632) 928-7674, Mobile: 0919 504-4719, Contact person: Rommel L. Agravante, President.

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