Masked Installation Artist Wins Ateneo Art Awards 2018

Seven artists and writers were awarded on August 26.

( When the finalists for the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 were announced at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall on July 19, one of the artists who go by the alias koloWn chose not to be exposed under the spotlight (and photos). Ateneo Art Gallery Director Ma. Victoria Herrera revealed that even they do not know who this street artist is, all they know is that he/she is the person behind Low Pressured Areas, a site-specific series of installation art within and around the Cultural Center of the Philippines. But on August 26 at the Areté, he was left with no choice but to go before the public and receive his trophy for winning the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art—with him wearing a yellow barricade tape as a mask.

Ronson Culibrina, Johanna Helmuth, and koloWn pose with Ateneo Art Gallery Director Ma. Victoria Herrera, Philippine Star Lifestyle Editor Millet Mananquil, and Vice President for the Loyola Schools Dr. Maria Luz Vilches Courtesy of Ateneo de Manila University

koloWn is just one of the three winners of the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art. He shares the recognition with Johanna Helmuth, who presented Makeshift at Blanc Gallery in March and Ronson Culibrina, who exhibited Talim also at Blanc Gallery in October. They also received residency grants at Ateneo Art Gallery's partner institutions, namely: Le Trobe Art Institute in Australia (koloWn), Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore (Helmuth), and Liverpool University in the United Kingdom (Culibrina).

Low Pressured Areas by koloWn Courtesy of Ateneo Art Gallery
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Makeshift by Johanna Helmuth
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
Talim by Ronson Culibrina
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz

Mary Jessel Duque, an arts and literature professor at De La Salle University - Manila and contributor for, was awarded the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize. She will be contributing regularly to the Arts and Culture Section of The Philippine Star. Her co-awardee Alec Madelene Abarro will contribute a total of six articles for a year to the bi-monthly publication ArtAsiaPacific Magazine.

Jessel Duque and Alec Madelene Abarro pose with Mananquil, Vilches, Ana Ledesma Mabilangan and Alvaro Talavera of the Spanish Embassy Courtesy of Ateneo de Manila University

Mars Bugaoan received the People's Choice Award for Becoming, which was shown at Artinformal in July, while Jel Suarez received the Embassy of Italy Purchase Prize for Traces By Which We Remember, which was exhibited at West Gallery in February.

Works by the shortlisted artists and winners of the Ateneo Art Awards 2018 are on display until November 4 at the Ateneo Art Gallery, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City. For more information, visit Ateneo Art Gallery's Facebook page.

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