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On the occasion of the 114th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Embassy in Vienna hosted two art exhibitions in the city.  Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre inaugurated  the exhibition of Manuel D.  Baldemor titled Impressions: An Art Exhibition of Paintings” at the lobby of the Vienna International Center (VIC), home of the United Nations Offices in Vienna.

Manuel Baldemor’s “IMPRESSIONS” is a revisit of his mural at the VIC Rotunda entitled “Pasasalamat” depicting the cultural and religious traditions of the Filipinos. The mural is one of the few international artworks in the entrance hall of the VIC and was unveiled by former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos in 1999.

“It’s fantastic to see the work of Manuel Baldemor. He is very unique, very warm, and a very talented painter,” a diplomat from the international community commented.

“Those paintings are very colorful, very well-thought because the construction is interesting while you see those villages, those cities, those houses,” another guest said.

“I believe art is communication. For me, art is borderless. Ang importante lang sa Pilipino, you have to express our culture, yung colors natin, yung identity so madali tayong nag-blend,” Baldemor said.

He added “We have to be proud na tayo’y Pinoy. Pwede tayong umalis ng Pilipinas pero yung pagka-Pinoy natin di maaalis sa atin”.

Manuel Dalao Baldemor was born on 26 March 1947 in Paete, Laguna. His hometown, its people, their day-to-day activities, and their celebrations have been the consistent subjects of his art. He was exposed to art and trained in the workshops of wood-carvers and santeros of Paete to carve in wood. He is however best known for his paintings in various media that depict scenes in simplified geometric forms with a folk art character. His numerous international grants have enabled him to capture the scenery of other countries in his signature style as well as share his art with people abroad.

His art is well-known internationally as his works are frequently used for UNICEF cards.

Vernissage at MOYA

Beforehand, the Embassy likewise hosted the Vernissage of the Art Exhibition by Philippine Contemporary Visual Artists at the Museum of Young Art (MOYA) in Palais Schönborn, Vienna which featured the artworks of three distinguished Filipino visual artists: Rafael Cusi, Rene Robles, and Aris Bagtas.

The vernissage was attended by representatives of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna, academics, business community and leaders of the Filipino community in Austria.

In her remarks in both exhibitions, Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre said that “the Filipino nation has found a renewed sense of purpose to defend the rights and freedoms that we have earned, and to strengthen the democratic institutions and processes that have guided our way of life”. (hp)