Ed Lantin exhibit, Buto-Buto play showcase Filipino artistry in Vancouver

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  • Filipino artistry is once again in full display in Vancouver with two shows, and the Philippine Consulate General is at the forefront of promoting these events.

    One is the Edgardo Lantin Art Exhibit, and the second, a theatrical production titled “Buto/Buto: Bones are Seeds”.

    The Lantin art exhibit and Buto/Buto are both showing starting this month of July.

    As part of the efforts of the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver to showcase the talent and artistry of local artists and share Filipino traditions and culture through arts, it hosted the opening of “Edgardo Lantin Art Exhibit” at the consulate lobby on July 15, 2022.

    Also in the same occasion, the consulate introduced “Buto/Buto: Bones are Seeds”.

    Edgardo Lantin is a multi-awarded contemporary realist, best known for his portraiture and landscapes. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas and worked as a graphic artist upon migrating to Canada in 1981.

    Lantin pursued his passion for portraiture by attending private art classes with an accomplished and renowned Filipino artist, the late Sym Mendoza. He also studied at the Art Student League in New York on a full year scholarship.

    Lantin’s first important commission was a portrait of Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino in 1989 which is displayed at the Malacañang Palace Museum.

    Consul General Maria Andrelita Austria, in her remarks, conveyed her appreciation to Lantin whose dedication, discipline, and attention to minute details contribute to the excellence of his artworks.

    The July 15 event also introduced to the members of the media and guests a production entitled “Buto-Buto: Bones are Seeds .

    Buto-Buto is a community-devised theater performance based on stories and poetries from Vancouver’s Filipino-Canadian Community to be shown at the Russian Hall (600 Campbell Avenue) in Vancouver from July 27-31, 2022.

    The project is in partnership with the National Pilipino Canadian Cultural Center (NPC3), and the Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Society (SEACHS), with special participation of Anyone Can Act Theatre (ACAT).

    The Edgardo Lantin Art Exhibit is open to the public and will run through August 31, 2022.

    More information on Lantin’s works and upcoming events may be accessed through his website, http://www.edgardolantin.com/index.html.

    A media release for Buto-Buto relates that the ensemble reconstructs the life of Benson Flores, one of the first Filipinos who lived on Bowen Island, BC in the late 19th century.

    An article written by Filipino-Canadian journalist Joseph Lopez about Ben sparked interest in the ensemble. The all Southeast Asian cast explores their contemporary migration stories through the history of Filipino migration to Canada.

    Set in fictional Barangay San Diego, Buto/Buto: Bones are Seeds is a collection of vignettes dramatizing the stories of the first Filipinos who came to Canada through the 1791 Malaspina Expedition, the 19th-century Filipino community on Bowen Island, Vancouver, the Filipino community today, and more.

    Told through different modes of storytelling and performance, these narratives—inspired by Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal—speak to where we’re from, where we are, and where we’re going.

    This original play is an ode to the resilience of the community, filling its longing for home with Rizal’s
    legacy: love for the community, land, and their original country of birth. It features an all Southeast Asian cast and crew from diverse disciplines and generations as they perform dramatic scenes of poetry, live music, original songs, choreography, costume, multimedia, and pageantry emblematic of Philippine traditional theatre forms (Kundiman, Pasyon, dula-tula, and oyayi) curated by the best emerging and
    professional artistic talents working in the Filipino community today. As immigrants with a heritage rooted to lands elsewhere, the storytelling has been called ‘cerebral’ as it jumps entire eras and oceans.

    The text is a circuitous and ebbing memory of arrival, transit, and the specter of departures based on texts that were collectively created by community members in a year-long creative process. The text was curated by Karla Comanda, Christopher Nasaire, and Marc Perez who are prominent poets and writers from the Filipino-Canadian community. A team of artists and professional theatre actors including Alvin Tolentino (choreography), Noreen Sajolan (set and lights), Mirabel De Guzman (costume), Thai-Hoa Le (dramaturgy), Allen Baylosis (dramaturgy), Jeremiah Carag (voice coach), Eri Kekuchi (music/sound design), JR Guerrero (musician), Ted Ngkaion (actor), Abi Padilla (performer) and Anjela Magpantay (performer) collaborated with community members to build this devised theatre piece. Dennis Gupa directs the play.

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