Technology is neutral, it’s how we use it, artist Jan Leeroy New told Cebu bloggers at the sidelines of the Cebu leg of the 55th Pilipinas Shell’s National Student Arts Competition (NSAC) Art Interact event held at the Kabilin Center of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
“It’s a tool like anything else,” New said when asked about his opinion on AI producing art. But he said questions might arise on issues like the feeding into the algorithm of the work of artists without their permission.
The annual NSAC by Pilipinas Shell is the longest event of its kind in the country. New told bloggers it gave student artists like him when he was still starting out at school something to look forward to. New won 2nd place in the Sculpture category in Shell NSAC 2004 and 2006. His installations have won acclaim in New York, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, and other major global centers.
NSAC has built a legacy of developing the local art scene by creating an opportunity for young talents to showcase their creativity regionally and nationally.
Pilipinas Shell Vice President for Corporate Relations Serge Bernal encouraged the participants to “use the uniting power of art to charge forward by showing who you are, what you value, and what you envision through art.” During the culminating event at the Ayala Museum, he thanked the young artists for showing that creativity and art are alive, well, and growing in the country.
The theme of this year’s NSAC is “Sulong Sining.”
Three artists took the lead during the Metro Manila Virtual Art Interact. The first was Edgar Doctor, recognized among the “2000 Outstanding Artists and Designers of the 20th Century” by the London-based International Biographical Centre. He was the Shell NSAC 1960 3rd place winner in the Conservative Art category and Shell NSAC 1964 1st place winner for On the Spot Painting. Jonathan Joven, who won 2nd place in Shell NSAC 2012’s Watercolor category, has showcased his works in top galleries in the Philippines, Singapore, and Asia. Finally, Hyacinth Laoke, known for her work in Digital Fine Arts, won 3rd-place winner and 2nd-place winner in that category in Shell NSAC 2011 and 2012 respectively.
New led the final Art Interact event in Cebu City last December 10. In his Cebu Aliens workshop, he showed students creative ways to reuse and recycle plastics to create wearable art pieces.
This approach stemmed from New’s youth where, as a student at the Philippine High School for the Arts, he learned how to be resourceful. “I would go to recycling centers when I had no sources” for his art, he reminisced. “My first paintings were of fishermen and farmers.” Later on, though, he learned that “art can be in a public place” and not just inside the traditional art galleries.
Clodoveo Nacorda, Commissioner, Historical and Cultural Affairs Commission, thanked Pilipinas Shell for mounting the event and addressed the students, “Hone your art, perfect your style, innovate, innovate, innovate—and you will join the ranks of the Cebuano masters.
Haidee Emmie Palapar, Head of The Kabilin Center, looked forward to the future, “We hope that this affair will be productive and enlightening to our young artists. We cannot wait for this to be a consistent and regular activity at The Kabilin Center.”
The 55th Shell NSAC was co-sponsored by McDonald’s, Grab, Bakuna Hero Health and Medical Services, and Phirst Park Homes Inc. Its partners are Anima Art Space, Art Elaan Gallery, Ayala Museum, Blanco Family art Museum, Iloilo Museum for Contemporary Art, Modeka Creative Space, Museo Iloilo, Orange Project, Stuart Gallery, and The Kabilin Center of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.
To learn more about Shell NSAC, please visit www.shell.com.ph/juanartnation. (With a press release)