Friday, December 13, 2013

Of Mediums and Perspectives

I started drawing at an early age and I still vividly remember doodling my very first concept of a house on a piece of paper. It was an amazing feeling to see a simple sketch of lines and shapes turn into something detailed right before my very eyes which my mind has perceived beforehand. I even remember being one of the few in my elementary school to get chosen and join drawing competitions.

I never really understood then why we have to portray the Filipino concept of bayanihan--saving Mother Nature, recycling, or doing acts of goodwill towards others in our drawings instead of fighting robots, funny cartoon characters, or carnage and gore (I was a kid). I enjoyed the challenge, though, because it made me ponder and look at the things that really matter in the world. Never would I have thought that what I was doing was a form of social artistry.

According to Pauline Salvana-Bautista, a professor at the UP college of music, she defined the term social artistry as “the process of becoming aware of one’s goals and potentials, expressing these in ways that can be experienced by the senses, and defining values and habits to animate these experienced goals and potentials, in the context of improving self, community and environment.”  In short, art can be used as a medium that can convey an idea that is both relative and subjective. It can be easily and openly interpreted making it the perfect language to capture the curiosity of a person for whatever purpose. In our case, this means opening self-awareness towards the improvement of society.

But then again, before one can start using art to help the society, one must learn first its 7 key concepts to pinpoint its problems.

(1) Society
(2) Values
(3) Poverty
(4) Human Rights
(5) Good Leadership
(6) Contribution of Teachers and Parents to Nation Building
(7) and Sustainable Human Development.

I don’t know about you, but I would enjoy reading a comic strip or watching an interpretative dance about saving the planet and helping other people. Heck, I even took pleasure listening to Smokey Mountain’s "Paraiso" as a kid.

Ayala, Joey et al. SINING-BAYAN: ART OF NATION BUILDING: Social Artistry Fieldbook
to Promote Good Citizenship Values for Prosperity and Integrity. (2009). "SOCIAL ARTISTRY IN CIVIC WELFARE TRAINING SERVICE, Building the Self to Extend to Others (p 189-196).