Tuesday, September 9, 2008

SIGWADA GALLERY: a new art space in the heart of Manila

The soft opening will be on Saturday, September 13, 2008, 6PM onwards.

#1921 Oroquieta Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila (near the Tayuman LRT station)

For photos and more information, check out the Multiply site: http://sigwadagallery.multiply.com

Map here: http://sigwadagallery.multiply.com/photos/photo/6/1

Art is a new gust of wind, a SIGWADA
by Agnes Ochoa-Trinidad

The kind of people, their livelihood, interests and other activities lend a certain aura to a place, making it distinctively different from the rest. For instance, when you think of Makati, you instantly envisage tall buildings, expensive cars and people rushing to work. Likewise, with Baclaran you see streets lined with all sorts of merchandise and vendors and vendees intent on making a sale and getting their money’s worth.

As early as the 1950’s, a generation when people lived simpler and less complicated lives before the emergence of high technology cellular phones, iPods and personal computers, the unpretentious street of Oroquieta in Sta. Cruz, Manila was already closely identified with stores that sold religious items ranging from the ordinary wooden cross to the gemstone-festooned images. The price was not a matter of consideration.

Number 1921 Oroquieta Street was one such place that has seen the depredation of time. The Pagaduans saw the place’s potential, bought it and had it refurbished and slightly modernized without losing its old world ambiance. While residing on the second level, the lower level was turned into another religious store registered as Little Bethlehem for a number of years, until the owners decided to pull against the norm. Inspired by their son and nephew’s inclination towards the arts, they thought of putting up a venue that would showcase these two young men’s art pieces as well as those of other artists that they look up to and form part of their inner circle. They played and toyed with the idea of converting Little Bethlehem into a gallery especially geared towards young and budding artists from nearby schools of art within the University belt. This, after weeks of brain storming and deliberation, saw the birth of Sigwada Gallery.

Sigwada is an old Tagalog word that means the onslaught of sudden wind. The word sounded ideally right for the Pagaduans' vision of pushing young artists to reach the heights of their artistic excellence. Sigwada Gallery aims to welcome the new breed of artists as well as the more established ones into their abode. As it pushes young artists to their fullest potential, the Sigwada Gallery aims to serve also as a reminder of an established artist’s humble beginnings. This is what it is all about, feeling ones way back to the real meaning of the arts: the initial expression, the hesitant venture, the journey’s beginning and the continuing discovery, the fresh wind, the Sigwada. Then when their destiny is fulfilled, it is gratifying to look back to where it all began, the cradle of their art and inspiration at the heArt of Manila. The new gallery aims to bring to mind a sincere and original love for the arts. For an artwork is a person’s extension, his soul revealed in all vulnerability. It deserves a welcoming home that will take care of it like a member of the family.

Today, with the rigidity and exacting life that we live, going to galleries has offered a welcome respite. Looking at art pieces releases the tension and stress that co-exist with man’s sad plight. Being around and meeting people who love what they do will help bring back things into their right perspective.

The Sigwada Gallery is both for art makers and art lovers, waiting for your works to be placed on exhibit as they deserve, and inviting you to experience a taste of the old Manila in its new setting.

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