Text and main photo by Marz Aglipay
The Cultural Center of the Philippines announced the 2018 batch of Thirteen Artist Awardees on March 14, 2018. Present at the announcement were 11 of the 13 awardees. This year’s winners are: Zeus Bascon, Bea Camacho (not in photo), Cian Dayrit, Janos Delacruz, Carlo Gabuco, Dina Gadia, Guerrero Habulan, Eisa Jocson (not in photo), Doktor Karayom, Raffy Napay, Archie Oclos, Lynyrd Paras, and Shireen Seno.
This year’s awardees are set to take part in a group exhibition on 18 October 2018 where each artist will receive a cash grant to defray the cost of producing their new work. We spoke to some of the winners on their reactions when they found out they were part of the Thirteen Artists Awards (TAA). “I got a call from Rica (Estrada) just last week and I was in the studio. I was surprised when she told me that I made it to the TAA,” says Janos Delacruz, who is a printmaker. Raffy Napay, who recently concluded his solo show Ugat at Silverlens, says he feels thankful and blessed. He has yet to conceptualize what he would like to present in the upcoming exhibition. Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) alumni Lynyrd Paras and Doktor Karayom are also stoked about being chosen. “I just do the art that I want and I am happy it’s being recognized,” says Doktor Karayom
Some of the awardees see this award as an important platform to give voice to the minorities, as well as take on the responsibility of proving the relevance of artists in society. “Sana ma-represent ko yung mga farmers and indigenous people dahil nasama ako dito,” says Archie Oclos, who is known for his street art. “Palaisipan itong pagtangap ng award sa kung ano yung kabuluhan ng sining at ano ang kabuluhan ng artists sa panahon, sa lipunan ngayon. Ano yung kabuluhan ng award at ng institusyon? Ano yung pribilehiyo na nilalaruan namin bilang artists? Ano ba talaga yung mahalagang pwedeng kutyain o talakayin na issue dito sa ganitong klaseng platform? Kaya kailangan din nating panatiliin yung kritikal na pagbasa sa mga ganitong award,” says Cian Dayrit.
The Thirteen Artists Award was first started by CCP Museum Director Roberto Chabet, in order to showcase the works of artists who grasped to “restructure, restrengthen and renew artmaking and art thinking that lend viability to Philippine Art.” Raymundo “Ray” Albano superseded Chabet as CCP Museum Director and reformatted the effort into an awards program, which we now have today.
This year’s panel of jurors included past TAA winners such as Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi (1972), Leonilo Doloricon (1990), Noel Cuizon (1994), Yasmin Sison-Ching (2006) and Rica Estrada, Officer-in-charge of the Visual Arts and Museum Division representing the CCP.