26 September 2018 – The 12th instalment of Art Trek, the centrepiece of the cultural diplomacy program of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore officially kicked off on 25 September 2018 with the back-to-back exhibition of Filipino artists, Abigail Dionisio and Joel ‘Welbart’ Bartolome, entitled “Travel Light” at the One East Asia Gallery.
“Leveraging on Singapore’s status as one of the art capitals of Asia, the Art Trek enables the Philippine Embassy to bring to Singapore Filipino artists while promoting stronger people-to-people links and better understanding and appreciation of the Philippines through the arts,” Ambassador Joseph Del Mar Yap said in his welcome remarks.
Both Dionisio and Welbart are multi-awarded art practitioners from Bulacan and Pampanga, respectively, with successful solo exhibitions to their names.
After finishing her BS Advertising Arts degree from Bulacan State University in 2009, Abigail won the grand prize that same year in the painting category of the Annual Art Competition of the Art Association of the Philippines.
Welbart, meanwhile, managed to pursue a prolific career as an artist, despite his coming from a totally unrelated academic background – nursing. He has showcased his work in both solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines and New York. He has received accolades, most notably the Grand Prize in the 57th AAP Annual Art Competition in 2004.
The two artists most recently participated in the group exhibition, Perceptions of Humanity, by One East Asia held at START, Saatchi Gallery in London last 13-16 September.
The couple’s engagement early this year was the inspiration for their exhibition. The common feature in their hyper-realistic oil paintings is their use of sailboats and hot air balloons to represent their voyage together as a couple. The boat’s connection to the water represents femininity and motherhood, while the hot air balloons are associated with their aspirations, social elevation, popularity or fame.
“Tonight, love and creativity will conquer all in this gallery… May you ‘travel light’ with your life journey together,” Ambassador Yap’s added in his message to the artist-couple.
One East Asia is a Singapore-based art management organization founded in April 2010. It is dedicated to enriching the appreciation of Southeast Asian art globally through exhibitions mainly in Singapore and London.
Also present at the opening were Argentinian Ambassador Federico Barttfeld and his wife, Adriana, officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, members of the Filipino community, including Filipino broadcast journalist at BBC International. Rico Hizon, as well as art connoisseurs in Singapore.
Nine more exhibitions in 8 art galleries will be featured in the upcoming weeks for Art Trek 12.