The Three People of South Cotabato in the Kalilangan Art Exhibit

THE ARTIST AND HIS ART. Leonardo Rey S. Cariño poses in the middle of giant paintings for his one-man show “Opisyo”. (photo added)

OPISYO.  Pineapple Pickers, 2022, 48in x 122in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf.  (photo added)

OPISYO. Pineapple Pickers, 2022, 48in x 122in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf. (photo added)

OPISYO.  Scaling the Fish, 2022, 24in x48in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf.  (photo added)

OPISYO. Scaling the Fish, 2022, 24in x48in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf. (photo added)

OPISYO.  Sellers, 2022, 48in x 48in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf.  (Photo added)(Photo added)

OPISYO. Sellers, 2022, 48in x 48in, enamel on canvas with gold leaf. (Photo added)(Photo added)

South Cotabato’s First Congressional District celebrates Kalilangan Festival and National Arts Month 2022 with a solo exhibition by its multi-talented artist and educator Leonardo Rey S. Cariño – a visual artist, interior designer, curator, director of theatre, choreographer, cultural worker and researcher – focusing on the common tao and their livelihood.

Titled “Opisyo” – meaning occupation, craft, way of life, and business – Cariño was commissioned to render in large canvases the economic activities of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), Moro, and settlers in the Congressional District that spans the southern municipalities of Polomolok, Tampakan, Tupi and, just until 2022, the independent city of General Santos. (On September 15, 2021, Bill No. 10021 authored by Representative Ferdinand Hernandez officially designates General Santos as an isolated district, separate from South Cotabato).

Like the rest of Mindanao, the IPs, Moro and settlers lived in harmony in South Cotabato and this peaceful coexistence in a thriving economy is what the three murals and several smaller but still large paintings in leaf enamels ‘gold on canvas display in vivid color in Cariño’s distinct and carefree brushstrokes at the SM City General Santos Event Center February 18-28, 2022.

Cariño is one of the promoters of creative industries in the city of General Santos and started the annual Teatro Ambahanon (TASDW) Summer Dance Workshop, a training ground for beginning and pre-workout dance theater artists. professionals. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, he took up painting beginning his design practice right out of college. He has therefore had several individual and collective exhibitions.

He was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) NCVA National Visual Arts Committee in early 2000. He turned to the performing arts and founded the famous Teatro Ambahanon (winner of the Hibiscus Excellence Award from China Asean Theater Week) of the Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges in General Santos City, where he also works as a cultural development coordinator.

He returned to the visual arts after joining the Philippine Women’s College of Davao Helena Benitez School of Arts and Design as Chair of the Interior Design Program at PWC and joined group exhibitions in Davao Zamboanga, Cagayan De Oro and General Santos Cities, including two international Under One Sky exhibitions. during the Brunei Darussalam Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines (BIPM) International Festival of Cultures and Selingan Seni (Artistic Neighbors), a performance by artists from Mindanao and Sabahan. He is among the artists from Region 12 featured by the Metropolitan Museum in My City My SM My Art in February 2018. In 2017, he joined artist Davao Anoy Catague in a duo exhibition, Duyog, at the Museo de Oro du Xavier Ateneo in Cagayan. de Oro and The Gift of Mindanao Music as Heritage at Museo Dabawenyo, held as a museum component activity for Heritage Month. Her latest solo show, Bai Nu Galang (Women of Brass) was staged at the Ateneo de Davao University and remounted in Cotabato City for the Shariff Kabunsuan Festival.

Carino was the featured artist at the second edition of the Mindanao Art Fair where he assembled 240 drawings of Mindanao tricycles into a mural. Called MinTODA Art Project, a mural has been installed at the art fair but which has exhibits in the cities of Tagum, Pagadian Koronadal and General Santos and the city of Misdayap in response to the pandemic which has limited physical interactions for art viewers. The artistic project has become a promising project in response to the difficulties in bringing together a physical audience; in essence, the MinTODA art project has brought the art fair to the public who cannot travel to Davao. MinTOS became one of the projects presented by Gawad Bagong Biswal of the National Visual Arts Committee of the NCCA for artistic initiatives designed and carried out in response to the challenges of the pandemic.

“Opisyo” is his seventh personal exhibition.

Corina C. Butler