Art/Style/Travel Diaries

Loren Legarda gives praise to foremost sculptor Junyee in first ever sculpture garden

UP Los Baños Sculpture Garden opens with the works of the country's leading installation artist

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda with artist Luis “Junyee” Yee Jr.

                                  Sen. Loren Legarda at the UPLB Sculpture Garden

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda led the launch of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Sculpture Garden, conceptualized and designed by Luis “Junyee” Yee, Jr., the country’s foremost installation artist, last April 4.

“Sa mundong namamayagpag ang teknolohiya at modernisasyon, naniniwala akong ang sining at kultura ay siyang gabay natin upang mapanatiling makabuluhan at buhay ang ating identidad, kasaysayan, at kuwento ng ating lipunan (In a world ruled by technology and unbridled modernization, I believe that the arts and culture will imbue meaning into the nation’s fabric, our identity as a people, our history and the story of our society),” Legarda said.

“Sa pamamagitan ng sining, malaya nating naihahayag ang ating kritikal na pag-iisip, at ang ating mga hangarin para sa kinabukasang mas maunlad, payapa, at may pagkakapantay-pantay (Through the arts, we have the freedom to nurture our critical thinking, to express our dream and hope for a future that is progressive, peaceful, and in a free and fair society),” she added.

At the launch, from left: UPLB College of Economics and Management dean Dr. Ma. Angeles O Catelo, ,Atty. Antonio Oposa, UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science associate dean for Instruction Dr. Adeliza A. Dorado, NCCA chairman Victorino “Ino” Manalo, director of UPLB Office for Initiatives for Culture and the Arts Dr. Laurence Castillo, Luis “Junyee” Yee Jr., Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, UPLB chancellor Jose Camacho Jr., UPLB vice chancellor Roberto Cereno,, UPLB vice chancellor Rossana Amongo, assistant to the UPLB chancellor Dr. Eileen Mamino, and faculty member from UPLB College of Development Communication Dr. Winifredo B. Dagli

The UPLB Sculpture Garden, a first of its kind in the country, is a project initiated by the Office of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda and the UPLB administration.

In the Sculpture Garden is the pavilion designed by architect Bimbo Baltre, its hall serving as an events place to help generate funding for the maintenance of the garden.

Junyee’s award-winning works will be put on permanent exhibition, including the first indoor installation exhibition in the history of art, Wood Thing, made in 1980.

Also in the sculpture garden is the monument supported by Legarda, Bantayog Wika, a structure that aims to monumentalize the country’s indigenous languages by constructing physical structures to symbolize the significance of Philippine languages as repositories of Filipino culture’s wealth of indigenous knowledge, social values, life practices and traditions, and history.

“Isinasalarawan ng sining ang mga isyu at suliranin ng lipunan na minsan ay ating nakakaligtaan o hindi makuhang banggitin at mapag-usapan (The arts have depicted and concretized the issues and problems of society which we have neglected or failed to recognize and discuss),” said Legarda.

“Kung kaya, sa isang magaling na alagad ng sining, ang aking kaibigan, Junyee, lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa pagbabahagi mo ng iyong galing at talento. Salamat sa iyong malikhaing pagbibigay boses at kahulugan sa mga talakayin sa lipunan at sa ating kapaligiran (That is why, to a pillar of the arts, to our friend, Junyee, we express our gratitude for sharing his talent with the country, and for giving voice and lending meaning to the concerns and issues in our society and environment).”

Legarda has long been recognized as an advocate of cultural preservation, supporting endeavors such as the Schools of Living Traditions, sponsored the documentation of indigenous knowledge and traditional practices, and organized regional assemblies, and the first national indigenous cultural summit.

‘Wood Thing’ is one of the significant artworks in the office of Senate Protempore Loren Legarda.

The four-term senator, who concurrently serves as  chairperson of the Senate Committee on Culture and the Arts, has legislated several measures, including the Cultural Mapping Law, which contributes largely in the continued promotion and preservation of Filipino culture and heritage.

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