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Thursday, November 13, 2008

THE VISAYAN ISLANDS VISUAL ARTISTS EXHIBIT-CONFERENCE 2008


THE VIVA EX-CON BACKGROUND

For the last twenty years and now the longest running visual arts exhibit-conference in the country, the Visayan Islands Visual Artists (VIVA) bi-annual meet brings together professional and non-professional visual artists from all over the Visayas as a showcase of Visayan visual art conducted in the capacity of a formal continuing education program. The conference also addresses the strengthening of linkages within the islands, discuss directions and strategies for the whole Visayas arts scene, tackle issues confronting visual artists in the region and discuss trends on going global and venturing to broader realms in art. VIVA Conferences also features artistic workshops on various art-making techniques in relation to various materials and processes as a means of expanding individual artist’s skills and technical know-how.

VIVA Exhibit-Conference (Ex-Con) is held every two years at a venue which rotates among all the regional Visayan centers which have reached or have been reached by the VIVA Executive Committee. The leadership of the VIVAA (the association) also rotates among its members. The first VIVA Ex-Con was held in Mambucal, Bacolod City in 1990 and has since been held in Bacolod City (1992), Dumaguete City (1994), Iloilo City (1996), Cebu City (1998), Tacloban City, Leyte (2000), Tagbilaran City, Bohol (2002), Bacolod City (2004), and Calbayog City, Samar (2006).




THE VIVA SIGNIFICANCE

The spirit of the VIVA Ex-Con has always been the individual expressions and visions of Visual artists from all over the Visayas. This unique bi-annual gathering promotes Visayan art and aesthetics to the rest of the country and to the world.

The VIVA Conference benefits professional and non-professional artists as a continuing education program through the various forums, lectures and creative workshops. It is likewise advantageous to community cultural workers, the academe, and the participating students of art and design. The VIVA makes aware to its delegates realistic issues concerning art and culture in the different islands of the Visayas region.

The VIVA Ex-Con 10 shall in a whole provide a venue for the discussion, production, and reflection of alternative art praxis striving to compete in a globally competitive market informed by the daily struggles of the artist and the community in the 21st century. VIVA is truly a unique activity that addresses the needs of the artists and their important role in the community.

This year’s VIVA EX-CON-X is made possible by the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA), Pusod, Inc. and in partnerships with SM City Cebu, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort, the University of the Philippines Cebu College, the University of San Carlos – College of Architecture and Fine Arts, Pow! Designs, and the City Government of Cebu.




THE PROPONENT ORGANIZATION

PUSOD, Inc. was formally launched in December 1997 with just then 27members signing on as founding members. The members initially came from the school-based UP Cebu Fine Arts Program. It was named “pusod”, a Visayan word for navel, to symbolize the geographical location of the group. With Cebu being located at the center of the country’s geography, the name was nothing more but fitting.

From the onset of the first VIVA in 1990, a sizeable delegation of students and alumni of UP Cebu Fine Arts has provided the bulk from Central Visayas in the succeeding biennials. This long experience with VIVA Ex-Cons, the realization that a single local organization hosting the VIVA Ex-Con-5 in 1998 in Cebu City was the more workable arrangement, coupled with the realization of the need for an organization promoting alternative/indigenous yet technologically sophisticated art making in the Central Visayas, were compelling factors that informed the organization of PUSOD.

The organization is open to all practicing and student artists, as well as artists in allied fields who are willing to contribute to the formation of an artistic praxis that will deal with cultural or artistic production in depth and in the face of techno-cultural flux. We believe that in this new century the artistic challenges facing artists in their communities call for a response that is democratically collective as well as intensely personal finding full and mature expression in free and voluntary organizations such as PUSOD.

The coming into being of PUSOD is itself an achievement. It has successfully organized and liquidated the assets of VIVA Ex-Con 5 in 1998, organized Central Visayas Exhibits of the NCCA-CVA like “MILINYUM” in 1999, partnered with PHILAJAMES-Cebu (Association of Former Mombusho Scholars to Japan) for a group exhibition at the Waterfront Hotel in 2001 are among the activities the organization has accomplished. PUSOD continues to come up with activities that will lead to providing artists who are inclined to non-traditional art making with a forum and venue for the introduction, popularization and celebration of their expression and ultimately their vision.

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