Rome-based Mindanao protest artist sets Davao exhibit

Jul. 14, 2007

DAVAO CITY — Rome-based sculptor Tomas Concepcion comes home to bring his art to his fellow artists and patrons in Mindanao.

The artist whose works include sculptures of Pope Paul VI, on display at the Vatican University, a monument of Pope John Paul II displayed in Guam, and a two meter statue of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr at the EDSA Shrine, will unveil works spanning fifty years at the Ground Floor, NCCC Mall Davao from July 1 to 31, 2007.

His return not only marks a lifetime of works in bronze and paint, but a renewed hope of interfaith unity. His statements on Father Bossi’s kidnapping in the Philippine Daily Inquirer rings true when he says “…every little effort should help…” for the safe return of a person who has done a lot of good. He is bringing with him an 80cm by 100cm of the kidnapped priest, a portrait he rushed to make using felt tip pens in sepia and black, to arouse “collective indignation” and action.

Concepcion, who is of true Maranaw lineage, traces his roots from Sultan Q’udarat on his mother’s side. Sultan Q’udarat is the legendary Maguindanao chief who lived from 1611 to 1671, and defeated Spanish armies in 1642. On his own right, he has been involved in various movements leading to the EDA Revolt in 1986. While in Rome, he founded the Associazione Filippini Lavoratori in Italia which is credited for legalizing 30,000 Filipino workers in Italy. His speech titled “A New Generation of Heroes,” coined the name Overseas Filipino Worker, when he served as sectoral representative in the House of Representatives during its 9th Congress.

At 17, he studied at the San Francisco State College in the US, where he completed Painting and Theater Design. The degree led him to the Warwick Theaters of New England as set designer, later moving to Montreal, Canada to pursue studies at the Ecole des Bueaux Arts. He toured Europe before settling in Italy where he has a studio.

Tomas Concepcion’s Golden Homecoming Exhibit is presented by the Italian Embassy and Salida Filipina together with Ad and Promo Management, Alchemy of Vision and Light Film Productions, and NCCC Mall Davao. This exhibit is also made possible by media partners’ The Mindanao Times, The Mindanao Insider, GTV Asia, APM TV, 92.3 Wild FM with the special participation of the Helena Z Benitez School of Fine Arts and Culture-Philippine Women’s College.

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