By Nikky F. Necessario

National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) opened its doors for the “Floral Splendour” exhibit curated by Cid Reyes. The exhibit’s theme, as the title suggests, is all about different flowers.

Upon entering the gallery, it is Inka Madera’s ‘Amaryllis Belladona’ that catches your eye. Madera chose the flower particularly because of its seductive yet innocent look. This species, more known as the ‘Naked Lady’ plant, originated from South Africa and has a very fragrant smell. The plant got its name from its long “naked” stems that appear to be like legs of a woman.

At the middle of the space is Melissa Villasenor’s ‘Variegated Bougainvillea 1 & 2’ and ‘White Bougainvillea,’ which was approved for printing as a Philippine postal stamp. Bougainvilleas are plants that can be seen in almost every neighborhood in the country. They come in different colors such as the two in the painting, as well as orange, yellow, red, and purple. 

‘Amaryllis Belladona’ by Inka Madera.

A lotus leaf made from copper stands under a dim light. The solo sculpture in the exhibit was magnificently assembled by Tet Aligaen. Lotus flowers are considered sacred among the Buddhists. Found in white and pink colors, lotuses grow in shallow and muddy waters but nevertheless put forth beautiful blossoms.

Flor Baradi’s ‘Femme Fatale Series’ can be quite deceptive. A flower that, seen up close, can be a creepy bug or a monstrous sea creature, drawn in black and white. Chie Cruz’s vibrant watercolor paintings of flowers in bloom, ‘Flower 5’ and ‘Flower 8,’ are vivid paintings of red roses. This particular flower might be classified under the Modern family of Roses which include Hybrid Tea Roses, Floribunda Roses, and Grandiflora Roses.

(Left to right) ‘Variegated Bougainvillea 1’, ‘Variegated Bougainvillea 2’,
and ‘White Bougainvillea’ by Melissa Villasenor.

Works of Naomi Banal, Remy Boquiren, Addie Cukingnan, Sheila Tiangco, and Lydia Velasco are also featured in the gallery. The paintings are for sale ranging from Php 4,000 to a million pesos.

The garden of paintings as well as the lone sculpture were all created by female artists. The exhibit is a celebration for March as National Women’s Month.

Floral Splendour is open for viewing until April 3, 2019 at the NCCA ground floor area.

NCCA is located at 633 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila. Admission is free.