Salcedo Stories

Art of the Land: Rural Scenery in Philippine Art

Art of the Land: Rural Scenery in Philippine Art

  • 23 September 2020

There is a feeling of serenity found in most genre paintings of rural life in the Philippines. Dreamlike scenes depict vast and bountiful landscapes as farmers go about their daily routines, planting and harvesting. These are captivating images that have become unmistakable symbols of Filipino culture.

Two National Artists, Ang Kiukok and Napoleon Abueva, take this theme further by spotlighting the human sides of those who sustain us. In doing so, they add a sense of immediacy– and even familiarity– to these rapturous scenes of bounty.

Effectively, these works of art celebrate our country’s unsung heroes– our farmers– who work tirelessly to share the bountiful fruits of their labors with their countrymen.

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ANG KIUKOK, Harvest , 2004, Oil on canvas

National Artist Ang Kiukok departs from his typically somber themes in this ode to plenitude, using a combination of vibrant colors to breathe life into this work while applying his cubist style to represent the many facets of idyll.

Harvest is not just a snapshot of farmers at work but it is more importantly a symbol of fortitude– brilliantly capturing the tenacity of our farmers amidst the cyclical nature of their work. There is an appeal to lightness in this painting reminiscent of the unwavering resolve of the Filipino spirit.

NAPOLEON ABUEVA, Rice Planters, 1993, Bronze

enowned as the Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture, National Artist Napoleon Abueva recasts a scene of farmers at work.

Rice Planters demands the viewer’s close attention, the amalgamation of forms serving as a visual metaphor for the back-breaking toil that goes into the production of the foods we consume – each grain on our plates the result of hours, days, weeks of unceasing labor.

These works will be offered together with over 100 works of ‘Important Philippine Art’ as part of ‘The Well-Appointed Life’ on Saturday 26 September at 2pm. Click here to view the entire catalogue.