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The exhibit runs from October 22 to November 12 and will raise funds for Sansó scholars.

Per Fundacion Sansó, “Juvenal Sansó’s favorite expressionist subject of skulls—and its meaning of mortality and rebirth—are explored in Fundacion Sansó’s latest exhibit, which runs from October 22 to November 12.”

Juvenal Sansó in his Paris studio in the 1960s | Photographed by National Artist Bencab

They add that “during Sansó’s Black Period from the 1950s to the early ‘60s, while he was still coming to terms with his trauma from World War II, the artist was inspired by Baudelaire’s Artificial Paradise wherein one of the phrases described a human skull wreathed with flowers.” 

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Past Expressing colored inks by Juvenal Sansó

A reinterpretation of Sansó’s Black Period

The concepts of rebirth and hope are explored in “Past Expressing”, wherein Fundacion Sansó, in collaboration with Art Lounge Manila, commissioned artist Pepe Mendoza to create and cast resin sculptures of Sansó’s skulls with flowers. These skulls were then given to 17 noted Filipino guest artists to interpret the concept with their own choice of medium and techniques. 

Homage to Baudelaire sculpture by Juvenal Sansó

Fundacion Sansó elaborates, “Each artist’s interpretation and exploration of the skull theme are varied and unexpected, ranging from kinetic sculptures, traditional painting, an explosion of color and material, and a deconstruction of form. In this show, the artists “rebirthed” the skulls into something totally different.”

Honoring Sansó’s wishes

In addition, “Past Expressing” is also a fundraising exhibit, and part of the proceeds from the sales of these skulls will benefit the Sansó Student Stipend Fund for art students of the Bulacan State University (BulSU) College of Architecture and Fine Arts. 

Fundacion Sansó explains, “When Fundacion Sansó was created, Juvenal Sansó expressed his wish to establish a scholarship for art students, as he was one himself; and the Sansó Student Stipend Fund was created.”

Hope as a gift

Hope is also what Fundacion Sansó intends to give to deserving art students at the Bulacan State University, as it is currently providing scholarships to its fourth batch of art scholars, from which 22 scholars have already benefited. In this process of altruism, Sansó’s expressionist skulls become instead—instead of death and despair—symbols of hope and new beginnings.  

Guest artists for this exhibit include Agnes Arellano, Richard Buxani, Michael Cacnio, Teo, Jonathan Dangue, Anton del Castilo, Janos Delacruz, Louie Ignacio, Toym Imao, Kristine Lim, Pepe Mendoza, Kenneth Montegrande, Francis Nacion, Roel Obemio, Marge Organo, Jomike Tejido, and Melissa Yeung Yap.

By Agnes Arellano
By Anton del Castillo
By Janos Delacruz

“Past Expressing” runs from October 22 to November 12 at Fundacion Sansó located at 32 V. Cruz St. Barangay Sta. Lucia, San Juan.

The exhibit is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Admission is free.

Email Fundacion Sansó at [email protected] for inquiries and follow them on Instagram @fundacion_sanso and on Facebook @FUNDACIONSANSO.

Photos courtesy of Fundacion Sansó.