IN PRINTMAKING, the inked or painted design is transferred to a surface such as paper, or cloth, or wood. Multiple copies of the design can be made — each image in the multiple copies is considered an original — but often these are limited to editions. Thus, one can see a print with a marking like 4/100, meaning it is the fourth print from an edition of 100 prints of the same image.
The images are “intimate” — they are meant to be seen up close. And thanks to a print portfolio project of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the Association of Pinoyprintmakers (AP), one can get very up close and personal with the art.
Originally slated for the 50th anniversary celebration of the CCP, the special limited-edition print portfolio — 20/30: A Limited Edition Print Portfolio — is a collection of fine prints using traditional printmaking techniques by practitioners who have contributed to the development of Philippine contemporary printmaking.
20/30: A Limited Edition Print Portfolio is the second commemorative print folio project of the CCP in partnership with AP — the first was 25@45 produced in 2014, in celebration of CCP’s 45th anniversary.
Established in 1969, the Association of Pinoyprintmakers (AP) — formerly known as the Printmakers Association of the Philippines (PAP) — is a regular partner under the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division. In 1997, the CCP provided PAP with a printmaking studio at the back of the Folk Arts Theater, which the AP uses to this day. The CCP continues to partner with AP through regular programs such as annual exhibitions, demos at the CCP Pasinaya Festival, workshops, and studio visits with guest artists, curators, and cultural workers.
“Prints are intimate artworks. It is meant to be seen up close like illustrations in books. It is meant to be examined, like engraved maps… Art is a way of creating feeling, expressing oneself, thereby creating a link between one’s internal and external self,” artist Virgilio “Pandy” Aviado, AP President Emeritus, said at the online launch of the folio on Sept. 17 via Zoom.
THE ARTISTS AND THEIR PRINTS
The print portfolio consists of two sets of works by 40 leading printmakers.
The artists featured in this portfolio are or were affiliated with Association of Pinoyprintmakers (AP). Participating artists in Folio 1 are National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, Alfredo Juan Aquilizan, Virgilio Aviado, Elmer Borlongan, Benjamin Torrado Cabrera, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Fil Delacruz, Neil Doloricon, Jess Flores, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Raul Isidro, Manuel Ocampo, Dr. Rod Paras Perez, Rodolfo Samonte, and Juvenal Sanso.
In Folio 2, the prints are by artists Ambie Abano, Leonard Aguinaldo, Mars Bugaoan, Kristen Cain, Salvador Ching, Joey Cobcobo, Janos Delacruz, Yas Doctor, Noel EL Farol, Eugene Jarque, Vilia Jefremovas, Lenore RS Lim, Angelo Magno, Hershey Malinis, Jonathan Olazo, Caroline Ongpin, Renan Ortiz, Henrielle Pagkaliwangan, Radel Paredes, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Rhoda Recto, Jun-Jun Sta. Ana, Suchin Teoh, Wesley Valenzuela, and Anton Villaruel.
During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdowns, painter Elmer Borlongan had the time to return to printmaking in his studio in Zambales. His works for the folio were done using a small etching press he borrowed from a fellow artist.
For his works in the book, Mr. Borlongan experimented with the drypoint process on plexiglass, and on carton packages.
“You always have the thing in reverse. Sometimes, I have drawn them on the plate and then I already carved it then I realized, the image is not in reverse. So, I have to do it all over again,” Mr. Borlongan said of the experience working on prints.
2021 CCP 13 Artist Awardee Mars Bugaoan began printmaking when he joined AP workshops in 2013. For his works in the folio, he used the silkscreen printing method to achieve a design made from discarded wires.
Meanwhile, for Christina Quisumbing Ramilo’s Artist Blocks, she explored the embossed method with prints on dry carved wood. She drew inspiration from the stacks of old books that accumulated in her home.
“Ang ganda ng sense of community and camaraderie with printmakers na wala kapag pintor ka or gumagawa ka ng sariling mong trabaho (There is beauty in the sense of community and camaraderie among printmakers which you can’t find as a painter or when working alone),” Ms. Ramilo said of having to work with a group.
“As we launch the limited edition print folio. I am certain that getting a copy will be of great worth, not only for art collectors and patrons, but for the artistic community as well,” CCP President Arsenio “Nick” J. Lizaso said.
The proceeds from 20/30: A Limited Edition Print Portfolio will go to CCP and AP fundraising programs. To order limited edition prints, visit https://bit.ly/OrderForm_20_30. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman