, July 18, 2024

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Egai Talusan Fernandez: Resistance in Quiet Dignity

  •   2 min reads
Egai Talusan Fernandez: Resistance in Quiet Dignity
By Joey Salgado

Egai Talusan Fernandez, who died recently at 68, is being feted by the arts community and the progressive movement for his contribution to the blossoming of social realism in the 70s, of art as a form of protest and resistance. 

Egai’s body of work, especially from the years of dictatorship until the 1986 EDSA Revolution, bear the textures of the streets, the lushness of forests, and the colors of hope. They are bathed in the hues of country and flag. These artworks do not shock, shout, or harangue. Egai’s works whisper and caress, displaying resistance in quiet dignity.

Lakbay ng Lakan
Kadao Productions
Ayala Museum Instagram page
Ateneo Art Galley Facebook page

I saw one of his paintings at the Ateneo Art Gallery last year.  It was part of an exhibit of protest art after the Ninoy Aquino assassination in 1983. At the center was a body, presumably Ninoy’s, slightly contorted, wrapped in a yellow shroud, with confetti raining all around it. How apt to see Egai under a silken flag, surrounded by the people he devoted his art to. 

His death is a great loss to his family, friends, the movement, the arts community, and the nation. Egai’s life - the generosity of being, the light touch, the easy smile, the dedication not only to his art but to the community - is worth celebrating and remembering.

Egai. Before him Neil Doloricon and Pablo “Adi” Baens Santos. The light may be flickering for the pillars of the social realist movement, but the flame they lit continues to burn with passion.

National Commission for Culture and the Arts Facebook page

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