Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manara: Ayala Museum's Interactive Installation Celebrating Moro Art

Manara is the Arabic word for Minaret. As such, this word defined the thrust of Ayala Museum's new exhibit featuring elegant structures from the hands of internationally acclaimed sculptor and painter Toym Imao and industrial designer and installation artist Lilianna Manahan.

I attended the press conference, situated in the Ayala Museum, to catch a preview of this momentous exhibit, which in essence captured the diversity and grandeur of Mindanaoan art. Through the gracious invitation of Ms. Sol Razo and Ms. Abi of Full Circle Communications, I was able to witness the splendid occasion.

We were seated in a long table, where we got to interact with executives and other top officials of the Ayala Foundation, the organization which operates the Ayala Museum. 

We then had a sumptuous lunch, which had delicacies from Mindanao.

Ms. Lilianna Manahan gave her message, which richly expressed her views on diversity and her rationale for taking on the project. The exhibit represented her views on faith and diversity.

Mr. Toym Imao, on the other hand, expressed his sentiments on Mindanaoan art. Coming from a Muslim background in Mindanao, he talked about the symbolism of a Minaret and the need to recognize diversity in our local culture.

“The spirit of collaboration, mutual respect, and creativity shown in Manāra is the exact same spirit that we live by at Ayala Foundation,”  states Ayala Foundation president Mr. Ruel Maranan. The exhibit is part of the foundation's effort to increase its thrust into helping Minadanaoan communities, as well as raise awareness for their needs and aspirations. 

The exhibit was composed of  Moro textiles, wood and metal work, music, and indigenous patterns. It had an imposing and sturdy exterior coupled with a myriad of colors, each representing the various cultures of Mindanao.

It also had a series of Bronze gongs reminiscent of Muslim heritage.

Some of the patterns represented the Muslim minorities who have been marginalized in the past.

The entire facade of the museum had these structures on display.

The exhibit itself posed a number of questions to the viewers. One of these is the essence and nature of conflict. According to Ms. Manahan, this depicted her own personal faith. She placed these questions to help the viewer create an introspective look on themselves; as well as ponder their direction in life. 

About Ayala Foundation

As the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are creative, productive, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. Ayala Foundation's main program areas are Education, Youth Leadership, Sustainable Livelihood, and Arts and Culture. For more information, visit www.ayalafoundation.org, or “Like” facebook.com/ayalafoundation.

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