When art marries poetry

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By Betsy Gazo


Saturday, May 3, 2014

IT WAS a late afternoon filled with visual and auditory pleasures at Ian Jay Bantilan’s one-man show titled “Dark Stained White.”

Friends and family filled the Changing Exhibit area-cum-foyer of the Museo Negrense de la Salle at the University of St. La Salle last April 24.

We were there to view the second of a series of the Ink on Boards and Poetry exhibit of artist and architect Ian Jay Bantilan in Bacolod City.


Each of the 18 or so framed black-and-white works had a corresponding four-stanza poem that reflects the current events theme of the exhibit.

The poet himself read all his poems to an audience who was all ears to him. Each poem was accompanied by music. Ian explored various subjects such as humanity, the Chinese dominance in the world market, materialism, and even romance. There is a constant reference to the Bible which reflects the artist’s religious beliefs and spiritual journey.

In his poem dedicated to single women, he encourages ladies to be patient for God’s best and not to fall prey to worldliness.

His works on the dominance of China in trade and industry is also a plea and a wake-up call to our country to shape up in that area.

The works carry a certain darkness but has little to do with black and white; it is more attributed to the overall theme that deals with not-so-very-pleasant issues. Society’s angst makes for thought-provoking artworks.

It may be dark but there is nothing too dark about “Dark Stained White” that will make one cringe when one sees it on his living room wall. In fact, there is a certain “washed” effect that makes the collection soothing to the eyes.

Arch. Ian Jay Bantilan is a graduate of B.S. Architecture of the University of Santo Tomas. He received his Architecture license in the January 2003 Board Exams. He currently teaches Architecture at La Consolacion College in Bacolod. He is not only a poet and artist but also a blogger (archian.wordpress.com.)

Our multi-talented artist discovered poetry while at a construction site he was supervising. See? Inspiration can strike anywhere. In Ian Bantilan’s case, inspiration was channeled into reality.

This exhibit is a dream come true for him for he had conceptualized this 10 years ago.

Ian spent his beginnings dabbling in colored pencil and watercolor. An important influence in his early days was his uncle Mario Lubrico who encouraged Ian to go into sculpture in clay and plaster. He still paints as a hobby and does acrylics.

Interested collectors will want to know the affordability of the sketches. Each artwork barely costs $200 and comes with a four-stanza poem and a CD audio of the artist’s reading of the poem.

The “Dark Stained White” art collection runs until May 22.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 03, 2014.


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