‘Foolish’ art

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Monday, March 31, 2014

THERE'S a castle nestled somewhere in a sleepy town up north.

For months now, accounts of fantasies and adventures in a fun place have escaped its doors unto the ears of every kid at heart. It’s been said that nobody gets out without being enchanted.

Step in with your bare feet (visitors are instructed to remove their footwear) into a kingdom of imagination as a local art destination invites you to a string of extraordinary optical illusion. Take off your shoes (literally) and hop into a creative journey. Explore!


Cebu Happy World Museum in Barangay Gabi in Cordova, Cebu, is not your typical museum. No, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is not so prim and proper with that signature smile nor the monk in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is shrieking for nothing like crazy. Would you like a quirky twist?

Put that stage face on! At Happy World, you can act as if you’re scribbling colors on Mona Lisa’s face or aiming a gun at the hysterical monk. Of course your camera—film, digital or what-have—will come in handy during this crucial theatrical moment of your existence because the scenario becomes alive only when captured by the lens. Artificial scenes on the walls gone real on cam, so to say. Tricky, isn’t it?

It’s called miracle art. Plane or two-dimensional paintings are expressed as three-dimensional works wherein spectators are the protagonists of the situations portrayed in the paintings.

Happy World was opened Dec. 7, 2013 by a team of Korean proprietors. According to general manager Lee Jeong Yong, who also goes by the name Freddie Lee, miracle art is a famous amusement back in Korea.

Happy World sprawls on a 1,500-square-meter land; it’s that big that it could house the extinct dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. Well, behemoth creatures in paint, that is. Lee said the entire art inside the house takes two to three months in the making.

A total of 70 paintings were done by eight Korean artists, covering the themes World Famous Arts, Divinity, Ocean, Jurassic Animal, Philippine and Ending Sections. In case you’re not a play material, presentation guides are pinned right beside each work.

The staff is also a tap away to assist or direct your script. If you want to take a break, a receiving area where you can order some refreshments or perhaps a framed souvenir is just around the corner. If you have all day then pose to your heart’s content. If not, spare two hours of your time for a photo opportunity with every art.

Cebu Happy World Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Entrance fee is based on age and locality. Insert standard amount here. Hint: Children below four years old are free.

Pilgrims have come to visit. Vanity, smiles, laughter, drama—Happy World has witnessed it all. Yes, in a world where everyone is busy growing up, there’s always time to be a child again. Sometimes, all it takes is a little miracle art. Get happily “fooled” by the illusion; it’s April Fool’s Day anyway.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 01, 2014.


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