The Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition & Conference (VIVA ExCon) 16 that opened virtually on Sunday, November 8, recalibrated itself for the celebration of its 30th year of unimpeded continuance.
Given the reality of the 2020 pandemic, the limitation imposed by necessary precautionary measures and the impact of such on the mindset of artists, VIVA ExCon 2020 has recalibrated the festival design to engage creative spirits in a virtual dynamics that is interactive, online and will bring together the creative community to rise to the challenge of the times.
VIVA ExCon is a Visayas-wide biennale which was started by the art group Black Artist in Asia in 1990 in Bacolod City and whose hosting has since then toured the Visayan Islands every two years without fail. It has become an effective artist-centered blueprint with which other like initiatives have been patterned after.
It was the main goal of VIVA ExCon to celebrate Visayan art by bridging the islands of the Visayas to provide a venue to facilitate dialogues, interaction, networking and cultural exchanges, thus addressing fundamental and relevant issues among visual art communities and related stakeholders.
Having accomplished such goals in the thirty years of its existence, it now looks towards the future in ways that can best contribute to the development of the communities it serves.
It opened virtually with over 200 attendees from all over the Visayas with simultaneous openings to showcase the artists in their studios, their localities, and featured exhibitions.
A message from Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, VIVA ExCon Chairman Charlie Co and VIVA ExCon Director Manny Montelibano started the proceedings. It was followed by art updates from those in the Visayan islands of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros, Bohol, Cebu, Bantayan, Leyte, and Samar.
It was made more fun with the “Wear your Artwork Challenge,” a statement of coming together of the islands in the new world, where they create ingenious, funny, and imaginative headpieces to wear during the virtual festivities. The best creative wearable art went to Dai Zuh of Bohol who won a Charlie Co artwork.
VIVA ExCon is set to proceed with VCON 1, its virtual conference component on November 11, 13, 15, 18, and 20 and will continue every month until June 2021.*