Discovering Bicol through Bicol X 1.1 

Thirteen (13) emerging artists and exhibitors from various locations in Bicol gathered during the opening of Bicol X 1.1 art exhibit in Lola Sayong Community Hub, Ayala Malls Legazpi, on Monday, May 13. 

Bicol X 1.1 is an international exhibition of both contemporary art and culture which opts to celebrate the bustling dynamic and artistic expressions from three major cities in the region: Legazpi, Iriga, and Naga. 

Mun, 66, the Singaporean curator of Bicol X 1.1 initiative, also the founder and roving curator of Lucaa Global, said in an interview with Bicoldotph that in his 49 years doing creative business he loves to work with people that are passionate enough to pursue art which is why he organized this platform to put all the artists together and explore the essence of Bicol through their creative works. 

“I talk to the artists, and when they do, they start the submission, and I look through them. But very important in these starting artists is that I saw that they’re very passionate on what they do and I only want to work with people (like that). All the work have souls. Everyone has a soul and its very unique,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Dennis Concepcion, the founder of ArtLift PH Bicol and a local artist based in Albay who is among the line-up for Bicol X 1.1 initiative implicates that the exhibit has helped him gain learnings on how to further improve his art style. 

“Nakatulong sa akin sa promotion and then may mga sinuggest sa akin si Sir Mun kung papaano ko pa maiimprove ‘to. Nung nakita niya ‘yung mga artworks ko, sabi niya may ilalabas ka pang something,” he added.                                     

Bicol X 1.1 first photography exhibit

Bicol X 1.1 also portrays its first photography exhibit in Legazpi City. Starting off with a strong vibe coming from an island province, a Masbateño photographer emerges to be the first photographer-exhibitor in the international art exhibit. 

Oscar Labido Jr. comes by the artist name ‘Oz,’ is the first Bicolano photographer featured in the said exhibit along with two of his bull photographs from the Rodeo Capital of the Philippines, Masbate province. 

Being the last artist to join the line up for the said exhibit, Oz has become one of Mun’s picks in this specific art discipline.

“I think that there is a lot of artists, especially the emerging artists. So maybe they have different discipline. OZ came in very, very last minute so I actually have his work printed and framed it here in Legazpi,” Mun said. 

Following his 4 years as a professional photographer based in Masbate, Oz highlighted that he is continuing to learn while doing his passion in the photography field.

“In a short span of my experience in the world of arts, I discerned that in order to excel in your craft, you should do it with a grateful heart, do it as if you’re giving back to The One who has gifted you the talent and skills, do it to express and not to impress,” he added.  

Bicol X 1.1 initiative will open its Naga City leg this coming Thursday, May 16, at the Jesse Robredo Museum and V Gallery x museum opening on May 17. Its last leg will be at Iriga City on May 19. | Danica Roselyn Lim

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