Riceworld Museum celebrates National Arts Month with iconic symbol of bountiful harvest

 JayCo Valmon   |  

In celebration of the National Arts Month in the Philippines, the Riceworld Museum is featuring a special exhibit called Kiping in touch by Filipino artist Erick Dator at Asia Room, Chandler Hall, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Headquarters.

Mr. Dator hails from Lucban Quezon, the home of the very popular and colorful Pahiyas Festival. Pahiyas is a traditional celebration of the townsfolk, held every May 15, in honor of San Isidro de Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. The visual centerpiece of Pahiyas is the kiping—a brilliantly colored, leaf-shaped wafer made out of rice flour used to adorn houses during the festival—that has become a cultural icon. Inspired by the iconic symbol of thanksgiving, the artist created delightful images over a tapestry of meticulously prepared kiping celebrating the folk flavor and spectacle of the Philippines.  Mr. Dator’s other notable achievements include solo art exhibits in New York and other US cities. The artist has also exhibited his works in Germany, UK, Netherlands, and Austria. After travelling for more than 10 years, he returned to Lucban to share his Pahiyas-inspired rice art with the public.

“Rice is art and, at IRRI, we celebrate the various contributions of rice to society. We are honored to host Erick Dator’s art at IRRI’s Riceworld Museum, and to give the IRRI and Los Baños communities an opportunity to appreciate his unique style that draws inspiration from the Pahiyas festival from his hometown of Lucban, Quezon. We invite everyone to come and see Kiping in touch,” says IRRI’s Director of External Relations Corinta Guerta. Ms. Guerta, Head of Communication Tony Lambino, and Riceworld Museum Curator Paul Hilario, and Erik Dator opened the exhibit on 24 February 2015. The exhibit will be open to all visitors of the Riceworld Museum until 13 March.

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