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Aileen Lanuza and Kaayo Mindanao Artisans Weave The Threads Of Our Histories In Latest Solo Exhibition

For the artist, they are stories we continue to tell and live today—and such is how the story of the Filipina is vested in the Maria Clara.

This August, contemporary visual artist Aileen Lanuza unveils flourishing tapestries in her latest collection, entitled “A Symphony of Roots”. This solo exhibition will have its opening reception on August 9, Wednesday, 5 pm at Galerie Stephanie, located on the 4th floor of Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City.

The resplendent tune of shared memories once whispered in the shade of grand narratives resonates in the works of Lanuza, a reminder of the bonds that transcend time and place. For the artist, they are stories we continue to tell and live today—and such is how the story of the Filipina is vested in the Maria Clara.

Working closely with Mindanaoan artisans of Kaayo, a collective dedicated to telling our woven stories, Lanuza hearkens back to our roots, using indigenous weaves from tribes across the region in her compositions. Founded in 2016 by mother-daughter Mary Ann “Baby” Montemayor and Margarita Nograles, clothing line Kaayo brings Mindanaoan weaving heritage to the world, collaborating with women from the T’boli, B’laan, Mandaya, Bagobo Tagabawa, Tagakaolo, and Ata Manobo tribes to raise awareness of, preserve, and reimagine their individual weaving methods and traditions.

Each thread, each brushstroke traces a strand of a long and rich history, woven into symphonic tapestries. Each creation carries the weight of ages past, a tale of triumph and struggle, that echoes through time.

“I share the same passion as Kaayo has, in maintaining our roots and bringing forth our custom indigenous weaves that are inherently Filipino,” Lanuza shares. “It is important for me in my works to highlight the best of what we are, maintaining our identity and always, bearing the power to be who we are.”

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Strong, grounded, proud, and unshakeable, these are the women that Lanuza portrays in her works while continuing to embrace the ever-evolving cadence of the world we now live in.

Relating her experiences as a modern Filipina, Lanuza delineates a heritage that is not just a relic of the past, but whose tune we always carry, resounding in everything we do and constantly redefining who we are and can be. Her signature floral compositions follow the movement, form, and eloquence of the Maria Clara, capturing its timelessness, its quiet intensity, and the enduring flourish of its beauty. As she composes this symphony of roots, the pieces interweave destinies of those who hear its call.

Aileen Lanuza (b. 1981) entered the University of the Philippines Diliman to study fine arts majoring in visual communication. Come 2008, she held her first one-man show and has been part of auctions and publications the same year. A prolific artist, Lanuza has shown works in different countries around Asia and North America. Her style has consistently focused on women and the female experience; from realistic Filipinianas and pop art homages, to impressionistic self-portraits and enigmatic figures, she invites her audience to contemplate the emotion and context of her subjects. Depicting both tenderness and strength in one picture is what makes Lanuza one of the most sought-after Filipino contemporary artists today.

“A Symphony of Roots” will be on view from August 9 – 27, 2023. Galerie Stephanie is located on the 4th floor of Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City. For more information, you may call (63 2) 7940-5726 or email inquiry.galeriestephanie@gmail.com.

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