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Sio Montera


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Painting, Mixed Media, Photography ... 64 Followers Member since 2006
Taiwan

Biography

Sio Montera is visual-artist from the Philippines. His own brand of process-oriented abstraction narrates the sights, interactions, and experiences that are masterfully translated onto the canvas with acrylic and non-traditional media. He experiments with industrial techniques and processes that lend an esoteric yet grounded feel to his paintings. He obtained his Masters degree in painting from the University of the Philippines and is currently completing a Doctoral degree in the creative industries in Tainan, Taiwan.

Sio Montera is visual-artist from the Philippines. His own brand of process-oriented abstraction narrates the sights, interactions, and experiences that are masterfully translated onto the canvas with acrylic and non-traditional media. He experiments with industrial techniques and processes that lend an esoteric yet grounded feel to his paintings. He obtained his Masters degree in painting from the University of the Philippines and is currently completing a Doctoral degree in the creative industries in Tainan, Taiwan. Read less

Sio Montera

Global Caliber By Luis A. Quibranza III, Published in SunStar Daily Cebu, Monday, February 25, 2013


IN A CLASS display of beauty and sophistication, this new premium art gallery in town selected one of the finer abstraction maestros in the city to be showcased for its inauguration.

Dennis “Sio” Montera, renowned for his large-scale abstract expressionist paintings, is the artist featured for the gallery’s launch. Dubbed The Contemporary, this 60-square meter space is located at the second level of the Design Center of Cebu building, AS Fortuna St., Mandaue City, Cebu.

According to chief curator, JV Castro, The Contemporary is “Cebu’s first premium fine
art gallery carrying art pieces from artists of distinction and repute.”

Castro is joined by Anne Lacson as managing director and Hara Vian See as public relations and communications director.

“[Montera’s] new masterpieces strongly reflect the profound shift in Visayan visual arts from the conservative realist style to the groundbreaking contemporary style,” explained Castro in a statement.

The exhibit entitled “DefiniSIOn” features 19 of the artist’s recent works delving in his trademark interpretation of abstract expressionism.

Also, in what Montera would deny as some leaning toward more scientifically progressive work, he claims that his knack for iron oxide and playing with rust recently, is simply an aesthetic thing.

“I like how the rust look gives an effect that the artwork is something conceived through time, plus it blends with my established style of lines, gestures and colors.”

The artist also mentions a turn for more mature tones in his works.

“I’ve been using a lot of earth tones recently; for me it speaks of maturity. These are also stable colors now, no need for eye candy.

“This exhibit is some sort of culmination of whatever I learned for the past two years; technique, material and composition,” explained Montera who has been selected to four major international art events in the same time frame, not counting other awards and distinctions.

“These (paintings) can compete globally,” humbly mentioned a satisfied Montera. “But I still want to become better. I still want to improve more.”

Such words can only come from a true artist who is continually evolving. Indeed, Montera is one whose sights are set for no less than the world itself. “This here is also an opening salvo of what is greater to come.”

The same words are fitting for The Contemporary art gallery as well. The industrial-inspired space has already highly-notable and esteemed visual artists lined up for exhibits during the entire year. The gallery, steered by Castro, Lacson and See, has placed easily itself as one of the premium venues for contemporary art here in Cebu; one that aims to feature art, from both established and emerging talents, that could easily go toe-to-toe with others on a global scale.

“DefiniSIOn” will run from Feb. 12 to March 2.


Foto+Abstac|SIO|n 3: An Introduction to Montera Aesthetics By JV Castro


Cebu’s prolific artist outdoes himself again in the exhibition Foto+Abstac|SIO|n 3. Taking inspiration from thirty images found in different Bluewater Resorts in Maribago, Sumilon, and Panglao, Sio Montera uses the camera as a medium to capture the essence of an abstract image. His photographs are an ode to the elements of visual art.

In viewing the exhibition, Montera trains his viewers to look beyond the literal subject of the photograph. Instead, he wants them to dissect it into lines, shapes, colors, forms, and textures. Pointing to 90°, at first sight, is a rock commonly found in Cebu, but it is transformed into a rough, vaguely triangular surface in a negative space if it is seen the Montera way.

Another important highlight of the exhibition are his photographs printed on art canvas that seem to remind his viewers of the classic Sio done in acrylic and bitumen on canvas. Either a pure coincidence or, perhaps, a welcoming prophecy of success in the new medium, Rising Surface Tension is one of those pieces look like a signature Montera painting at a distance. However, a closer look reveals its pure photographic nature derived from layers of paint on a peeling wall. Other pieces in Foto+Abstac|SIO|n 3 are a perfect blend of photography and painting. Montera’s perfection of technique can be found in pieces like Crossing the Shadow Lines, Phallus, and A Cascade of Cantilevered Planes.

His experimenting on different techniques and approaches to art is a testament to the diversity of contemporary art in Cebu. The constant evolution of Montera’s art reflects a highly developed taste and well-informed knowledge on the art scene outside the confines of his hometown. After all, Sio has won prestigious awards including the Philipp Morris Art Prize and the GSIS Art Competition. Currently, he is also the Vice-Chair for the National Committee on Visual Arts of NCCA. Most importantly, Sio Montera is one of the most influential living artists of his generation.

Foto+Abstac|SIO|n 3 is more than just an exhibition. It is a lecture on art, on abstract photography, and on aesthetics as Montera trains the eye to see objects in a different light.


JV Castro is the Director and Chief Curator of the Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum. Prior to his recent directorship in Cebu, he served as a curator and art consultant for Hafnia Foundation in Xiamen, China. He is one of the few graduates of the Art Management course at the Ateneo de Manila University. He is currently one of the leading authorities on contemporary Cebuano art.


WHEN SURVIVING FAILURE IS AN OPTION: Sio Montera’s SakripiSIO by Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD


Durement appuyé sur mon droiteyé. Mon centre cède. Impossible de manoeuvrer. Situation excellente. J'attaque.
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch

It is said that defeat makes a person more philosophical, and setbacks pave the way for a better understanding of all things, especially one’s outlook towards life. Courage can be found either foolishly through drink and a loaded weapon, or wisely through enlightened revelation arising out of cathartic disaster. For Cebu-based abstractionist Dennis “Sio” Montera, confronting his fears is part of the process in eliciting a more sublime and expressive experience in achieving aesthetic harmony and compositional reinvigoration. Using the unforgiving medium of asphalt tar along with acrylic media and paint since 2004, Montera elicits mysterious, meditative, and sometimes dramatic vistas of either monochrome or multi-colored panels that constantly focuses on his ability to use biographical and deeply personal experiences as source materiel for exploring ever-transforming—but always surprisingly consistent—abstracts.

In his current series titled SakripiSIO, Montera focuses on the uniquely Filipino understanding of sacrifice as both a hermeneutic process, as well as an epistemic totality that webs the individual, society, metaphysics and material existence together into a dialectic and redemptive experience. As a member of UP Cebu College Fine Arts faculty, and a UP alumnus from high school to graduate school, Montera has deeply imbibed the university’s notion of personal sacrifice to serve the greater good of the nation that is symbolized by UP’s preeminent statue, The Oblation. However, tacking closer to his recent life experiences, Montera also flags his recent struggles to balance social responsibility and personal fulfilment through the degree of gestural expression in his current work. Content with Failure 1-2 typifies this doubled search for both inner personal peace and outer compositional success by playing with three layers of color, white, ochre, and black, the last either dripped in fine lines over the underpaint; or else deftly brushed on like calligraphic ink strokes on ancient rice paper, forcing one to follow the energy of the idea and its fruition through the acceptance of things that cannot be changed (in Montera’s case, his need to constantly travel to further his art career, leaving behind family and his sick mother; or else encountering “frenemies” in the artworld). Crossing Bridges as We Come to Them almost figuratively illustrates in black, brown, and white the dilemma awaiting every strategic decision we make, and every promise we might break. Perhaps this aversion to personal pain is aptly illustrated in Do Not Promise Anyone Anything, a black rhomboid that juts across the white picture plane like a door that can only be entered with trepidation.

As a Cebuano living in an obsessively Catholic culture, Montera also shows the pathos of asking for forgiveness as a means of redemption through Confession, a trio of black and white figures swimming in a red field redolent of the fear of death. Fear is My Substance goes to the heart of the matter, as the picture plane of red, yellow, black and white patches becomes overwhelmed by a tsunami of blue—perhaps Montera’s reflection of the recent Sendai disaster, or maybe the reflection of his own oncoming fears. From Wounds to Wisdom perhaps signifies the beginning of acceptance and the willingness to move on, a large mass of black and white floating amidst a peach field. Another panel that speaks of chaos and the need for resolution is Disorderly Universe, where large raindrops of blue checker and nearly overwhelm black and white. This resolution of fear as color can be seen in the two panels Montera dedicates to his recent journey to Holland. As Frigid as the Rotterdam treats the icy winter of the North as a field of blue where life, rising in defiance from below, constitutes black, ochre, and orange. I am Not Amsterdam expands upon the “life” colors of ochre, orange, red, and black as an eclectic tapestry that privileges life rather than surrenders it. The resolution to confront fear thus reminds one of the famous Litany of Fear, recited in Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

This acceptance of the fate of others opens up the realization of life’s fragility, and the preciousness of one’s time set against the eternity of the universe. Life Half Spent works on this theme melodiously, the pentimenti-like strokes indicating both an acceptance of fate, and a redoubling of effort to achieve everything in the last half-life. Anger and Rage, as reflected on the degree of gestural energy in the painting, is recognized but held in check by control and balance, the elements that makes an otherwise chaotic life liveable. The realization of discord and random incident as part and parcel of existence is also seen in Old Sins Cast Long Shadows, a monochrome cataloguing of errors that must be confronted, and corrected. Patience is Power shows the path towards enlightenment, when broad strokes of white start to overwhelm black, and point the way to fulfilment. Place of Solace perhaps shows the site where sacrifice is met with acceptance, its green patches indicate nature and life. Indeed, throughout SakripiSIO, Sio Montera continues to show us why there is a need to defy the inevitability of death, betrayal, and destruction, not by raging against the dying light, but by silently reassessing how to give illumination to the remaining time that we have.


RISING FROM THE ASHES: Dennis Montera’s Aftermath by Reuben Ramas Canete Ph.D


Catharsis has always been the lodestone by which Dennis “Sio” Montera produces his distinctive form of Filipino Abstraction. The Cebu City-based MFA graduate of UP Diliman, and faculty member of UP College Cebu, utilizes an opposition between acrylic-based media and brilliantly-coloured paints with black bitumen tar, a medium more known for paving roads and sealing gutters than for painting canvas panels. And yet, such an unlikely approach to material is not entirely against the Modernist grain: the black paintings of Ad Reinhardt and Frank Stella in the 1950s also used tar in order to exploit their intense tonality of black, as well as the reflective, sometimes opalescent sheen that the oils of the tar excrete from reflecting light. The material integrity of oil and acrylic (provided that the first lies on top of the second) is also proven from those paintings by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning dating back to the 1940s—but all of this, of course, should not be an issue to those who see in Montera’s paintings as not an ambivalent conflict between water-based and oil-based media, but rather in the vision of elemental—and thus metaphorical—conflict resolved into significant form. As far back as 2004, when Montera finished his first magnum opus, Penitensiya, both the use of media as well as the concept of an epic conflict to be resolved was already transmitted through his meditation of penitential labour as a peculiarly Filipino aesthetic form of psychic as well as social redemption.
In his 2009 series Aftermath, Montera utilizes the near-catastrophes and lucky breaks that he has experienced in his personal life over the past year as the aesthetic source of his catharsis: his wife’s difficult ectopic pregnancy, as well as his mother’s bout with kidney cancer, that tested both his emotional and financial strength, and eventually managed to resolve these crises successfully. The return of normal life in the Montera household was the chance for Sio to meditate on the fragility of existence, and realize that “life held no guarantees.” Liberated from a sense of deliberation, Sio eviscerate his painting style into a freer and more spontaneous fragmentation of motif. Gone were the long loops, spatially-delimited blocks, and carefully-laid diagonal drips that characterized his 2006-2008 paintings, and in turn the “open forms” of randomly intersecting circular splashes and thrown drips, the freer colour brushwork, and the emphasis on entropy rather than structure became dominant elements in his new work. The results also imply a more energetic restlessness and unwillingness to compromise on his artistic convictions.
This transition can be seen in The Beginnings of Panic, where the previous tendency to “block out” colour and black elements begins to fray, as the compositional blocks float amidst flying debris of painted texture and black, like asteroids smashing against each other in the colourful void of a nebula. Newfound Rapture is the resolution of such a “crisis,” where the compositional placements of underlying aquamarine, magenta, and white acrylic painted blocks are reworked repeatedly to form a dense base, looking rather like fantastic cave wall formations, upon which the black tar is then flung as a foreground element, becoming like trace patterns of bats flying in neon-inflected space. In The Vicissitudes of the Seasons, Sio summarizes his past year’s life as one of order interspersed with chaos, and resolved with order: the base colour blocks that march in horizontal regularity are layered with a vertical frenzy of gestural texture, and then is finished with an uneven grid of black lines. Aftermath may be the account of one artist whose life went briefly to hell and back, but Dennis “Sio” Montera also provides us with the comfort that every catastrophe is also an opportunity to learn and grow. Indeed, Sio’s “aftermath” also proves his aesthetic capacity to resolve crisis with a cathartic renewal, a phoenix of work that rises from the ashes of despair.


Ekzena @ Ricco Renzo Galleries


Ricco Renzo Galleries puts on view a three-person exhibit entitled “EKZENA” which opens on May 22, 2009. Revolving around the perception of “scenes,” the mind-set of Zen and the concepts of lyrical abstraction, the title has inference to a philosophy where art is presented in a style that combines maximum of technique and a minimum of planning and deliberation. However, the abstractions presented are not the haphazard approach for art’s sake, but of the manner by which the artwork impacts on the viewer.

Scenes are very much a part of everything that is art. A scene can be a subject or the content the artist will portray but it can also be the place and venue where an event takes place. To create and make a scene implies action and movement. This action of a scene is the very essence of the phenomenon of a happening. The occurrence of an art happening alludes to an improvised spontaneous art activity or exhibit where the eyes of an audience are treated to art that is free and unpredictable. Spontaneous abstract art can not be planned and predetermined. Pure and clean abstraction excites visual perception. Looking at an abstract painting oftentimes creates individualistic episodes depending on how the viewer views it. Abstraction is open to varied opinion and interpretations. It combines free will, intellect, intuition and instinct.

“EKZENA,” an abstract art exhibition by the triumvirate of artists namely JCrisanto Martinez, Sio Montera and Javy Villacin suggest all of the things and incidents mentioned above. Each artist presents a personal series of works that tackle chosen themes like time, space, the jouirney of life, death, wisdom, and the paradoxes of our human condition.

JCrisanto Martinez’s oeuvres reflect on “time” as a sinuous medium to be maneuvered similarly as paint. His washes of acrylics on burlap delve into the continuum of time. By layering images, Martinez incorporates undertones and meanings that summon a response by the viewer. At one end of the premise of his series’ working concept is to defy the notion of art as perceive merely by sight. Intuition – which is the state of knowing something instinctively, or the immediate knowledge of something – as a word and a process came as a challenge to the artist in developing this series.

Sio Montera’s mixed media explore on “free form.” These impasto art pieces bring him to the state of mind where the cerebral authority rules over “art;” an awakening of the artist’s subliminal self. As the outcomes are unpredictable, the artist is conscious all throughout in what he is doing, while freeing himself at the same time from representations that limit visual perception.

The large canvasses of Javy Villacin continue and deepen his foray into the dream world. The aggregate of works aptly about “shambala” which is a “higher level of consciousness and spirituality,” Villacin reinforces his fascination with this dream world that straddles many states of consciousness by focusing more on the emotional atmosphere and visual resonance. But the basic elements of a Villacin artwork are the usual pencil backgrounds that rejoice the reticence, the daring even, in some cases, the mayhem of drawing.

The three artists are highly individual players who have all made a niche in the arena of abstraction. Though a happening is a scene or an “ekzena” in the confines of a gallery it very much includes the creation of an overall feeling of a contained atmosphere in a walled environment. Abstractions can be a trip to an altered state and an environment in an alternate dimension. As products of potent minds, abstract art embraces all and everything the heart and mind can originally conceived and at the same time alienates impossibilities.

EKZENA will be on view at Ricco Renzo Galleries starting May 22, 2009 at 7pm with an opening cocktail. The exhibit runs until June 11, 2009. The Ricco Renzo Galleries is located at the LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia St., Bel-Air II, Makati City, Philippines. For inquiry please call 898-2545 or 0927-386-1460, email or visit .


FLASH! FIFTEEN FILIPINO ABSTRACTIONISTS


SOCIETY has been exposed to the creation of abstract art since people have existed, but recognizably, there are varying "levels" of abstraction. Depending on the degree of abstraction, the artist has to discover more ingenious ways of conveying that precise concept. At an instance in humans’ early history, cave walls became the canvasses of men and women who drew scenes of hunting, of their flourishing bounty, of race, moment and milieu. Contemporary painters, such as Jackson Pollock, articulated emotions and pure concepts on canvas. Because his work has been inclined to focus around the notion of order within chaos, Pollock is an eminent paradigm. The perception of victory or success in hunting has to be easier to express than the notion of orderly chaos. With more involved "subjects", the form of expression itself has to become flexible. Thus, the significance of abstract art.

In his essay Roots of Diversity in Philippine Contemporary Art, artist/writer/curator Ronald Hilario noted that “The early 1950's saw the triumph of the modernists over the conservatives. Thanks to the efforts of Lyd Arguilla of the Philippine Art Gallery in showcasing the art of the young modernists, abstraction gained a stronger foothold and soon became the dominant style. More informed in the aesthetics of cubism, surrealism, and expressionism, these young artists expanded the concern of Philippine visual arts from style to a broader exploration of the formal elements of visual art. The first non-representational paintings and sculptures appeared at this stage, and were developed to a higher level by the third wave of artists who came in during the 1960's to the 1970's. Some of the more active artists in this period were Vicente Manansala, Napoleon Abueva, Jose Joya, Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, and Fernando Zobel. Texts on abstract art became more available to artists in the 60's. Modernist art theories were introduced and taught in the Philippine Fine Arts Schools by academics and artists such as Rod Paras Perez and Roberto Chabet. Readings of these texts paved the way for a more cerebral approach to art making. Conceptual Art, Minimalism, and Performance Art made their debut in the country. Artists also became more vocal about their works and some published their ideas in art journals such the Philippine Supplement in the 70's. The Marcos regime's patronage of the arts added muscle to many artists' projects. The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the centerpiece of the First Lady Imelda Marcos' cultural program, was established and became the home of non-objective art. During the tenure of artist-curators Ray Albano and Roberto Chabet the CCP galleries were sites of numerous abstract art exhibitions and performances. At the forefront of these activities were Ray Albano, Gus Albor, Roberto Chabet, Mars Galang, Ben Maramag, Lee Aguinaldo and David Medalla.”

Modern art has usually been characterized by its inventiveness, and within this parameter, critics have looked to formal innovation to classify artworks in relation to their time, rather than place of origin. The nonrepresentational contemporary art that critics have made canonical was concerned with universal and transcendent aims, or with rendering concepts.

The title implies urgency, not the haphazard approach for art’s sake, but of the manner by which the artwork impacts on the viewer. It is the resultant realization when the message of the abstraction has been deciphered, and in this instant, that dawning comes charging fifteen times over. That ensuing speed, that consequential rush impinging on the cerebral, in a flash engulfs the aficionado.

This exhibition features paintings – significant pieces designed to visually expound important concepts about abstraction and its history in a non-threatening manner copulated with the dynamic relationship between discourses, forms, and styles. From the deceased to the emergent, the artists in this exhibition were all vital to producing the FLASH, a uniquely positioned showcase of Philippine Abstraction.

Ross Capili, Danilo Garcia, Andrew de Guzman, Fitz Herrera, Raul Isidro, Alfredo Liongoren, Sio Montera, J Elizalde Navarro, Eghai Roxas, Hermi Santo, Sherwin Tan, Roy Veneracion, Phililip Victor, Javy Villacin and Nestor Olarte Vinluan.

FLASH! Fifteen Filipino Abstractionists shall be on view starting October 18, 2008 at Galerie Anna, 7th floor, Ramon Magsaysay Center, Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila 1004 Philippines. For more information and queries about the gallery and the exhibition, you can log on to , contact Gallery Manager Mr. Joffrey Baylon at landline number (632) 5679483, or email at .


The cause of modernism by Raymund Fernandez, Cebu Daily News 08/29/2007


Showing now at the SM Art Center is Dennis “Sio” Montera’s one-person show of paintings, entitled “Free Forms.” Featured here are formalist, abstract paintings, which are in a way unprecedented for their sizes and consistency of style.

Dennis is one among the younger generation faculty of UP Cebu College Fine Arts Program. He recently finished his Masters of Fine Arts degree at UP Diliman. Prior to his undergraduate studies at UP Cebu, he trained under such artists as Mar Vidal. He is acquainted with the painting techniques of the local realists and once painted using the color principles taught by the late Cebuano master Martino Abellana, which he learned from the master’s students.

Most of his early naturalistic works orbited around the phenomenon of food. This was a natural consequence traced to his fondness for travel, especially to beach resorts. He takes his students regularly for painting sessions on the beaches of Bantayan Island. For these sorties he would often be accompanied by his barkada of artists, now organized into the art group Tuslob Buwa Ltd. The group holds regular summer art workshops at SM, as well as regular group shows done usually around a theme. Jojo Sagayno, one of the members of this group and currently teaching at the Fine Arts Department of University of San Carlos, spoke of a regular activity they hold on New Year’s Eve: they would go around the downtown area giving food to the people living on the streets.

Given this orientation, it is only expected that the group should espouse some higher cause. This cause is the cause of modernism and, being the young artists that they are, the cause of modernism is for them the battle cry for change. This, of course, is an assertion that cannot help but raise discussion and argument, especially that sort of argument that Western modernists had traditionally tried to escape from. Jackson Pollock, who was the great icon of Western modernism, had always stayed away from spoken and written discourses. He had the art critic and staunch supporter Clement Greenberg to do all the talking for him.

One might argue if modernism really represents any change at all, even in our locality. Abellana, after all, had done non-objective abstractionist paintings, some dated in the early sixties. On the other hand, there is already an established tradition of non-objective art making here. We have abstractionists like Tito Cuevas, Andrew Barba, Vidal Alcoseba, etc., who have worked in this genre for many years now. But it is true that the local audience for art is still stuck up with a type of naturalistic realism, most likely rooted to the feudalistic agricultural system, which still persists. Thus, clearly, the battle for modern art is yet to be won in the local setting.

I am not an abstractionist. My affinity is for post-modernism rather than for what has by now become mainstream, modernist art in the Philippine setting. Even so, I do have a lot of sympathy for any effort whatsoever to enhance modernism in our local community and country. Thus, I am inclined to give the local modernists my full measure of support. This is the reason why I feel they should increase the effort to clarify the philosophical basis of their art, especially in the literature that accompanies the work.

The paintings are by themselves exceptional but they are not themselves capable of artistic revolution. What modernists should do is to clarify, hopefully in vivid terms, their context in the local culture. We know the appearance of the works they like to produce. But because we are not a Western culture nor are we a fully westernized one, we cannot help but ask: What do modernists want for us? What do they envision for us in the future world? How should we view their works?


'Artpostles' exhibit review on Art Diocese by Roy Lu published in Cebu Daily News Oct.31,2007


In religion, humility is among the most desired of virtues. In art, it is audacity. Audacity is not the same as pride though it is often mistaken for such, making it appear like the antithesis of humility.

In "Art Diocese : Why Art Thou?," a show on-going at the SM Art Center, SM City Cebu, and up until November 6, audacity is as palpable as their subject is as deeply entrenched culturally if not spiritually amongst us.

There is humility, too, it should be said immediately, though this is more deferential as can be expected of confessed faithful members of the flock ("the exhibit is not intended to make a pun to the authority of the archdiocese"), yet cannot be any more than that as expected from artists whose gospel, contained in the exhibit statement (from where the above quote is also taken), proclaims at " . . . revisioning to a point where the artists investigated its old traditions to come up with conceptual forms attuned to post-modern times."
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The Tuslob-Buwa Ltd. (though it should more properly be UnLtd.) Artists Group, composed of Evan Bejec, Dennis 'Sio' Montera, Ritchie Quijano and Lucilo 'Jojo' Sagayno have put together a show that, in all humility, they call a 'major' show, their last for this year, but for all its audacity should be seen as the best show for this year. Even in many years so far. And not only for their group, but for art in general in the city.

For one, more than in their previous two outings this year, this show exhibits an almost seamless cohesiveness that is nothing short of miraculous for a group of different or individual artistic temperaments, stylistic leanings and technical or conceptual proficiency.

This can be attributed largely to the fact that many of the pieces are collaborative works, which could really be the strength of groups though it could just as well be the cause of schism, as with many unfortunate cases. Here, thankfully, it is most of the former and, evidently, none of the latter.

On this score, "Santisima Nombre de Jesus," a large scale wall installation made of rattan skin and abaca rope that dominates the wall opposite the entrance, is an immediate case in point.

Together with the the life-size reinforcing steel bar, wood and assorted images crucifix of Ritchie Quijano ("Crucifixion de Kabilya") that stands very imposingly in the middle of the wall and divides the wall installation into a very dynamic symmetry, this sculptures-cum-installation recall the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday that ends many days later in Golgotha.

These are by no means the cute and handy palm fronds peddled outside churches on Palm Sunday. They are huge bunches of clearly organic material whose chaos is barely restrained by a wound abaca rope giving it a quality that strongly strikes one as sinisterly chaotic grace.

Going back to Quijano's crucifix, this work is the pivot of the entire exhibit both spatially and thematically. Quijano's choice of material feeds very well into the conflicts or weights of the broken Christ; strength and weakness, grace and rigidness, salvation and despair, mortality and immortality and, for the church herself; orthodoxy and heterodoxy. This, then, also contributes to its very striking visual impact.

Towards the right wall (or towards the left from the entrance) are the installations of Jojo Sagayno that, I confess, I find most interesting. These works stamp the group with a seriousness of purpose beyond the traffic of the buying and selling of art -- which, I should also immediately confess, I do not find inherently objectionable -- even if, or ironically since it was Jojo himself who made an impassioned plea to the audience during the exhibit opening, that they should "buy an artwork before you die."
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These works also confirm Sagayno's place as one of Cebu's most thought provoking if self-deprecating conceptual/installation artist.

Playing on the 'cross and sword'' dynamic of the Spanish conquest, Sagayno starts from the most literal imagery of nothing more than a cross and a sword. But its simplicity ends here though the fact that it continues be a disarmingly simple pieces is its poetic coup de grace.

For both pieces, the shapes are formed by sticks. For the cross, they are longer sticks: broomsticks. For the sword, they are shorter sticks: toothpick like. For both, the sticks are held in place by mounting gum, or, perhaps, playdoh.

They look fragile. They are fragile. But, collectively they are big. The cross must be around four meters by three. The sword about 3 meters in length from the end of the handle to the tip of the blade.

The cross-sticks is laid on the ground. The sword-sticks is on the wall overlooking (overseeing?) the cross. A subtle but very ingenious way to present the power relations between two institutions that underpinned the realpolitik of conquest.

Also, another thing. the cross is a positive image, though more a thick outline than a filled up object, while the sword is a negative one with the sticks radiating away from the edges that make up the figure.

But, here is the kicker: the sticks are tethered very tentatively on their mounting gum anchors. Already at the exhibit opening some of the sword-sticks have started to fall and some of the cross-sticks had started to topple down.

No power is permanent. Even, God forbid, that of the cross. Nor of the sword that propped it up.

But then, and here is an even bigger kicker; doesn't this run neatly into the there/not there paradox? Doesn't absence often become a greater presence? Ask someone in love who has lost a love.

I discussed this with Sagayno and he smiled. That's how it's supposed to be, he says. Nice.

Then there is another Sagayno, "Auction No. 1 to No.20 On the face of it, it looks out of place. But upon closer inspection the wickedly inventive art of Sagayno shines through.

With this work, Sagayno turns some tables. He shifts the spotlight. It is now on art or the art practice at the rarefied air of international art auctions (Christie's, Sotheby's) which, if art were a religion, these would be akin to the celebration of mass in a cathedral, or at the Sistine Chapel even. This is definitely Papal level, no disrespect to the Pope.

Pronouncements here are Ex Cathedra. And, what would those pronouncements be? They would be pronouncements of the auction gavel closing a sale. Contained within the reproductions of auctioned art works are their selling or closing prices.

The prices range from US$66,000 to US$ 3.99 M. Why an artwork in black with the text Mar. 31, 1975 in white sold for US$316,000 is simply a mystery as deep as the mystery of the trinity. Again, no disrespect to the triune God.

Then, there more notable collaborative pieces found on the left hand side of the space (or right side from the entrance). "Council of Trent," a collaborative work repositions that conclave, between 1545-1563, signaling the beginning of the Counter-Reformation is on a chess board, with personalities who might not have any actual correspondence in actual history, as the pieces.

Next to the chess table is the work, "Peticiones de Kwitis." This is the usual candle rack near churches where the faithful light candles or the candle vendor does the chore for them. Lighting candles assist the ascent of prayers to Heaven.

But, here, instead of candles, the rack is filled up with fireworks rockets, complete with their bamboo stick stabilizers.

On the visual level, they look like a petal-less, flame-less bouquet. On the content level, it is a tongue-in-cheek suggestion at how those prayers might be better assisted with rockets such as these that zoom to the heavens and explode with a noise that will surely wake up the sleepiest of saints, or otherwise, scare the most cantankerous of devils.

Then there are the smaller pieces, too numerous to enumerate here. They are the ones that Sagayno's earlier appeal would make sense with, for those of us who have less than deep pockets.

Still, this show is not about deep pockets, notwithstanding Sagayno's appeal. This exhibit is about the deep repository of poetics even folksy hermeneutics that will surely resonate with the faithful, the not so faithful and even the faithless.

In this way, even with some minor distracting pieces, the exhibit can be said to be faithfully Catholic.


Crowd of Three By Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano, Published in SunStar Daily, Tuesday, September 25, 2007


THREE-MAN show, aptly titled Art of Three (A3), is a visual convergence that somehow calls for unity in the face of diversity.

Years ago, the trio of participating painters first crossed paths while finishing their masteral degrees in Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Soon after completion, they moved on to practice and establish their art in their homecourts. Now they are crossing paths again in the arena of an art gallery.

A3 opened last Friday, Sept. 21, at the newly renovated, expanded, and improved Bluewater Gallery inside the plush compound of the Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort. This art exhibition (ongoing until the mid-part of October) seeks to solidify the individual artist’s commonalities and delineate differences. Having come from different regions of the country, the triad of Arthur dela Cruz, Sio Montera and Aman Santos III intends the show to be representative in nature and character.

Dela Cruz hails from Davao, hence we’ll be seeing vignettes and episodes of splendor from his hometown.

The Visayas is represented by Montera whose turf is Cebu, and bringing his art from Manila is Santos. Though they trained under the same professors in Diliman, they have many “differences” in their work and leanings. One is a representational practitioner, the other one an abstractionist, and the third, a painter of water-loving, androgynous figures.

Dela Cruz executes the usual Davao formula, making use of what the place is known and famous for. The paintings are pictorial, figurative and decorative in the grandeur of Davao’s flora and fauna, such as the regional symbols of orchids and eagles. And generally, dela Cruz’s works are not as wild as the wildlife on it.

It is Montera who tries to define the ultimate true and free expression of an artist by letting go of what the eyes normally see and comprehend by doing pure abstracts.

Santos’ art is the urban challenge of making way through nameless crowds where faces and identities become generic and somewhat featureless.

The show is like a microcosm of the nation’s entirety; composed of representations from three main geographic regions of the archipelago.

The three artists, who come from the country’s three major art centers of Cebu, Davao and Manila, assemble to provide us all a peek into their art’s directions, and a glimpse of art from their respective regions.


Freedom through Free-Form by Ardelle Merton


By Ardelle T. Merton
The Freeman Daily
Sunday, August 26, 2007

“In art perhaps, the creation of the free form epitomizes the greatest of all human rights of expression…Pure and honest abstraction is the pinnacle of the art practice because there are no visual guides, no preliminary studies, no references and the like…It is unpredictable in the sense that the artists can never foresee his desired result but given the free rein of his imagination, the artist exercises complete and unrestrained freedom,” scribed writer Ritchie Quijano in admiration of renowned local artist Dennis “Sio” E. Montera’s seventh exhibit solo exhibit.

Montera’s Free-Form is the artist’s new collection of large scale artworks symbolizing not only the creative freedom Quijano wrote of, but also of Montera’s personal growth as an artist. No longer contented with the standard canvass size, Montera went beyond conventional borders and created post-modernist abstractions on canvasses of larger scale. Thus, his Free-Form collection was born. His works feature layers of acrylic and mixed media to reach a captivating blend of colors that is uniquely Montera. Step into The Dark Side, and witness how spattering of wine-red and black can be so alluring. Pay Homage to Emil Schumacher, and marvel at how the otherwise bland color of gray could add much depth to a visual. The artist’s Four Sided Six will have you counting sides and shapes, and loving numbers in abstract form. At the grand size of 213 x 365 cm, his Composition in Grid-Stratum inspires one to indeed think big!

Cebuano artist Sio Montera was born in August 19, 1972. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas-Cebu in 1996 and proceeded to earning a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the UP Diliman College of Fine Arts in October 2004. He is currently an Assistant Professor in UP Visayas – Cebu as well as a Program Coordinator in the Fine Arts program. As a professor, he delightfully merges art theory and hands-on practice when teaching his college students. Sio Montera has carved his name in the local art scene through numerous solo and group exhibits throughout his artistic career.


Maribago Bluewater Gallery highlights Dennis “Sio” Montera’s Artworks in an exhibit dubbed “AbstracSIOn 2”


Academic training has exposed Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera, initially, in creating realist-inspired nature visual artworks before he finally found his own illustrative language.

On his fifth-year as an artist, he came back to Cebu City armed with a Masters degree in painting earned from University of the Philippines. Sio mounted two important solo exhibitions on abstract art at the Art Center of SM City Cebu and Bluewater Gallery of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort. These shows received accolade from critics and collectors, alike, and brought to the community a fresh take on serious visual art. That two special occasions baptized Sio as one of the few visual artists who have taken the road less travelled – the exploration of the non-objective realm in mainstream art.

Sio, as his intimates call him, takes inspiration from the likes of Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, Jean Michel Basquiat and Antoni Tapies. He admits that Philippine artists like Nestor Vinluan, Lao Lianben, and Jose Joya joins the list of artists that stirred him to undertake a personal experiment materials, tools and effects.

Sio Montera began to mix industrial materials with the conventional artist’s paints. After hundreds of hours of test and trials he succeeded in integrating diverse resources into a convincing overall composition. His canvasses are condensed into massive, encrusted color-filled paintings of either gestural lines or scratched surfaces. The lines created in his gestural works often resemble coagulated ink blots that glide from one corner to the other with total abandon and freedom. The scratched/scraped picture plane is the most recent reinvention of the artist’s style and the indentations on the surface of the paintings function like individual graffiti, the artist set of personal coded references inscribed on the work’s ground like hardened symbols or signs.

In this latest exhibition dubbed “AbstracSIOn II” which opens to the public on August 14, the artist metaphorically combines artistic production with immediate experiences of his human existence. Each of the works creates an overall effect that is based from the language of the artist’s soul and is considered by him as emblems and symbolic indications of his presence in this short life. These new installment of Sio Montera’s work has also taken distance from the linear logic of adults to arrive at the impulsive logic of children. The created visual field reassures flatness that is both direct and embracing typical of the spontaneity inherent in the spur-of-the-moment, scribble drawings. They represent for him an extraordinary mirror for multiplying or shattering imagery to reinvent or exorcize life.

Bluewater Gallery will feature Dennis “Sio” Montera’s exhibit from August 14 to September 12, 2009. For exhibit viewing appointment, get in touch with Gallery Coordinator Ruben B. Licera, Jr. at (63 32) 492 0100 local 512 or email


Faith in Art by Ritchie Quijano


THE local art scene will be shaken anew from shock value when the group of four artists, known as Tuslob-Buwa Ltd., will present another unprecedented leap to where art hasn’t gone before.

The group is composed of Evan Bejec, Sio Montera, Jojo Sagayno and this writer. The collaborative show of paintings, installations and sculptures is titled Art Diocese.

It will try to reinforce faith by strengthening the visual form of articles and facts relevant to religion.

Opening reception will be at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the SM Art Center.

The concept-themed show tackles the issue of continuity in the visual arts of the church and faith in the face of modernism and contemporary art. The church as an institution of faith will see a change of form and design as it enters a new era. The changes that are happening challenged the artists to contribute new and dynamic ideas.

To do this, they use elements of church and articles of faith to the body of knowledge known as visual arts history.

The substance of the exhibit will carry varied propositions in design concept. The group believes an artist is spiritual, and art to him is imbued with spirituality.

Art Diocese is intended as an adoration of faith, a revelation the artists will share with viewers. Most importantly, it is an epiphany that makes spirituality part of work attitude and the intellectual process. Such is the gospel according to Tuslob-Buwa.


FREE-WILLING by Ritchie Quijano published in SunStar Daily August 21, 2007


WITHOUT freedom, no good work can be done.

In art, the creation of free form epitomizes the greatest of all human rights of expression.

When the mind takes over what the eyes can no longer perceive during artistic production, the aftermath will only be pure abstraction. Having to think in abstract terms can deter the self from reality and things practical because, first and foremost, abstraction exists only in the mind. Pure and honest abstraction is the pinnacle of the art practice because here the artist starts with zero visibility in the form of an empty space or a blank canvas.

It is unpredictable, in the sense that the artist can never foresee his desired result. Given a free rein of his imagination, the artist exercises complete unrestrained freedom.

Free Form, the seventh solo exhibition of Sio Montera, may be viewed at the SM Art Center till Aug. 28. This next level of his art brings him to the state of mind where the cerebral authority rules over “art.” An awakening of the artist’s subliminal self. Conscious all throughout in what he is doing, while freeing himself at the same time from representations that limit visual perception. Having the gift of free will has been innate in mankind since primordial times.

We inherit this capacity from birth, but rarely do we summon and use this power because of the fear to use it excessively. A new way of seeing and doing a painting may alter accepted customs and violates cultural restraints.

Montera, as an artist, wants big changes now. He wants to leave an imprint in art history by introducing new processes and new materials, like asphalt, which are alien to painting tradition. His mostly mixed media works are an amalgam of different paint mediums that overlap and blend with each other.

In some works, he employs outrageous implements such as a steel brush. He clearly is breaking rules. By exploring other painting grounds, such as tarpaulin, he paves the way to further exploration. In the vein of non-objective/abstract expressionism, Montera contributes to the movement’s endless possibilities. His continuous and spontaneous approach achieves what the mind can only perceive—the unseen and the unknown.

He farms a concept and plants the germ of an idea that blossoms into a wild but carefully controlled work of art worthy of a pedestal at the apex of artistic profession.


The Art of Three


The Art of Three (A3) is a visual convergence that calls for unity in the face of diversity. Years ago of trio of participating painters first crossed paths while finishing their Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Soon after completion of their studies they have move on to practice and establish their art in their respective home fronts. Now they are crossing paths again in the arena of an art gallery. This art exhibition seeks to solidify the individual’s commonalities and delineate differences. And it answers the qualifier of young art and contemporary. Having come from different regions of the country, the triad of Arthur dela Cruz, Sio Montera and Aman Santos III intends the show to be representative in nature and character.
Dela Cruz hails from Davao hence we’ll be seeing the vignettes and splendor of his hometown. The Visayas is represented by Montera whose turf is Cebu while bringing his art from Manila is Santos. Being trained by common professors in Graduate school we find their difference thru their work and leanings. Dela Cruz’s works are incorporations of things his place is known and famous for. Montera on the other hand, let’s go of what the eyes can normally see and comprehend by doing pure abstraction. Santos’ art is the urban challenge of making way through nameless crowds where faces and identities have become generic and seemingly featureless. The show is a small microcosm of the nation’s entirety composed of representations from the three main geographic regions of the archipelago. The artists who come from the three major art centers of Cebu, Davao, and Manila assembles to provide a peek of their art’s directions and a glimpse of art from their respective regions that proves an ongoing melting pot, a healthy condition that disdains homogeneity resulting to art that is forever vibrant.


Hot exhibit at a cool resort, or is it the other way around? by Roy Lu published in Cebu Daily News, November 7, 2006


One word descriptives of resorts usually run from the extremes of hot to cool. Normally, both are taken as compliments depending on how the resort positions itself, with anything in between being almost literally the equivalent of the purgatorial afterlife. Limbo, in other words.
But some resorts, more ambitious than others and, more importantly willing to put their wallets – fat, hopefully -- where their ambitious mouths are, try for the both hot and cool at the same time. An instance where, in a twist to the law of physics about opposites attracting, opposites join together to become an even bigger attraction.
While Victor Vergara, 43, is no stranger to physics, even if industrial engineering, his professional affiliation, might have less to do with physics than its other co-curricular courses, it is aesthetics and, frankly, business – after all aesthetics is big business -- together with some helpful egging on from some friends that have encouraged him to push for the hot and cool together in their resort.
With some space to spare and an ambitious expansion and refitting project in the works, Vergara took the plunge in December of last year with the inaugural show of Negregosanon poster boy for local art making it big in the international art scene, Nunelucio Alvarado.
Still, at that time, there was some hesitation. It wasn't until after that show that the Maribago Bluewater Gallery was established with the small but important exigent of making the name official, emblazoned discreetly yet firmly and tastefully in the show window of the main gallery room.
Four exhibits later, the gallery currently hosts its first show of abstracts by Dennis 'Sio' Montera, titled, 'AbstractSIOns,' that will run until November 17.

Cool change
Since his return from Manila in where he earned his masters degree in studio arts -- with honors -- from the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Montera has established himself as the leading 'cool', formalist abstractionist artist in Cebu.
This sets him off, though not necessarily in opposition, to the other established abstractionist of Cebu, Tito Cuevas, whose immediately palpable emotional, 'hot' expressionism belies an affinity to Pollock's 'action painting' as contrasted with the 'cool' impersonality of Rothko's atmospherics that Montera employs.
Actually, Montera pays homage to both moderns along with his own unique contributions, mostly in the area of materials use and application techniques, especially as far its acceptability with and utilization among local artists. The drip elements of Pollock is immediately apparent but the compositional color field approach of Rothko is somewhat hinted at with its color juxtapositioning though with harder, more defined edges.
Unlike his comeback show at the SM Art Center in February 2004, where the spotlight was on the newly incorporated industrial materials that Montera had been experimenting with – industrial resin and with teams of workers using industrial tools, -- this show steps back to his rawer, more immediate instincts that shows texture without the seeming denial of texturality by the encasing or laminating process and effect evident in that earlier show.
Also, with the exception of the main piece, measuring 12ft. by 4ft. dominating the main exhibit room, the works in this show have been reduced down to not only human scale, but, more importantly, mobile scale; the scale at which things are easy to travel with, especially as either carry-on or check-in luggage on the passenger plane.

Small change
Yet, Montera says that this is only inadvertent. “I was actually making many of the smaller pieces for my show at SM for next year, when I received word from my manager, Jude Bacalso, that this show was pushing through. So, why not show the pieces that were ready?.”
Just the same, he says that the largeness of a work doesn't seem to deter serious collectors from buying. “Two of my 4ft by 4ft works were bought by Manila-based locals. They simply had it packed for check-in baggage on the plane.” he said.
Still, for his part, Vergara, who currently acts as both curator and gallery manager, assures potential collectors, especially resort guests, that the gallery will assist in the shipment of the works worldwide, through whatever preferred means, and ensure that the works are properly packed to withstand the rigors of shipping.
“When we decided to set up the gallery, we made sure that we were ready to make available this service to collectors who would buy the works since part of the joy of collecting is having access to the collected itema at the time and place where it they are to be enjoyed.” Vergara adds.
“Of course,” Montera concurs, “artists will always appreciate galleries who take care of such details. We artists cannot or should not be bothered with such details.”
It is clear which details Montera can and takes care be bothered with. His works are take both control and abandon, both of which take unimaginable details to master in its proper mix, balance and, ultimately, impact.


ANTI-THESIS OF SIO, Review on Sio Montera's Consciousness exhibit by Ritchie Quijano


Many have believed that the realm of abstraction, particularly the non-objective and expressionist varieties, belong to the subconscious, pertaining to the state of mind which is not fully consciouss. More so when subconsciouss permeability is applied in art, producing vague images which characterize expressionist paintings, since the the subconscious sans the full mind control still influences gestural actions. However when Sio Montera pr3esents his solo exhibit, he gave us an anti-thesis of what governs the totality of a person's thoughts and feelings. Consciousness can also perceive what cannot be normally discerned by the eyes alone. The commonly accepted thought that the expressionist painter's habit is "when you paint, don't think, you feel!" is negated by what Sio Montera is trying to say. Because he presents the other side, which is painting abstraction with careful control. This effort is shown by the sort of materials he uses, like asphalt and texturizing materials, is hard to manage compared to the usual paint. Montera's show thrives on contradiction and irony. When consciousness is supposed to result in objectivity and concrete forms, his is the opposite. Very Freudian in nature, the slip could be revealing hidden feelings. The continuous movement of circular circles in the Freudian disguise that may be interpreted as the cycle of life itself and the need to mutiply. However, traces of the Jungian method can also be seen in these cycles. When the movement is repetitively don, it means a will for contnuity without end. Here,abstraction ceases to be an intutive impulse. His non-objective artworks are reined in by intellect over intuition and instinct. And there is process involved in the art making that may be unnecessary in an expressionist work expressing emotional experience. Hence, Montera's "Consciousness" somehow consolidates the intellectual process and emotinal expression. So messrs. Freud and Jung, meet Sio Montera.


Sio Montera unveils latest works in FREE-FORM


Cebuano abstractionist painter Sio Montera will unveil his latest creations through the solo-exhibit “Free-Form” at the Art Center of SM City Cebu from August 15-28, 2007. The all-new collection of contemporary abstract paintings is part of the artist’s creative output as a recipient of the Ramon Durano professorial chair award from the University of the Philippines.
In this exhibit, Montera addresses the issue of ‘form’ in relation to the artist’s creative techniques and use of material. The artist believes that it is essential to dissociate the process of image-making from any pre-conceived idea, and to let form emerge out from the painting process itself. Thus, the act of painting would become a meditative event that would, in turn, lead to self-discovery.
With this latest exposition, Sio Montera confronts us with large format canvases that demonstrate both simple and complex configurations of paint masses, expressive force of texture, and color modulations characterized by a careful balance between spontaneous gesture and continual control. To lend order in every composition, the artist approaches each canvas from every side forming either atmospheric expanse or calligraphic grids that suggest an infinite extent, as if the pictorial space were merely a section chosen at random. As in all of Sio Montera’s abstractions, the elements are delicately worked up in alternating sequences with great force and rapidity to free form from pictorial illusion and achieve a post-painterly equilibrium in art.
FREE-FORM the exhibit is open to the general public from 10AM to 9PM daily. The Art Center is located at the 2nd level of SM City Cebu (beside VECO). For inquiries and appointments call 2319851 or 09173295626.


Tuslob-Buwa Exhibit 2006, (Sio Montera's Art Group) Philippines, Published in SunStar Daily Cebu on December 20, 2005


“Tuslob-Buwa” is the name adopted by a group of four contemporary artists in Cebu namely Evan Bejec, Sio Montera, Jojo Sagayno, and Ritchie Quijano isn’t at all related or having to do with the etymologies of profound words in art glossaries. “Tuslob-Buwa” is more known to the population of the masses because it is a communal dining experience where many share a single viand. Partakers of the “Tuslob-Buwa” meal can be likened to those who witnessed and experienced the multiplication of loaves. “Tuslob-Buwa”, a poor man’s meal is an exotic gastronomic experience made of meat with a staple of rice. Specifically, the protein here is made either of pig’s brain, liver, and fat eaten with the local “puso” (hanging rice). The cheap meal is popular in the fish markets of Pasil where everyone eats on a budget but most definitely getting a nutritious meal. To the four of us, “Tuslob-Buwa” is used as a metaphor to our beginnings as a dynamic group of young, brave, and stubborn souls out to make a stir. “Tuslob-Buwa” as a food simmers in a heated pan. With “Tuslob-Buwa Begins” the art show is a plan to create an alternative visual experience. It intends to break the monotony and homogeneity of the current art practice in Cebu. Paving a trail for new traditions, it also aims to destabilize the status quo by offering the public newer and contemporary forms of art. The more expressive art the group exposes isn’t always what it seems. There’s nothing you’ll see that’s exactly what one gets because of its minimal content and many allusions. As a group, the four artists having retained their artistic identities with each are pursuing a path of its own. Each was born as an artist and will die as an artist. In their working attitude, not one work escapes the process of conception thus each materialization is the product of commitment and dedication. Hence, they’re artist from womb to tomb. “Tuslob-Buwa Begins” is the closing salvo for the year 2005 and heralds the art world to a brand new age starting in 2006. “Tuslob-Buwa” continues in February 2007 with “LOVE THEORIES!


Love Theories unfolds at SM Art Center


February with all its clichés attached is the month of love and will always be a time for loving. And SM Art Center’s love offering will be a concept show on the art of loving by four local contemporary Cebuano artists. “Love Theories” by the artists group “Tuslob-Buwa” will showcase four individual experiences on love. The four aspects will dwell on love-lust, love-lists, love-lost, and love lasts.

Full-time artist Evan Bejec’s visual essay on love-list is a kind of New Year’s wish list. Here he makes a presentation on love that he wants to happen including his aspirations on what love means to him. His listings are personal ideals in the concrete form of both painting and sculpture.

Tackling of a love that’s lost, abstract expressionist artist and U.P. Fine Arts professor Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera will provide a visual teaching instruction. These are thoughts and raw feelings represented by abstract ideas. Montera’s works are often in a conceptual form and non-figurative imagery depicted in multi-layered color field works. His works are profound appropriations of the artist’s emotions from losing a special someone.

Jojo Sagayno is a member of the USC Fine Arts faculty and is the only one married in the group hence as a family man with two kids explores the fulfillment of loving and being loved in return. Doing composite media works combined with painting as a signature in his art making he concentrates our family bound love for country and countrymen.

The lust for love is akin to lust for life and Ritchie Quijano believes that the ultimate purpose and reason for living is to love. Thereby as an artist he sees it as of paramount importance to express it in art. The heart being the universal symbol of love takes a prominent place in the series of artworks he made.

Full of personal symbolisms “Love Theories” is a highly autobiographical sketch on love-related experiences each of the four artists underwent. “Love Theories” is the second major exhibition to start the year by the “Tuslob-Buwa” Artists Group and will be unveiled at the SM Art Center starting on February 2, 2007 and to last until the whole world celebrates Valentines Day.


Exposition Solo


SOLO EXHIBITIONS (VISUAL ARTS)
2017 A State of Introspection, Qube Gallery, Crossroads Mall, Banilad, Cebu City, Philippines
2015 In Situ, Qube Gallery, Crossroads Mall, Banilad Cebu City, Philippines
2014 One-Man-Sio, Qube Gallery, The Henry Hotel, Banilad Cebu City, Philippines
2013 DefiniSIOn, The Contemporary Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St.,Mandaue City, Philippines
2013 “Freedom of Expression”, Renaissance Gallery, Artwalk, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
City, Philippines
2012 Foto+Abstracsion3, Bluewater Gallery, Bluewater Beach Resort, Mactan, Cebu, Philippines
2012 AbstracSIOnista, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2011 SakripiSIO, Art Center, SM Megamall Bldg. A, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2010 ExecuSIOn, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2010 Sio on Canvas, Canvas Bistro.Bar.Gallery, The Terraces, Ayala Center, Cebu City
2009 Aftermath, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2009 AbstracSIOn 2, Bluewater Gallery, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort, Cebu, Philippines
2008 Eight for Eight: Solo Exhibition No.8, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Philippines
2007 Free-Form, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu, City, Philippines
2006 AbstracSIOn, Bluewater Gallery, Bluewater Beach Resort, Cebu, Philippines
2006 Evolution, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City Philippines
2005 Consciousness, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
2004 Recent Works, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2004 Penitensya, Little Theater Lobby, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City, Philippines
2000 One-Man-Sio, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Convention Center, Cebu City, Philippines

INTERNATIONAL/NATIONAL ART FAIRS
2017 Art Kaohsiung, The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
2017 ManilArt, SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City, Manila, Philippines
2016 Art Kaohsiung, The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
2016 Tokyo International Art Fair 2016, Omotesando Hills, Tokyo Japan, Solo exhibit
2016 Asia Contemporary Art Show, Conrad-Hilton Hotel, Hong Kong
2015 Art Apart Fair Singapore, Park Royal Hotel, Singapore, Collective exhibit by Qube Gallery
2014 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines
2013 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines
2012 2014 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS & BIENNALES
2017 Unique Realities, Trevisan International Art, Ateneo de Madrid, Sala Prado, C/Prado 21,
Madrid, Spain
2017 Little Treasures, Curated by Paola Trevisan, Galleri de Marchi, Bologna, Italy
2016 Little Treasures, Curated by Paola Trevisan, Galleri de Marchi, Bologna, Italy
2015 Cross-Cultural Impressions, An-Ping District Cultural Exhibition Center, International
Talent Hub, Institute of Creative Industries Design- NCKU, Tainan, Taiwan
2014 Giving Back Art, The Space Gallery, Gangnam, South Korea, Organized by GF4D
2013 Festival 12x12, 12 Regards D’ Artistes, Association Le Cent, Établissement Culturel
Solidaire, 100 Rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris, France
2013 Grand Soiree Philippine, Avec le Soutien de l’Ambassade des Philippines a Paris, Samedi,
28 Septembre, Viaduc des Artes, #57 Avenue Dausmenil, Paris
2013 Philippine Art Trek, Forest Rain Gallery, 261 Waterloo St., Singapore
2012 5th Beijing International Art Biennale, Beijing, China
2011 4th East Java Fine Art Biennale, Galeri Surabaya, Indonesia
2011 Asian International Art Exhibition, Hangaram Gallery, Seoul Arts Center, South Korea

SELECT COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (VISUAL ARTS)
2017 Southwind, Invitational Exhibit, Gallerie Roberto, Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang, Philippines
2017 Renaissance Gallery Invitational Anniversary Exhibition, Art Center, SM Megamall,Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2016 Set in Motion, Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera and Jewelle Yeung Exhibition, Radisson Blu Lobb, Cebu City, Philippines
2013 New Acquisitions, An Exhibit of Works Endowed to the University of the Philippines Art
Collection, Bulwagan Ng Dangal at Atelyer, Gonzalez Hall, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City
2012 Cebu Contemporary, Curated Exhibition by JV Castro, Cebu City Museum
2012 Homecoming Exhibit, 26th Asian International Art Exhibition, Ayala Museum, Makati Avenue, Manila, Philippines
2011 Contemporary Cebu, Curated by JV Castro, Picasso Botique Serviced Residencies, Makat Cityi,Philippines
2010 Itum ug Puti, An Exhibition by Sio Montera, Eghai Roxas, and Javy Villacin, Sining Kamalig Art Gallery, 4th Level, Gatewall
Wall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
2011 Cuevas.Montera.Villacin, 856-G Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St., Cebu City, Philippines
2012 Ekzena, Ricco Renzo Gallery, G/f LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St. Bel-Air 2, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
2009 Collaboration, Le Souffle Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines


Epic Sufferance, Heroic Redemption by Reuben Ramas Canete (Sio Montera's Penitensya exhibit)


Perseverance under the most rigorous of demands characterizes both the work and life of visual artist Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera. The Cebuano’s artistic environment is rife with the intense competition between local artists and the constant need to survive the provincial art world, whose patronage is still dominated by traditional genre and the phenomenon of ‘imported’ (that is, Manila-based, mall-displayed) art. As a painting practitioner, Montera’s work alludes to a highly untraditional (because modernist) approach to this conundrum: a desire to utilize the sensuality of textural surface that defies local notions of representational effect, and instead focuses on the tactility of ground, pigment, and vehicle of new media, such as his current use of acrylic-based paint texturizers, and asphalt roof sealants.
As a Fine Arts graduate and current member of the faculty at UP College Cebu, from which he was awarded an academic fellowship grant to take his MFA in UP Diliman, Montera’s aesthetic affiliations bear close scrutiny: heir to the rich art educational heritage of the late Cebuano master and UP Fine Arts alumnus Martino Abellana (the Amorsolo of the South), Montera’s formal upbringing was both diverse and liberal, emphasizing the totality of the artistic experience not only from the retinal-naturalistic viewpoint, but also the cognitive-affective-expressionistic one. Abstraction provided for him an unprecedented opportunity to grow as an artist, although one who is still deeply imbedded in local cultural contexts, from which he teases out his ideational praxes into a mediation between pure form and ideological formation.
Its current resolution comes as no surprise. Penitensya is both a conceptual journey across space, as well as a formational journey heading inward. Composed of twenty panels measuring a total of six by eighty feet, the work is visually divided into three progressions composed of two major motifs. A central inner motif of vertical gestural lines formed from repeated layers of asphalt is overlain by more diagonal and concentric strokes of Versatex texturizer, while the top and bottom outer motif is composed of more planar pulls and ripples produced by working on the Versatex with a rag while still wet. The progression is formed by the gradual inversion of the tonal range between central and outer motifs from predominantly white, to gray, and finally to black. The monochromatic scheme of the work is seen as a solution to the opposition of figure-ground relations, utilizing contemporary materials that are painstakingly built up into this gesamkunstwerk that points to both its meditative effect in the formal elements involved (monochrome and gestural lines), as well as its synthesis of the dual origins from Western Minimalism and Asian calligraphy.
Montera avers to the concept of Lenten penitence as the unifying element of the work. Its application can be seen in his interpretation of the process of artistic production as an “act of seeking atonement for one’s sins.” Its execution on such a scale and theme is a manifestation on the self-inflicting of pain, and the expression of remorse for “sins” both real and imagined. In a sense, Montera also reinscribes his artistic labor as penitential, in the sense that it was an inflicting of ritualistic self-punishment in the act of fulfilling his vision, a process that is both strenuous and repetitive, occupying the better part of ten months. The theme of physical self-punishment in the Filipino folk practice of penitensya can be read as a mnemonic device that cues us to the ideal of self-denial in the face of remorse. It is, of course, one that is layered within a dense codifying praxis that webs regret, suffering, and redemption within an overarching paralogic of power relations. Prominent art critic Patrick Flores, for one, teases out the notion of suffering as a grammatical sign that appends the state of the penitent as that of “defensible survival,” that is, the felt struggle that is waged within the colonial economy of human spirituality versus imperial morality. Penitence becomes here a form not only of subservience, but also that of potential defiance, in the sense that its ultimate reward, liberation, is achievable through struggle and hardship. It is a Christian dialectic deeply imbedded in the Filipino folk imaginary, manifested in such disparate cultural forms as Bernardo Carpio and the Ninoy Aquino mystique. Flores, crucially, refashions suffering into “sufferance,” the act of suffering or the patience/endurance of suffering, as a qualifier in the “emotional economy of struggle that engages the suffering agent or…the sufferant to exceed the power by which it is enabled” (2003, 23).
Penitensya, therefore, slides between the spaces of abject surrender and its redemptive liberation through the conscious act of subjecting oneself to the struggle of suffering. Its role as homologous to the artist’s social stakes (the artist/work is subjected to surveillance, strenuous labor, and finally institutional acceptance) is central to the understanding of the project’s undertaking as an epic piece, literally in the abstract. Finally, its multi-valenced usage of monochrome gestural painting points sideways towards the cultural conventions of symbolic ritual: the colors of ash, coal, and sand that signifies the ends of materiality also serves to focus on the formality of elements, pared down to the single voice of its producer. The transition from tonal remorse to expressive realization is done by looking across from the formerly within, conceptually closing the composition as it ends from mostly white to mostly black—and resolving the act of epic sufferance with the hope for heroic redemption. **END**

*Reuben Ramas Cañete is a true blooded Cebuano and is currently an Asssistant Professor at the Department of Art Studies, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines at Diliman. He is an art historian, art critic, curator, and artist by profession. He won the 1996 Leo Benesa Award for Art Criticism, and served as president of the Art Association of the Philippines from 2000 – 2001.


Sio Montera receives Jurors Choice Prize for Visayas Art Awards 2011


Since 1994, Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing Inc. has successfully organized and staged the Philippine Art Awards (PAA) producing a significant portfolio of past winners who are now considered the cream of the crop in the Philippine visual art scene. Every two years, a select panel of distinguished judges chooses ten winners from four regions (Metro Manila, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) to further compete for one Grand Prize and seven Juror’s Choices.

In the Visayas region, the awarding ceremonies were held at the Museo Iloilo last September 8, 2011. According to the organizers, there were more than 100 entries submitted by artists from Panay, Negros, Samar, Leyte and Cebu but only 10 were to adjudged Jurors Choice for the region. The ten jurors choice for the Visayas Art Awards were: Rommel Anglacer Garde, Iloilo City; Cezar Arro, Oton, Iloilo; Arel Zambarrano, Banate, Iloilo; Lester Joey Amacio, Iloilo City; and Tyrone Dave Espinoza, Lapaz, Iloilo City., Gary Custodio, Kalibo Aklan; Peter James Fantinalgo, Bacolod City, Marvin Chito Natural, Toledo City, Cebu; Jana Jumalon-Alano, Dumaguete City; and Dennis “Sio” Montera, Cebu City.

National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, Gov. Arthur Defensor, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and PMFTC President Chris Nelson honored them during the Awarding and Exhibition Opening Ceremony at Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City.
The winners received P40,000 each as cash prize, and a trophy made by National artist Napoleon Abueva. Furthermore, they get the chance to compete with winners from Luzon, Mindanao, and Metro Manila in the 2012 Philippine Arts Awards National Finals. The Philippine Arts Awards is the most prestigious visual art competition in the country. The grand winner will then receive P350,000 and seven Jurors Choice Excellence Award (P120,000), and Merit Award (P80,000).

In addition, the national winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Hongkong, a dynamic art market in Asia. In March 2012, the winners from Luzon, NCR, Visayas and Mindanao will vie for the national prize in an exhibition that will be mounted in the National Museum of the Philippines.


“ALAS CUATRO @ Bluewater Gallery”


“Alas Cuatro” is an art exhibition by “Tuslob-Buwa”, an art group composed of four contemporary visual artists in Cebu namely Jojo Sagayno, Evan Bejec, Sio Montera, and Ritchie Quijano. The show highlights the four individual directions each have taken hence the title “Alas Cuatro”.

The exhibit takes significance because the group’s composition and the number signify solidity in structure. In a deck of cards, there can be only four aces and nothing more therefore “Tuslob-Buwa” as a group is complete.

The four are in the prime of their artistic professions. Jojo Sagayno is a progressive mixed-media conceptual artist and currently a member of the faculty of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos. Evan Bejec was educated in the Fine Arts of U.P. and is both a dedicated painter and prolific wood sculptor. He also teaches Basic Drawing at SM Cebu’s Summer Art School annually. Sio Montera is an inexhaustible abstract expressionist painter and has mounted numerous solo shows to his credit. He completed his MFA at UP Diliman and is presently an Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts program of the University of the Philippines Cebu College. Lastly, Ritchie Quijano pursues the craft of both painting and sculpture. Extremely passionate in the field of art, Ritchie currently writes for Sun Star Daily covering the arts and culture scene of Cebu City.

The quadro of four emerging artists are set to unveil their most recent works at the Bluewater Gallery of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort form January 19, 2006 to February 18, 2006.

The Bluewater Gallery is located in Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort in Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines and is open from 10AM to 6PM on weekdays and from 10AM to 8PM on weekends. Non-resort guests are requested to call Ms. Juliet Amazona at 492-1808 or 232-5411 and arrange for an exhibit viewing appointment. For inquiries, you can call the above numbers or email the gallery at .


ARTIST CV


EDUCATION
2018 Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Creative Industries’ Design, National Cheng Kung
University, Tainan, Taiwan
2004 Master in Fine Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines (Diliman)
1996 Bachelor in Fine Arts, Major in Painting, University of the Philippines (Cebu) 1990 - 1995

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (VISUAL ARTS)
2017 A State of Introspection, Qube Gallery, Crossroads Mall, Banilad, Cebu City, Philippines
2015 In Situ, Qube Gallery, Crossroads Mall, Banilad Cebu City, Philippines
2014 One-Man-Sio, Qube Gallery, The Henry Hotel, Banilad Cebu City, Philippines
2013 DefiniSIOn, The Contemporary Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St.,Mandaue City, Philippines
2013 “Freedom of Expression”, Renaissance Gallery, Artwalk, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
City, Philippines
2012 Foto+Abstracsion3, Bluewater Gallery, Bluewater Beach Resort, Mactan, Cebu, Philippines
2012 AbstracSIOnista, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2011 SakripiSIO, Art Center, SM Megamall Bldg. A, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2010 ExecuSIOn, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2010 Sio on Canvas, Canvas Bistro.Bar.Gallery, The Terraces, Ayala Center, Cebu City
2009 Aftermath, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines
2009 AbstracSIOn 2, Bluewater Gallery, Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort, Cebu, Philippines
2008 Eight for Eight: Solo Exhibition No.8, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Philippines
2007 Free-Form, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu, City, Philippines
2006 AbstracSIOn, Bluewater Gallery, Bluewater Beach Resort, Cebu, Philippines
2006 Evolution, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City Philippines
2005 Consciousness, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
2004 Recent Works, Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2004 Penitensya, Little Theater Lobby, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Pasay City, Philippines
2000 One-Man-Sio, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Convention Center, Cebu City, Philippines

INTERNATIONAL/NATIONAL ART FAIRS
2017 Art Kaohsiung, The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
2017 ManilArt, SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Taguig City, Manila, Philippines
2016 Art Kaohsiung, The Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
2016 Tokyo International Art Fair 2016, Omotesando Hills, Tokyo Japan, Solo exhibit
2016 Asia Contemporary Art Show, Conrad-Hilton Hotel, Hong Kong
2015 Art Apart Fair Singapore, Park Royal Hotel, Singapore, Collective exhibit by Qube Gallery
2014 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines
2013 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines
2012 2014 ManilArt Fair, SMX Convention Center, Manila, Philippines

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS & BIENNALES
2017 Unique Realities, Trevisan International Art, Ateneo de Madrid, Sala Prado, C/Prado 21,
Madrid, Spain
2017 Little Treasures, Curated by Paola Trevisan, Galleri de Marchi, Bologna, Italy
2016 Little Treasures, Curated by Paola Trevisan, Galleri de Marchi, Bologna, Italy
2015 Cross-Cultural Impressions, An-Ping District Cultural Exhibition Center, International
Talent Hub, Institute of Creative Industries Design- NCKU, Tainan, Taiwan
2014 Giving Back Art, The Space Gallery, Gangnam, South Korea, Organized by GF4D
2013 Festival 12x12, 12 Regards D’ Artistes, Association Le Cent, Établissement Culturel
Solidaire, 100 Rue de Charenton, 75012 Paris, France
2013 Grand Soiree Philippine, Avec le Soutien de l’Ambassade des Philippines a Paris, Samedi,
28 Septembre, Viaduc des Artes, #57 Avenue Dausmenil, Paris
2013 Philippine Art Trek, Forest Rain Gallery, 261 Waterloo St., Singapore
2012 5th Beijing International Art Biennale, Beijing, China
2011 4th East Java Fine Art Biennale, Galeri Surabaya, Indonesia
2011 Asian International Art Exhibition, Hangaram Gallery, Seoul Arts Center, South Korea

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
2014 Gawad Dekana Award, Most Outstanding Achievement in Creative Work, University of the
Philippines Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines
2013 Artist in Residence, Association Le Cent, Établissement Culturel Solidaire, 100 Rue de
Charenton, 75012 Paris, France
2011 Professorial Chair Award for Creative Work, University of the Philippines Cebu
2011 Juror’s Choice, Philippine Art Awards, Visayas Region, Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City
2010 Chancellor’s Award, Most Outstanding Achievement in Creative Work, University of the
Philippines Visayas, Iloilo City
2010 First Prize, Non-Figurative Category, 2010 GSIS National Art Competition, Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS) Museo Ng Sining, Pasay City, Philippines
2009 Honorable Mention, AAP-ECCA Semi-Annual Abstract Art Competition, Manila,
Philippines
2008 Chancellor’s Award, Most Outstanding Achievement in Creative Work, University of the
Philippines Visayas, Iloilo City, Philippines
2008 Ramon Durano Professorial Chair Award, University of the Philippines Cebu, Cebu
Philippines
2001 Finalist, Philippine Art Awards, Metropolitan Museum, Pasay City, Philippines

INSITUTIONAL AFFILIATIONS
2012-2010 Vice-Head, National Committee on Visual Arts, National Commission for Culture and
the Arts
2013-2012 Member, Art Association of the Philippines
2013-2012 Member, Philippine Art Educators Association
2009-2007 Executive Committee Member, National Committee on Visual Arts, National
Commission for Culture and the Arts
2009 Founding Member and Trustee, Creative Cebu Council Inc. Visual Arts Sector Rep.
2008-2010 Chairperson, PUSOD INC. The Open Organization of Cebu Visual Artists

CONFERENCE PAPER PRESENTATIONS
2016 Peripheral Realities: Visual Artists in Cebu Philippines, 2016 International Service
Innovation Design Conference (ISIDC), Chiang-Mai City, Thailand
2016 Religious Folk Practice and the Creative Industries: A Portrait of Cebu City, Healthy Cities
and Living Conference 2016 (HCLC), Tainan City, Taiwan
2013 Current State of the Visual Arts and Design in U.P. Cebu, Conference on the Visual Arts
and Design Education at the Tertiary Level, The Art and Design Educators’ Council
(ARTDEC), College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

PUBLICATIONS
2012 Author, Directory of Visual Artists in the Philippines: Visayas Region, Published by the
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
2006 Author, Thirty Years of the Jose T. Joya Awards: The UP Cebu Art Collection
Catalog, Published by the University of the Philippines Cebu

SELECT COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (VISUAL ARTS)
2017 Southwind, Invitational Exhibit, Gallerie Roberto, Molito Lifestyle Center, Alabang,
Philippines
2017 Renaissance Gallery Invitational Anniversary Exhibition, Art Center, SM Megamall,
Mandaluyong City, Philippines
2016 Set in Motion, Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera and Jewelle Yeung Exhibition, Radisson Blu
Lobby, North Reclamation, Cebu City, Philippines
2013 New Acquisitions, An Exhibit of Works Endowed to the University of the Philippines Art
Collection, Bulwagan Ng Dangal at Atelyer, Gonzalez Hall, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City
2012 Cebu Contemporary, Curated Exhibition by JV Castro, Cebu City Museum
2012 Homecoming Exhibit, 26th Asian International Art Exhibition, Ayala Museum, Greenbelt
Park, Makati Avenue, Manila, Philippines
2011 Contemporary Cebu, Curated by JV Castro, Picasso Botique Serviced Residencies, Makati,
Metro Manila, Philippines
2010 Itum ug Puti, An Exhibition by Sio Montera, Eghai Roxas, and Javy Villacin, Sining
Kamalig Art Gallery, 4th Level, Gatewall Wall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
2011 Cuevas.Montera.Villacin, 856-G Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St., Cebu City, Philippines
2012 Ekzena, Ricco Renzo Gallery, G/f LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St. Bel-Air 2, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
2009 Collaboration, Le Souffle Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines


Cebuano Artists take Top Honors in GSIS Art Competition


The 6th Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) 2010 Art Competition announced this year’s batch of winners last June 7, 2010 at the GSIS Theater in Pasay City. Figuring prominently with major awards were Cebuano painters Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera, Felix Catarata and Warlen Rodriguez.

In the Non-Representational or ‘abstract’ category, U.P. Professor Dennis ‘Sio’ Montera took home the first prize; Felix Catarata and Warlen Rodriguez won first and second prize respectively in the Representational category. In the Sculpture category, Joe Geraldo of Negros Occidental won the first prize. The winning artists received a trophy and cash awards worth P 300,000.00, P200, 000.00 and P100, 000.00 for first, second, and third prize in each of the three categories respectively. This year’s competition were judged by National artists Ben Cabrera and Napoleon Abueva, Ms. Corazon Alvina, Ms. Sylvana Diaz, Mr. Eric Zerrudo, Luis Yee Jr. (Junyee), and Mr. Angel Cacnio.

Following in the footsteps of past GSIS winners from Cebu; Fred Galan (1st Prize-Representational category 2009), Florentino ‘Jun’ Impas (2nd Prize Representational category 2009), Antonio Ylanan (1st Prize, 2008), Orley Ypon (2nd Prize, 2008), (Jose Ybanez – Juror’s Choice 2008), this year’s winners have made it more special garnering two first prize awards out of the three categories and making a bold statement in the usually NCR-dominated Philippine art scene.

It was also a grand slam of sorts for the Cebu art community as the GSIS also bestowed a pioneering Artist of the Year Award to Cebuano Master Romulo Galicano for his achievements in the field of visual art and his legacy to the art community in general. Through a selection committee, the GSIS has previously awarded National Artists Napoleon Abueva and Ben Cabrera in this same capacity but extended this year’s qualification to accomplished artists not bestowed the National Artist title.
Galicano received a medal and special citation for his recognition.

Outgoing GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia was elated to see the Cebuano artists take the top honors in this prestigious competition. Speaking before a capacity crowd at the GSIS Theater, Garcia feels heartily indebted to the artists who have joined the competition over the years and wishes that the next GSIS leadership will continue to provide a competitive venue for artists to express themselves. He further adds that the GSIS Museo Ng Sining now possess 45 pieces of award-winning works as part of the Museum’s permanent collection.

The GSIS believes in the Filipino artist and his invaluable role in shaping how the country thinks. The GSIS through the Annual Art Competition has once again renewed its pledge to support artists all over the country, whose aim is to showcase the best paintings and sculptures of this generation.


Exposition Collective


1. Manilart 2013 at Qube Gallery Booth, SMX Convention Center, SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, October 9-13, 2013
2. Grand Soiree Philippine, Avec le Soutien de l’Ambassade des Philippines a Paris, Samedi, 28 Septembre, Viaduc des Artes, #57 Avenue Dausmenil, Paris
3. Festival 12x12, 12 Regards D’ Artistes, Societe, de Contemporaine Exposition Parcours Dans Le 12E Arrondisement De Paris, September 25 – October 6, 2013
4. No Difference, Invitational Group Exhibit, Qube Gallery, The Henry Botique Hotel, Paseo Saturnino Road, Maria Luisa Village, Banilad Cebu City, July 10-30, 2013
5. VISMIN, The Vismin Art Collective group exhibit, Qube Gallery, The Persimmon, M.J. Cuenco Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City, May 10-30, 2013
6. The VISMIN Art Collective @ Bluewater Gallery, Maribago Bluewater Berach Resort, Mactan, Cebu, May 11-31, 2013
7. Arte Biswal, The Curated Exhibit of the First Central Visayas Visual Arts Congress, Cebu City Museum, April 12-30, 2013
8. New Acquisitions, An Exhibit of Works Endowed to the University of the Philippines Art Collection, Bulwagan Ng Dangal at Atelyer, Gonzalez Hall, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City, February 7, March 31, 2013
9. All Together Now, The VISMIN Art Collective group exhibit, Water Dragon Gallery, Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Makati City, December 5, 2012- February 21, 2013
10. “ManilArt” 2012, Renaissance Gallery Booth, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City, October 22-27, 2012
11. “Future and Reality”, 5th Beijing International Art Biennale 2012, National Museum of China, Beijing, September 28 – October 22, 2012
12. Habagatan, The VISMIN Art Collective, Altro Mondo Gallery, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, July 9-19, 2012
13. Diversities II, 856-G Gallery, Business Walls, A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City, Cebu May 2-31, 2012
14. Beyond Recognizable Imagery, Ricco Renzo Galleries, March 15 – April 14, 2012
15. Homecoming Exhibit, 26th Asian International Art Exhibition, Ayala Museum, Greenbelt Park, Makati Avenue, March 5 – April 1, 2012
16. Cebu Contemporary, Curated by JV Castro, Cebu City Museum, January 4-31, 2012
17. “ Transposisi” Jatim Biennale (East Java International Fine Art Biennale), Surabaya, Indonesia, October 24-27, 2011
18. “Asian International Art Exhibition”, Philippine Delegation, Hangaram Gallery, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul South Korea, September 14-17, 2011
19. “Diversities”, Artist’s Space, Ayala Museum, Makati City, Manila, September 15-28, 2011
20. Visayas Art Awards 2011, Regional Winners Exhibit, Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City, September 7-30. 2011
21. “Timeless Modernity”, BPI Museum Cebu Inaugural opening and exhibition, Ceu City, September 5-28, 2011
22. “ManilArt” 2011, Renaissance Gallery Booth, NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila, August 24-26, 2011
23. Contemporary Cebu, Curated by JV Castro, Picasso Botique Serviced Residencies, June 18 – August 14, 2011
24. “Itum ug Puti”, An Exhibition by Sio Montera, Eghai Roxas, and Javy Villacin, Sining Kamalig Art Gallery, 4th Level, Gatewall Wall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, September 21 – October 9, 2010
25. “Manila Art” 2010, Art N’ Nature/Pusod-Cebu Booth, SMX Hall 4, Mall of Asia Complex, July 29-August 1, 2010
26. “Cuevas.Montera.Villacin”, 856-G Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St., Cebu City, July 1-31, 2010
27. “Ekzena”, Ricco Renzo Gallery, G/f LRI Design Plaza, N. Garcia St. Bel-Air 2, Makati City, May 22-June 11, 2009
28. “Collaboration”, Le Souffle Restaurant and Wine Bar, The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, March 18- April 8, 2009
29. “Tubodfest”, Outdoor Exhibition, A Project of Creative Cebu Nexus, The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu, March 6-13, 2009
30. “One Visayas” Fine Art Exhibition, Cebu International Convention Center, March 1-8, 2009
31. “Philippine International Visual Arts Festival 2009”, Robinsons Midtown, Manila, February 18-22, 2009
32. Flash! Fifteen Filipino Abstractionists, Galerie Anna, 7f Ramon Magsaysay Bldg., Pasay City, October 18-November 9, 2008
33. “Sugbu Grupo at Herald Suites” 2160 Don Chino Roces Ave. Pasong Tamo, Makati City, August 19-30, 2008
34. “Paz Art Gallery Inaugural Exhibit and Grand Opening”, Pelaez Bldg., A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City, December 5, 2008 – January 20, 2009
35. “Gallery-Q Grand Launching Exhibit”, Gallery-Q, A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City, December 15, 2008 – January 4, 2009
36. VIVA Ex-Con 10 Sinugatan Exhibit, Trade Hall, SM City Cebu, November 27-29, 2008
37. “Quatro Moderno”, A Tuslob-Buwa Artists Group Exhibition, Gallery Q, Mandaue City, August 21 September 19, 2008
38. Sugbu Asdang, SM City Cebu, Art Center, April 16-April 30, 2008
39. Sugbu Asdang, 856-G Gallery, A.S. Fortuna St., Mandaue City, Cebu April 17-May 22, 2008
40. Sugbu Asdang, Bluewater Gallery, Maribago Bluewater Beach resort, Mactan, Cebu, April 18-May 30, 2008
41. Art Link Exhibit, Organized by the Kaalyado Ng Sining, Lobby of the Cebu Country Club, March 28-30, 2008
42. Drowing-Drowing 6: Planeta, UPVCC Little Gallery, February 14-26, 2008
43. Abstrakan 2008, A Tuslob-Buwa Artists Group invitational exhibit and competition, Art Center, SM City Cebu, January 2-9, 2008
44. Art Diocese, A Tuslob-Buwa Artists Group thematic exhibit, Art Center, SM City Cebu, October 24- November 6, 2007
45. Love Theories, A Tuslob-Buwa Artists Group thematic exhibit, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Feb. 2-18, 2007
46. Alas-Cuatro, Tuslob-Buwa Artists Group exhibit, Bluewater Gallery, Cebu, Philippines, Jan. 19-Feb 18, 2007
47. Kwadro Dos, UPV Art Gallery, Main Building, City Campus, Iloilo City, August 1 - 31, 2006
48. Alternatives, UPVCC Little Gallery, UP Cebu Campus, Lahug Cebu City, May 3-21, 2006
49. Tuslob-Buwa Begins, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City, December 23,2005-January 4,2006
50. The Entries, Exhibit of the 2005 Philippine Art Awards Cebu-Entries, Southwestern University, Cebu City, January 18-21, 2006
51. Fusion Trends, featured artist of BLIMS furniture exhibit, Activity Center Lobby, Ayala Center Cebu, July 14-August 2,2005
52. Visayas Islands Visual Artists Curated Exhibit, Curated by Bobbi Valenzuela, VIVA Exhibit-Conference, Provincial Capitol, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, November 2004
53. One by One, Curated by Nestor Vinluan, Small Gallery, Ayala Museum, Makati City, December 2003-January 2004
54. Wings in Closet, Encomium Cafe, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City September 2003
55. Quidao!: Pagkab-ut, Pagsabot Sa Bag-ong Milenyo, Art Center, SM City Cebu, Cebu City, January 2001
56. Munas-Ginhawa, curated by Bobbi Valenzuela, Lunà Art Gallery, Gorordo Avenue, Lahug Cebu City, December 2000 - January 2001
57. Philippine Art Awards Exhibit, Metropolitan Museum, December 18,2000-January 12,2001, Pasay City


“Evolve or Die” by Ritchie Landis Doner Quijano (Sio Montera's Evolution Exhibit 2006, Philippines) Published in SunStar Daily, Cebu on February 28, 2006


To believe in evolution, one has to be an evolutionist. He then is a person required to be evolutionary in thinking, open to changes and who isn’t stuck and asleep in a Procrustean bed. When working out art theories and picturing personal historiographies the artist will devise plans for an evolutionary exhibit of art works because this comes naturally in his maturation. Sio Montera, the art practitioner becomes a visionary as well but by not being messianic because he is not forsaking his roots and by acknowledging his beginnings, the show is very much autobiographical using the philosophy of experience in the context of his inner-self unfolding in material production in the form of art works. This opening out then is the true expression of the intellect and from his heart’s passion. Prodigious in the presentation of both fibrous/organic/indigenous materials suspended in time by an industrial method of encapsulation. These labor-intensive presentations represent such themes as spiritual awakening given concrete/tangible visual forms of the almost omnipresent and in the mandala, which are universal in the cultures of people displaced by geographic boundaries. Such evident commonality asserts the theory of our equal origins as human beings. It is inevitable that when one aspires to fathom his roots, naturally the best place and way to explore is to make an introspect into the self as we are created in our Creator’s image and likeness. The exhibition on the other hand is filled with ironies and contradictions, as evolution per se is incongruous with the Christian faith in creation. Thus in his art, Montera reconstructs and somehow reconciles the two opposing concepts. It’s a show that’s mythical and mystical in concept welding into a scientific approach in production process while the artist provides the artistry. Hence in a quaint road less traveled, Montera’s activities are clouded in mystique. In knowing the self, he ultimately looks beyond unto the less understood supernatural forces like those that give life. Evolution is the embracing of constant changes without it there can be no growth and progression. Development in art will depend on how an artist will push himself to attain his full human potential by using the resources around him to its full creative capacity. *END


Resort gallery to feature abstract pieces


Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Resort gallery to feature abstract pieces

THE Bluewater Gallery will present the exhibition “Abstrac|SIO|n, which will feature artworks by Ce-buano abstractionist Dennis “Sio” Montera from Oct. 20 to Nov. 17.

Montera continues to break new ground with this new collection of works employing thickly dissolved and overlapped layers of acrylic, oil and asphalt that alternate between bright and muted tones.

To appreciate the paintings, the complete collection must be viewed as a whole—they become visual scribbling in an incomplete diary, each element representing words and sentences in a larger visual narrative of the artist’s life and adventures.

Style

In this body of works, modulations of color are stretched over infinite or calculated geometric space, encouraging views to examine closely, the tonal presence of partly covered hues and textures as they sit in delicate balance in both symmetrical and asymmetrical planes.

The show marks the artist’s sixth solo exhibition and his second for the current year.

Schedule

The Bluewater Gallery is located in Maribago Blue-water Beach Resort in Lapu-Lapu City and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Non-resort guests are requested to call Juliet Amazona at 492-1808 or 232-5411 and arrange for an exhibit viewing appointment and for inquiries.

One may also send e-mail to .


About the Artist


Sio Montera is a process-oriented painter who specializes in extracting concepts from reality into a visual form. His style of non-figurative art has been recognized in international exhibitions and fairs while maintaining a strong patronage in the Philippine art scene. He combines acrylics with non-traditional media and techniques to produce dynamic abstractions that mirrors his surroundings and experiences. Born and raised in the island city of Cebu, Philippines, the artist is also an accomplished and tenured university art professor in the University of the Philippines. He is currently residing between Cebu City and Tainan City in Taiwan pursuing a doctoral degree in the creative industries by way of the National Cheng Kung University.


Free Form in Art


The issue of ‘form’ in relation to a predetermined appearance and meaning is being addressed by this artist. He believes that it is essential to dissociate the process of image-making from any pre-conceived idea, and to let form and content emerge out from the painting process itself. Thus, the act of painting would become a direct phenomenon that would, in turn, lead to self-discovery. This ‘directness in painting’ as motivated by the dictates of the artist’s passion, medium and technique, would allow the content to finally emerge.

The artist in his own way would build an open compostion, every detail of which is layered with equal intensity. An over-all field or total mass image may have no single object or shape that stands out from the total energy impact. In his process, the artist desires for ‘total-involvement’ with the act of painting. The works’ often comprise slabs of color and painterly marks that are impulsive and dynamic, and that seem to expand beyond the framing edges, as if the pictorial space were merely a section chosen at random. In this process, the artist now regards painting as an intense, unpremeditated search for the images of his creative experiences and/or emotions.

As in most of the artist's abstractions, the collection on this site are highly artistic configurations of paint masses, expressive force of texture, and color modulations characterized by a careful balance between spontaneous gesture and continual control. Having spurned conceptual design that leads to picture-making, the elements are delicately worked up from the bottom-up and from the top-down with a sense of immediacy to free form from pretty pictorial illusionism and attain a post-painterly equilibrium in art.