Opening salvo of the art exhibit – Reflections: exploring the canvas of cultural diversity

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The city of Vienna was treated on June 5, 2024, to a spectacular painting exhibition that showcased the incredible talent of Filipino painters Harold Khan and Jessielaine Punongbayan. The exhibition’s theme, “Exploring the Canvas of Cultural Diversity,” captured the essence of their work, which beautifully combines traditional Filipino design with modern expressions.

Harold Khan, known for his bold and vibrant use of colors, takes viewers on a journey through time with his pieces. The influence of vintage cinema billboards is evident in his work, creating a fascinating dialogue between the past and the present. His paintings challenge ideas of identity and belonging and evoke a sense of nostalgia that resonates with audiences.

On the other hand, Jessielaine Punongbayan’s expertise lies in abstracting form and symbolism, focusing on capturing the Philippines’ landscapes. Her paintings transport viewers to the lush tropical rainforests, pristine beaches, and majestic volcanoes of her homeland. Through her work, she invites viewers to explore the shared narratives that connect us all, bridging cultural divides and promoting harmony.

The exhibition was hosted at the Volkshochschule Donaustadt by Karl Dworschak, Director of VHS Donaustadt, who expressed his pride in showcasing the remarkable artworks of Harold Khan and Jessielaine Punongbayan.

Councilor Louise Däger-Gregori also extended her gratitude to the painters for sharing their talents with the district, acknowledging the significance of art in fostering connections and mutual understanding in our increasingly interconnected world.

The new Consul of the Philippine Embassy, Consul Candy Cypres-Bauzon, also rendered an inspirational message, adding to the exhibition’s importance by highlighting how it embodies the essence of connection and cultural exchange. In a world where diversity is celebrated, the paintings of Harold Khan and Jessielaine Punongbayan serve as a reminder of the beauty that can be found in embracing different cultures and perspectives.

Overall, the painting exhibition in Vienna featuring Harold Khan and Jessielaine Punongbayan is a true testament to the power of art in transcending boundaries and bringing people together. Through their unique and captivating work, these Filipino painters will surely leave a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of experiencing their artistry.

The painting exhibition is organized by Sentro ng Wikang Filipino in Austria, headed by Ms. Arlene Castaneda. The works of Khan and Punongbayan will be displayed at the VHS Donaustadt, Bernoullistrasse 1, until June 24, 2024.

-hector pascua

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