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Artist Aris Carandang wants to promote and preserve old Filipino houses for the consumption of younger generation

Aris Carandang is from Plaridel, Bulacan. He was born March 15, 1977 and the youngest among eleven siblings. He is an artist by heart since he doesn’t have formal training in visual arts. Instead, he earned his bachelor of Arts in Philosophy when he entered the seminary. However,  this paved the way for him to be exposed to different  aspects of arts such as singing, theatre acting and be exposed to precious visual arts like the works of Amorsolo, Luna, Malang, Joya, Manansala and other prominent visual  artists. He remember during his childhood days, he was enjoying playing with small pieces of wood blocks with different sizes and shapes for firewood. Since Plaridel is an old town called Quingua during the Spanish time 1603, there were several old Spanish type houses back then that mesmerized him. Not to mention the century old St. James Parish Church building. Unfortunately,  the majority of these ancestral houses were not maintained enough; some were already demolished. He thinks this is his inspiration for his obra. He wants the younger generation to have an idea of how old houses called “bahay na bato“, “casa grande” or “balai” look like, built by the early Filipino craftsmen. Because he is proud to promote Filipino heritage in his simple way.

Balai Pag-asa 26×39 inches Mixed media sculpture
Casa Grande de Joson 40×40 inches Mixed media sculpture

Here is our conversation with Aris.

What motivates you to push through your career as an artist?

My desire to preserve the filipino old houses which started as a hobby is my primary motivation to learn more and find new ways to create a unique obra. 

What are the challenges you’ve been through as an artist?

The first challenge is the materials because  I use natural materials  such as cement glass, capiz shell, acrylic paints, varnish and wood. So I have to work with different  tools and approach  different  techniques. By way of personal experimentation, I was able to use these materials artistically. 

How does the pandemic affect you?

Honestly this pandemic is a blessing in disguise for me. Because of covid, I was forced to become a full time mixed media artist. I took advantage of the series of lockdowns to concentrate more on how to create a meaningful obra. And so my big piece created during the first intensed lockdown was entitled  “Balai Pag-asa”. My obra saved me from the depression of covid as well as financial support because I was able to sell some obra in spite of the lockdown. And as a way of thanksgiving, even in a small amount, I financially  help some seriously  sick people  that I came across facebook. 

With all your art pieces, Do you have any favourite one? 

As I mentioned  above, Balai Pag-asa was my first love among other obra. 

What is your advice especially to all the emerging artists?

I may be old in age but I am also neophyte in this career. When I chat with young artists on social media, I encourage  them to be passionate in their arts and find their own originality because this will all the more inspire them to work and inspire others as well, especially  the art enthusiasts. I particularly encourage  them to use Filipino culture as an original theme in their works. 

Who inspires you to make more art?

There is no particular  person but my aspiration is to preserve our old Filipino houses for the consumption of our  younger  generation.  Because  unlike Europe  and some parts of the world that value their culture and heritage as one of the top priorities, our ancestral  houses were not maintained  enough because of monetary considerations.

One response to “Artist Aris Carandang wants to promote and preserve old Filipino houses for the consumption of younger generation”

  1. Benjie Abratique Avatar
    Benjie Abratique

    Quality arts with old school approach…
    Lucky me i got the Balai Pag.asa.

    I also got one, came from my original concept w/c i called CASA ABRATIQUE.. mixed of moderm and old tradition design of the frontage of my house / home…

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