USC Press launched Kamingaw: An Impressionist Portrait of the Bisaya Painter Martino A. Abellana on January 10 at the Cebu Country Club. This is a joint effort that takes pride with the wonders of the local art scene and the intrinsic heroism of Cebuano culture.
The book portrays the life and times, the art, and influence of Martino Abellana (1914-1988). Kamingaw is both a comprehensive exposition of Abellana’s works and a fitting tribute to the legend who paved way for the development of Cebuano Art.
It is the first major coffeetable book to be authored by Professor Raymund L. Fernandez, who is currently teaching at the Fine Arts program of the University of the Philippines – Cebu. As skilled with the pen as he is with the brush, Fernandez captures in Kamingaw the essential Abellana.
According to Fernandez, he started working on the project on October 2015 and finished it on December last year. “A painter should not be only able to paint well, but he should also be good in articulating his art through words,” he said. “I am glad I was given the honor to write this book,” he added.
The book is a portrait of an artist fondly called “Noy Tinong,” a Carcaranon whose initial artistry would be honed by creative collaboration with members of his talented family, and whose evolving aesthetic would take shape under the mentoring of masters like Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino. Winning the awards in the ‘50s, the figurative impressionist would practice his craft until the late ‘80s, producing an impressive body of work that includes portraits, landscapes, and still life rendered in oil, charcoal, and pastels.
Together with his friend Professor Julian Jumalon, Abellana helped establish the Fine Arts program at the University of the Philippines – Cebu; there, the likes of Raymund Fernandez, Celso Pepito, and Mar Vidal – along with other Cebuano painters – zealously learned from the iconic painter.
There will be 2,000 copies sold for initial production and distribution. Launch price for the book is Php1,999.00 and regular price is Php2,500.00. Kamingaw will be sold in all branches of Fully Booked and will be soon available on National Bookstore and Powerbooks outlets on March. Orders can be made online through their Facebook page. It is currently on display at museums in Halad, Parian, Paseo Sugbu, Casa Gorordo and all other museums in Cebu.
USC Press is the official publisher of academic books and scholarly journals of the University of San Carlos. It publishes coffee table books and paperbacks with a wide range of topics. /Reyna Cadiz