Flights of fancy in kite-filled exhibit at ARTablado Robinsons Galleria

As published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 3, 2023

There’s a childlike sense of whimsy in the paintings of artist Bong Anore. A banca-sized bangus ferries children across the nighttime sky. In another, a couple on a journey straddles a giant carp like they would a horse. Across an orange sky, children fly multicolored kites—the vivid green of a towering tree standing in stark contrast.

In all of his paintings, Anore includes colorful kites. It’s a motif he has made his own. Kites symbolize lofty dreams and freedom; their ability to soar high only limited by the length of string that tethers them to the ground.

In an interview, the artist quoted lyrics from the song, “Saranggola ni Pepe” popularized by Celeste Legaspi. “Parang si Pepe na may saranggola na matayog ang lipad, matayog din ang aking pangarap.”

Anore, who turns 50 later this year, was born and raised in Binangonan, Rizal, which is considered by many as an “artists’ paradise.” He began drawing cartoon characters and superheroes back in primary school—no kites yet.

It was only after experimenting with different media and painting styles that he latched on to his signature kites. “I came to love them. During my exploratory years, I tried abstracts, landscapes, florals, still lifes and even portraiture but came to realize kites as an identity, my identity,” Anore said.

Before he could devote himself entirely to art, however, he first had to follow his parents’ wishes for him to take on a viable course. “I took a different course in college, Electronics and Communications Engineering but it only made me fall in love with art even more. My kite drawings were influenced by [the drafts required] for engineering drawings.”

Since then, Anore has held four solo exhibits as well as participated in group exhibits held at the San Agustin Museum in Intramuros and in a gallery in New York City, USA.

His brightly colored images translate well as greeting cards and have been chosen seven times by Hallmark for its Christmas card cover and souvenir designs from 2011 to 2018, and by Dohle Seafront Philippines, a shipping firm, in 2019.

His art has also garnered prizes including 3rd place at Robinsons Land Corporation’s 1st National Art Competition in 2018.

For his 5th solo show “Ode to the Wind” at Artablado in Robinsons Galleria, Anore embraces further his love for kites that he describes as “symbols of hope, joy and success rolled into one perfect pastime.” By continuing to paint kites, he said he is “immortalizing… a moment of flight [and showing that] nothing is impossible.”

The artist who admires the works of Van Gogh, Monet, Raphael and Michelangelo is also amazed by Filipino masters like Malang, Legaspi, Botong and Luna.

Of his exhibit that runs from July 1 to 19, he described the space as “a wonderful venue to be heard loud and clear.”

“I feel at home here. They treat me like family so having another show here is… a testament to the evolution and development of the ARTablado program,” he said.

Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging and established artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work. To date, ARTablado has mounted numerous exhibitions and hosted over 300 artists.