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Ang Kiukok (1931-2005)
He was a Filipino painter who attained prominence for his distinct portrayal of cubist, surrealist and expressionist concepts. He was named a National Artist for Visual Arts in 2001 for his figurative expressionist style. Ang Kiukok was known for his non-mainstream portrayals of the mother and child and the crucifixion of Christ.
He was one of the most dynamic figures in the Philippine art scene from the 60s until his death in 2005.
Ang Kiukok was born in Davao City on 1 March 1931 to Chinese parents, Vicente Ang and Chin Lim. He had four children with his wife, Mary de Jesus.
Ang's father wanted to name his son Hua Shing, meaning "Chinese-born", but decided to look for a new name when he found out that his cousin's son had been given the same name. Anxious about China's fate against the Manchurians who were invading the land, his father named him Kiukok, meaning "Save the Country".
Ang's artistry began at an early age. Even before he reached his teen years, he began drawing people using styles that were commonly seen in magazines and comics.
From 1952 to 1954, he took up Art Studies courses at the University of Santo Tomas. He studied under mentors like Vicente Manansala, Victorio Edades, Diosdado Lorenzo, Jose Garcia Llamas, Galo Ocampo and Virginia Ty.
He taught at an overseas Chinese art school for five years despite leaving school a year short of finishing his degree.
Ang was among the many Filipino artists who have managed to showcase their talent in different countries all over the world. Many of his works were exhibited in various displays held in Saigon, Tokyo, Taipeo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
The works that he produced during the Martial Law Period represented nationalist images and various sociological concepts.
Through the urging of his former mentor Vicente Manansala, Ang held his first one-person show at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in 1934. Since then, he has held a variety of different shows throughout his career. In 1990, he, along with Onib Olmedo and Solomon Saprid, was featured in a show called Figurative Expressionists held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
At present, pieces of his works are held on display at the National Museum of the Philippines, the Ateneo Art Gallery, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Historical Commission in Taipei.
Ang Kiukok won the third prize in the Shell National Students Art Competition for Calesa in 1953. He also won several awards from the Art Association of the Philippines for his works The Bird, Still Life, Still Life in Red, Fish and Geometric Still-Life Fish. In 1961 and 1976,he was recognized as an Outstanding Overseas Chinese in Art, and he won the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award.
More recognition came his way when he was given an Outstanding Alumnus Award by the University of Santo Tomas in 1980 and when one of his works became a finalist in the Mobil Art Awards that same year.
In 2001, he was named a National Artist for Visual Arts by president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
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