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 Kiukok Ang  (1931 - 2005)

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Lived/Active: Philippines      Known for: figurative expressive painting

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Ang Kiukok is primarily known as Kiukok Ang

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

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.


Biography from Tobin Reese Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Ang Kiukok (1931-2005) was a popular Filipino artist best known for his depictions of violent imagery and for originating the style of figurative expressionism. Equally at home on canvas and paper, Ang's versatility helped the elevation of sketches from medium simply for the production of studies to a well-respected art form in their own right.

Ang Kiukok was born in Davao City, Philippines to Chinese immigrant parents. Early encouragement of his art led to Ang's enrollment in the University of Santo Tomas in Fine Art in 1952. There, notable Filipino painters such as Vicente Manansala recognized his talent; Manansala would become Ang's primary mentor and lifelong friend. After his time at university, Ang spent his time teaching and participating in art shows. He held his first solo exhibition in 1954 and won numerous awards during this period.

In 1965, a trip to New York led to a shift in Ang's style, influenced by the abstract art that he saw there. His artwork continued to portray the anger that he saw in the world around him. As Ang worked mostly during the repressive dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, his art often reflects the political strife of the time, veiled in shrouds of metaphor in order to avoid being detected and censored. Although he never expressed his opposition to the Marcos regime, his artwork nevertheless reflects what many see as animosity towards the dictator while Ang himself maintained a calm composure. Despite his later, more robotic pieces being rejected by the public fancy, he nevertheless persisted in staying true to himself and painting without regard for public opinion. After this period, his paintings again grew in popularity in the 1970s, leading to a period of celebration of Ang's work that would persist beyond his passing.

In 1976, Ang was awarded the Outstanding Citizen Award, which led to the 1978 Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award, and in 2001, he was awarded the Pambansang Alagad ng Sining ng Pilipinas (National Artists of the Philippines) order, the highest honor bestowed for artistic achievement in the Philippines. A retrospective of Ang's work was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in 2000; he was only the third person in the history of the museum to receive this honor. He died from prostate cancer in 2005 and was buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani, Manila's national cemetery for Filipino heroes.

Source: Ian Martyn

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