Books & Art

The P90,000 Kaning Tutong Wins Art Fair Philippines 2020

There's more to it than meets the eye, though.
IMAGE PAOLO CHUA
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Burnt rice isn't what you'd typically expect to see at a premier art exhibition like Art Fair Philippines. But that's exactly what Visayan media artist Manny Montelibano is showcasing for art gallery 1335Mabini's exhibition space.

The piece, "Dukot Survival," is priced at P90,000, and it comes with the glass it's encased in. The kaning tutong features small plastic human figures, and is a metaphor for the future of our society.

Photo by PAOLO CHUA.
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If you want a more detailed explanation, just read what 1335Mabini has to say about the piece: "'Dukot Survival' is an installation work composed on preserved burnt rice with small plastic human figures inserted between the grains and five multi-colored vitrines. 'Dukot' is a Hiligaynon word referring to overcooked rice that takes its form from the used pot."

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Photo by PAOLO CHUA.
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"'Dukot' is presented as an artifact of the upcoming past, the forthcoming old society. As humanity strives toward a more balanced world, civilizations leave behind evidence of how people live. This is a reflection of how people evolve by adapting to the demands of society. It also reflects the disappearance of a society, the fading values, and the vanishing traditions, which can also result in modern evolutionary synthesis."

Would you drop P90,000 for tutong?

Yeah, there's a deeper meaning to it.

Um... pass.

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For what its worth, the artist took measures to preserve the rice so you can have it displayed for years to come.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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