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Imao, Toym

“Kontra Punto”

Cast bronze and stone
Height 39 inches
(submission is a video of his sculpture)

“Kontra Punto” is a 1 meter high “monument” which challenges the popular notion of what it means to be “monumental”. It’s distinctively smaller in scale compared to more traditional monuments depicting Lapulapu or our other historical figures in different institutional sites around the country. Its 39 inch height is a visual metaphor that references our relative scale as compared to more powerful nations in the region, but despite its size, it visually represents a people who five hundred years ago, resisted the aggression of a colonial power. Fast forward to five hundred years after that historical event, we are again faced with a similar scenario, that of the Chinese incursions into our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Since the national government’s focus on it’s Quincentennial Commemorations are hinged on the 500th year of the introduction of Christianity to our shores, the Magellan-Elcano Circumnavigation of the world and the victory at the Battle of Mactan. The “Kontra Punto” monument would like to create a fresh depiction of related to these historic events by presenting a design that features our ancestors as accomplished warriors and seafarers with a rich culture, and a pre-colonial society with women as healers and counsels as “babaylans” alongside the “datus” and “timawas”. The overall look of the design which is inspired by the hilt of a “kampilan” and the head of a “bakunawa” or mythical serpent, grounds the overall design of the monument to a distinctly Asian aesthetic.

“Kontra Punto” is a 1 meter high monument, the smallest Lapulapu monument with a big story behind it, and a timely message to tell.

Toym Imao is a teacher, human rights advocate and multi-media artist in both classical and contemporary styles, storyteller, and set/production designer. He was mentored in both sculpture and painting by Napoleon Abueva and his father Abdulmari Asia Imao. Studied at the University of the Philippines (Architecture, MFA Fine Arts) and Maryland Institute College of Arts (MFA Sculpture) under a Fulbright Scholarship.

He is currently part of the UP College of Fine Arts faculty and continues to create large scale historical public art for both public and private institutions. He is also known for his large-scale art installations that are political commentaries of the times.