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A journey through Asian art

Nune Alvarado – Philippines: Born in 1950, Nunelucio Alvarado lives in the Visayas, the islands of the central Philippines well known for growing sugar. It was here in 1986, with two others, that he formed the Bacolod-based progressive group known as the Black Artists in Asia, focused on making artworks that focused on the lives – the joys and the trials – of the oppressed local farmers and fisherfolk. His agrarian worker, or sakada, is portrayed as ‘squat, square-shoulder, and wide-eyed from hunger as much as from quiet desperation amid the sugarcane plantations of the landlord classes.’ (see The form of the figures, their frequent large scale depiction, and their subject-matter is reminiscent of similar works by the Mexican ‘renaissance’ artist Diego Rivera painted on the other side of the Spanish-dominated Pacific Ocean.

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