Weaving threads  of history

Contemporary visual artist Aileen Lanuza unveils flourishing tapestries in her latest collection A Symphony of Roots.

Working closely with Mindanaoan artisans of Kaayo, Lanuza hearkens back to our roots using indigenous weaves from tribes across the region in her compositions. Founded in 2016 by mother-daughter Mary Ann “Baby” Montemayor and Margarita Nograles, clothing line Kaayo brings Mindanaoan weaving heritage to the world, collaborating with women from the T’boli, B’laan, Mandaya, Bagobo Tagabawa, Tagakaolo, and Ata Manobo tribes to raise awareness of, preserve, and reimagine their individual weaving methods and traditions.

Each thread and brushstroke traces a strand of a long and rich history, woven into symphonic tapestries. Each creation carries the weight of ages past, a tale of triumph and struggle, that echoes through time.

“I share the same passion as Kaayo has, in maintaining our roots and bringing forth our custom indigenous weaves that are inherently Filipino,” Lanuza said. “It is important for me in my works to highlight the best of what we are, maintaining our identity and always, bearing the power to be who we are.”

Relating her experiences as a modern Filipina, Lanuza delineates a heritage that is not just a relic of the past, but whose tune we always carry, resounding in everything we do and constantly redefining who we are and can be. Her signature floral compositions follow the movement, form, and eloquence of Maria Clara, capturing its timelessness, its quiet intensity, and the enduring flourish of its beauty. As she composes this symphony of roots, the pieces interweave the destinies of those who hear its call.

Aileen Lanuza (b. 1981) entered the University of the Philippines Diliman to study fine arts majoring in visual communication. Come 2008, she held her first one-man show and has been part of auctions and publications the same year. A prolific artist, Lanuza has shown works in different countries around Asia and North America. Her style has consistently focused on women and the female experience; from realistic Filipinianas and pop art homages, to impressionistic self-portraits and enigmatic figures, she invites her audience to contemplate the emotion and context of her subjects. Depicting both tenderness and strength in one picture is what makes Lanuza one of the most sought-after Filipino contemporary artists today.

A Symphony of Roots will be on view from 9 to 27 August. Galerie Stephanie is located on the 4th floor of Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City. Call +63 7940-5726 or email [email protected].