A different take on Coching’s characters

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The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is proud to take part in the centennial celebration of National Artist for Visual Arts Francisco V. Coching via the exhibition, “Nasaan Ka Na, Mara-Bini: Tracing Liberation and Empowerment in the Stories of F.V. Coching’s Rebel Daughters.”
The exhibit opened on the late artist’s 100th birthday, 29 January, and may be viewed free by the public until 7 April at the CCP’s Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (2F Hallway Gallery).

The exhibition is presented in cooperation with the Coching Family and independent curator Alice Sarmiento. The curator writes: “A rich variety of characters and stories runs through Coching’s work, granting the reader a look into Coching’s ideas of where women belonged when it came to the everyday struggles he portrayed in his komiks. While often possessing stereotypically feminine traits —softness, compassion, empathy — Coching’s female characters are also allowed agency and even militancy in choosing their battles…By asking ‘Nasaan ka na, Mara-bini?’ in light not only of Coching’s women, but of the rebel daughters of today, can we possibly trace an arc from Mara-bini’s first appearance as a potential pop culture icon in 1941, to the leaders of contemporary feminist movements? Declarations of ‘The future is female!’ as well as hashtags like #BabaeAko and #IamEveryWoman can definitely find a safe space within the frames Coching drew, in which women lifted men up with little effort, commanded armies, and most importantly, led movements.”

“Nasaan Ka Na, Mara-Bini” will also be a part of the CCP’s Women’s Month celebration in March, and its upcoming Performatura Festival in April. Exhibit viewing hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on days with evening performances at the CCP Main Theater. For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division at (632) 832-1125 loc. 1504/1505 and (632) 832-3702, mobile (0917-6033809), email (ccp.exhibits@gmail.com) or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph

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