- Artist: Papo de Asis 1949 - 2005
- Painting Title: "Imperialism And Our Local Allies" 1981
- Medium: Oil on Canvas
- Size: 89 X 108cm Framed
- Valuation: $50,000.00
- NATIONAL RESPECT FOR PAPO DE ASIS WAS ESTABLISH IN 2016 WHEN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MANILA ACKNOWLEDGED AND HONOURED HIM WHEN TWO OF HIS PAINTINGS WERE HUNG IN THE GREAT HALL.
- WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT "IMPERIALSM AND OUR LOCAL ALLIES" 1981, HANGS ALONGSIDE THESE TWO ARTISTIC AND POLITIACL STATEMENTS.
- YOUR GENEROUS DONATION WILL ENSURE THAT THIS CAN HAPPEN AND A MEMORIAL BE ESTABLISHED IN HIS HONOUR.
- Do you stand for Justice, Compassion, the right to live in safety, free from terror, starvation and intimidation? That is what Papo de Asis stood for and fought for all his life. He saw
- his village people tortured, starved of food and common dignity and so much more. He suffered personally at the hands of the Marcos military but he never gave up fighting for the dignity of his people.
- He best expressed himself in his paintings which many people found confronting and difficult to view. But we saw in his greater body of works when he lived in America, serene ane gentle still life paintings and subjects that found their way into the homes of people who loved and appreciated the incredible artistic talent of this artist.
- We seek your compassion, understanding and generosity in our efforts to bring this important painting home to the Philippines.
- The late Papo de Asis was an Artist with brilliant painting ability, a deep and abiding passion for his people of the Philippines and their suffering. He was a life time activist who fought against injustice
- for the people of the Philippines. He was a famous and humble artist, a father, brother and friend. He left the Philippines in 1990 and lived in the USA till his untimely death in 2005.
I never met Papo de Asis but I did come to know about his amazing Artwork when two of his paintings were featured in an ABC 7.30 Report, Evening News item in Australia on 30 May 1988. His paintings were part of a collection of 18 paintings brought to Perth from the Philippines by a Perth Businessman. The de Asis paintings had been saved from a fire in the Marcos Imperial Palace during the night of the military Coup in 1986/87. An Army General who was a friend of the Perth Businessman sold the de Asis paintings along with 16 others from local Filippino artists, in the hope that they could be sold in Australia and some of the proceeds be allocated to the artists for art materials and an opportunity for a young promising Filippino artist to come to Australia to study art. These facts were born out during the television interview in Australia in May 1988.
The painting "Imperialism and Our Local Allies" which is the subject of this Crowd Funding project, is splattered with human blood which was purported to be the blood of Papo de Asis.
The paintings depicted scenes of a recent and very bloody history full of atrocites, together with a deeply priviliged insite into a captive people through their art. In that collection, although varied in style, united in its depiction of frightful experience and having a common message - "The Struggle". It was made in a most disturbing way- by the recurring image of the victim, of his face. The Filippino face confronted us with shocking dispair rather than accusations. Faces were blinded by barbs or telescopic sights, hidden behind bars, pushed into dirt, veiled or stripped, leaving the staring sockets of scull. In all the paintings there was a feeling that the soul had been crushed and respect for the individual swept away.
As a private Fine Art Gallery owner and Curator in Perth at that time I was asked by the ABC journalist Eric Campbell for an opinion as to how best to approach selling this collection of paintings. These paintings were never going to find a peaceful place to hang in quiet suburban homes in Perth. They had a poignant and powerful story to tell. I arranged to conduct an international Art Auction and contacted a number of art dealers and entrepeneurs both Nationally and Internationally, who showed a keen interst in the collection. I felt compelled to present the 18 paintings as a 'collection' and titled the Auction catalogue "The Struggle". On August 9th,1988 the Auction took place and 5 International art collectors quickly got the bidding underway. The successful bidder was a businessman from Chicago who offered up AUD$100,000 for the collection, now internationally known as "The Struggle". The paintings were shipped to the USA by David Sunkar and that was where they all remain to this day with the exception of the most imposing Papo de Asis painting titled "Imperialism and Our Local Allies" painted in 1981.
History has recorded that it was siezed from the Artist and kept in the Imperial Palace until the night of the 1987 Coup. The Military General believed that Papo de Asis had been killed and told the Perth businessman he sold the paintings to, that the artist was deceased and this was incorrectly recorded in the Auction Catalogue.
I never forgot the powerful message depicted in the Papo de Asis paintings and deeply regretted that I had never had the priviledge of meeting him, believing the story that was broadcast by the ABC from information given to them at the time.
Imagine my surprise when the current owner of the Papo de Asis painting contacted me in Perth asking if I could find a buyer for the painting. She was the niece of the original owner who had purchased the paintings from the Perth Auction in 1988. She had inherited the painting but found the subject matter disturbing. Her uncle had told her the history of the paintings and had always spoken of it's importance. She said he had always believed that this painting belonged in the Philippines where it should be hung somewhere appropriate for all to see and Papo be remembered for his tireless work agaist the repression of his people. The painting was purchased by a Perth Art Dealer and remains in a secure location. The dealer committed to ensuring that the painting go home to the Philippines as was the sincere wish of the Chicago owner. This Crowd Funding project is to raise $50,000 to ensure that this painting does find it's way home to hang in a Museum or public art space and to reflect a memorial to the late Papo de Asis.
I want to invite Papo's family and many many friends and supporters, to embrace this Crowd Funding endeavour and donate what ever they can to make sure that this mission is accomplished as soon as possible. How proud his family would be to know that Papo postumously received the dignity and honour he so justly deserved by establishing a Memorial in his name.
With 103.3 million Filipinos it should be possible to unite the Philippines people and raise the relatively modest amount of AUS$50,000 and ensure that this painting once again belongs to Papo de Aisi's people.
I read that when Papo died in the USA from a Stroke in January 2005, he left behind his partner and two children. I recently took a punt on sending a message to a Papo de Asis Facebook post and was shocked and delighted to receive a message almost immediately from his daughter Eunice who is still living in the Philippines. We have been corresponding ever since and she wants to help us accomplish this goal. She lost many years of contact with her father and I know she would be so so happy to see this painting and to know that we want it to come back to his homeland.
We need to raise AUD$50,000 to ensure this painting will go home to the Philippines. We need the funds to purchase the painting from it's current owner in Perth, have it reframed and ship it to the Philippines to it's final resting place of honour. We want to bring his family to Manila to see it happen. They have never seen this amazing painting and to know that there is an International and caring community committed to bringing it home, 30 years after it left the Philippines, will be welcome. This painting was never seeking a quiet home in Perth. It had a bigger more important stage to strut and now that it has travelled more that half way around the world it is finally heading home. What a tale it could tell. We will make it happen one way or another so please tell your social media friends, send them the Go Get Funding link today and respectfully request their generous support to help us make this happen. I know from reading social media posts that Papo de Asis was a highly respected artist and had a great following in the United States as well as the Philippines. I could see this artist's talents when I first saw the two paintings from the Palace in 1988 when they arrived in Perth.
In the event that we can exceed our target amount we will set up an Art Foundation in Papo de Asis's name for a promising Philippines artist to study art in Australia or a country of their choice.
If you have any questions please contact us by email at [email protected] Thank you most sincerely for your valuable time and your generous donation. We will keep you posted with regular updates. I hope to meet many friends of the late Papo de Asis and I will feel much joy if I can bring his children together in the Philippines for this special event. That is my next task but I know we can do it with your help.
Thank you so much in anticipation.