Echoing Call: Championing Racial Equality Through Art 

Artworks inspired by Black realities and experiences shaped by the colors of skin are showcased through a group exhibition.

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s June 2023 Issue.

Colors are often associated with societal connotations. Restaurants often use red and yellow together to induce hunger. While the color purple is often associated with royalty and nobleness—like how the Roman Emperors and the Persian King Cyrus used the color. Colors carry a deeper meaning, like how white signifies purity and lightness, while black is often associated with darkness, evil, and even death.

"Draped in Color" by David "Mr. StarCity" White
“Draped in Color” by David “Mr. StarCity” White

Colors, in some instances, define a subject. A direct example is how the color of one’s skin often dictates societal expectations and connotations. For people of color, their skin color, ethnicity, and race often limit their opportunities due to systemic colorism and racism. Often experienced by the black community, having a whole system work against you creates unique experiences specific to their community alone.

READ ALSO: A Community Of Hope: Advocating The Art Of Kindness

A group exhibition called Sounds of Blackness focuses on African diaspora experiences. Inspired by the Grammy-award-winning and U.S.-based musical ensemble of the same name, the exhibition showcases a wide array of art in different mediums that titillates the senses. Each piece evokes the unique experiences of the participating artists—-experiences shaped by the color of their skins. Pain, joy, suffering, and even beauty, were felt and experienced in the pieces showcased.

"Ancestral Whispers" by Wahab Saheed
“Ancestral Whispers” by Wahab Saheed
"Inner Journey" by Bongani Tshabalala
Inner Journey” by Bongani Tshabalala

The exhibition had 26 participants, most of whom were showcasing their art in the Philippines for the first time. The curator Larry Ossei-Mensah utilizes art as a medium to reevaluate one’s perception of themself and the world around them. The curator champions racial equality in the art world, co-founding ARTNOIR; his mission is to drive racial equity in the art world by centering creatives, curators, collectors, and communities of color. The exhibit was accompanied by the experimental music of sound artists Dirty Chickens, taking inspiration from the playlist curated by Carolyn “CC” Concepcion of ARTNOIR

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia June 2023 magazine via or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Photos by Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

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