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Ang Kiukok (1931-2005)

Aliases: Kiukok Ang

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  • Ang Kiukok - Mother and Child

  • Ang Kiukok - Fish

  • Ang Kiukok Android signed and dated 1966


Ang Kiukok Biography

Ang Kiukok (Chinese: ???); born Ang Hwa Shing (Chinese: ???);[1] (March 1, 1931 – May 9, 2005) was a leading Filipino painter and a National Artist for Visual Arts.[2]

He was born Ang Hwa Shing (Chinese: ???) on March 1, 1931 in Davao City, Philippines to Chinese Filipino parents, Ang Pang Suy Gong (Chinese: ??????; later Vicente Ang) and Lim Chin (Chinese: ??), who had emigrated from Xiamen.[1] He pursued Art Studies at the University of Santo Tomas, where he was taught by Filipino art masters, most notably Vicente Manansala who was to become a lifelong friend and mentor.
Body of Work

He first attained prominence in the Philippine arts scene in the 1960s with a distinct style that fused influences from cubism, surrealism and expressionism. Some classified his style as "figurative expressionism", others merely called it ugly. What could not be doubted was the violence in his imagery, a factor that slighted the commercial viability of his works until the 1980s. He favored such subjects as fighting cocks, rabid dogs, and people enraptured by rage or bound in chains. He painted multiple depictions of the crucified Christ that did not shirk from portraying the agonies normally associated with the crucifixion. When asked why he was so angry, he replied, "Why not? Open your eyes. Look around you. So much anger, sorrow, ugliness. And also madness." The intensity of his works stood in contrast to his own personality, described as "placid and affable".[3]
The grave of Ang Kiukok at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

It did not escape attention that many of Ang's most violent or gruesome imagery was painted during the martial law rule of Ferdinand Marcos, though he did not build a reputation for himself as a prominent critic of the Marcos regime.

Ang was conferred the honor of being a National Artist for Visual Arts in 2001, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 32, s. 2001, which was signed on April 20, 2001.[4] The ceremonial conferment of the honor to Kiukok and three other artists - F. Sionil Jose (literature), Ishmael Bernal (film) and Severino Montano (theater arts) - was held on June 11, 2001.[5]
Legacy and Death

In the end, Ang emerged not only as a critical favorite, but a commercially popular artist as well. Upon his death from cancer on May 9, 2005, it was reported that he and fellow National Artist Fernando Amorsolo were the most widely bidded after Filipino painters in auctions.[6]

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