Art is long, life is short

FEU Advocate
October 31, 2023 09:09

In the quiet corners of a grand museum, huddled among centuries of artistic triumphs, a peculiar phenomenon began to unfold. A renowned and passionate Filipino painter found himself reincarnated for reasons unknown. Is it the work of some scientific experiment? Or some magical conundrum powered by the mystical power of paint? No one knows, not even himself. Nonetheless, this unexplained situation did not bother him as he traversed deep into the museum.

Concealed from the crowd, he marveled at the vibrant tapestry of humanity that came to admire his work. He watched as visitors from all walks of life, from distant lands and diverse backgrounds, paused to appreciate his artistry, such as Spoliarium and The Parisian Life. In their eyes, he saw not only admiration, but also a reflection of their own cultural identities and stories.

As time flew by, he delved into deep contemplation. He pondered the intricate connection between art and society. His brush strokes had once captured the fervor of revolution, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of his people yearning for freedom. Now, as he admired the works from the past, he understood the lasting legacy he had contributed to the Philippine narrative. His antiquated artworks, among the works of others, became a medium that carried the echoes of the past into the present, connecting souls across time.

From his unique vantage point, he saw how art had played an instrumental role in shaping nations. It served as a mirror, reflecting a person's aspirations, struggles, and triumphs; the fight for independence and the call for revolution. Art was not merely an aesthetic endeavor; it was a powerful catalyst for change, a beacon of cultural pride, and a force that brought communities together.

In the hushed chambers of the museum, he was delighted by the realization that his art and the art of countless others continued to inspire and unite. The hanging paintings and statues that were covered by dim fluorescent museum lights were a testament to the enduring power of creativity and the ability of art to transcend time, far beyond its makers. Though the creation has transcended its creator, the burning passion for inspiration and memories is nestled in each stroke of color and chiseled stone.

And so, as he continued to gaze upon his work, Juan Luna smiled. In that moment, he felt a profound sense of fulfillment, knowing that his art would be a timeless mantle of inspiration, a voice of unity, and a vessel of hope for generations to come.

"Truly, ars longa, vita brevis - art is long, life is short."

-Josias Je Rellora

(Illustration by Toni Miguela Ursua/FEU Advocate)