In partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas hosted the symposium “Hemispheres: A European Union Cultural Symposium subtitled Art Through the Eyes of Europe last August 17, 2017 (Thursday), at the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Building.

As artists, according to Michael Blanco, art director and resident curator of Blanco Family Museum, their goal is to record the Filipino culture and tradition. “[It is] to express in our canvases what we see and feel in our society and in environment. Our strength and weaknesses and what we can contribute for betterment.”

The leitmotif of Blanco’s painting recurs on different places in the country and as well as anatomy. He is the third son of Jose Pitok Blanco, who was a Thomasian and graduated from the College of Architecture and Fine Arts in 1955.

“We have something to say to the world,” said the Spanish painter Cesar Caballero who has been painting in the Philippines for 12 years. “Art is one way to life and know its meaning.”

Lui Medina said art practice was an investigation. The material she used in her artworks were organic and natural such as beeswax. “I like the idea of making something as very tactile which also interests me in painting,” Medina said. “It always starts in the material. The process comes from material.”

Hemispheres is a series of open dialogues between practitioners and students on the impact of European influences in select cultural fields in the Philippines.

Last May 23, 2017, the symposium tackled literature and featured the National Artist F. Sionil Jose, H.E. Jarovslav Olsa, Jr., Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Philippines and Dr. Jossef Bencze, Ambassador of Hungary to the Philippines.