Ilongga Fine Arts Student Bags First Prize in Shell’s National Students Art Competition

Judhea Java, a third-year student at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, has emerged as the first-prize winner in the Oil/Acrylic Category of the 56th Shell National Students Art Competition. Java’s winning piece, titled “Weaving the Narrative,” is a powerful tribute to the Filipino woman and her enduring role in shaping the society.

In her artist statement, Java eloquently captures the essence of her work: “Filipino women are one of the crucial frontliners in the 21st century Philippines. Imagining a new society in a globalizing nation demands a strong reassertion of identity, culture, and a firm notion of self-determination. Women can make a nation, as much as they nurture lives. The subjects are representative of women artisans across different generations who take part in continuing weaving tradition in contemporary society, reimagining its meanings and relevance today. Weaving, as a dynamic continuous process, significantly represents the involvement of women in the innovation and adaptation of the craft in contemporary society. As observed, the craft is sustained across generations by the composition of subjects: the younger generation leading the older ones. As a nation built from narratives of collective experiences, Weaving the Narrative is a visual representation of how women artisans usher the way of weaving the stories of every Filipino in an ever-changing and globalizing Filipino society.”

Java’s painting is a reminder of the invaluable contributions of women. The subjects embodied the delicate strength and the unique identity of women from diverse communities. “Weaving the Narrative” is a testament to the enduring spirit of Filipino women and their unwavering commitment to preserving their cultural heritage.

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