Home Art Threads of Heritage: A Review of The Calado Legacy Exhibition

Threads of Heritage: A Review of The Calado Legacy Exhibition

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Stepping into Galleria Camaya’s latest two-person exhibition at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (HKVAC) feels like stepping into a realm where time dances delicately on the threads of history. The exhibition, a captivating mother-daughter showcase by Araceli Limcaco Dans and her daughter Marcy Dans Lee, pays homage to the intricate Filipino embroidery known as Calado. This exquisite art form, rooted in centuries-old traditions, finds a new breath of life through the masterful hands of these two remarkable artists.

In the captivating mother-daughter exhibition at HKVAC, the distinct styles and approaches of Araceli Limcaco Dans and Marcy Dans Lee are both a testament to their individual artistry and a harmonious celebration of their shared legacy.

Araceli Limcaco Dans: The Grande Dame’s Timeless Elegance

Araceli Limcaco Dans, with her unparalleled experience and profound mastery, brings a timeless elegance to her works. Known for her ability to infuse inanimate objects with an inner glow, her paintings are a study in meticulous detail and subtle luminosity. Her approach to calado embroidery painting is deeply rooted in tradition, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. Each of her pieces exudes a sense of history and reverence, capturing the delicate interplay of light and shadow that breathes life into the intricate patterns of the embroidery.

Dans’ technique is characterized by a precision that comes from decades of dedicated practice. Her use of color and texture is both restrained and powerful, creating compositions that are both serene and vibrant. She approaches each piece with a reverence for the craft, ensuring that the beauty of the calado embroidery is preserved and elevated through her painterly skills.

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Marcy Dans Lee: A Contemporary Interpretation

Marcy Dans Lee, while deeply influenced by her mother’s legacy, brings a fresh and contemporary perspective to the art of calado painting. Her background as a children’s book illustrator and her expertise in watercolor medium infuse her works with a unique softness and fluidity. Marcy’s approach is less about strict adherence to tradition and more about reimagining it through a modern lens.

Her paintings often exhibit a more exploratory use of color and composition, blending the delicate patterns of calado with the expressive qualities of watercolor. This fusion creates pieces that are not only visually striking but also imbued with a sense of storytelling and whimsy. Marcy’s works are a bridge between the past and the present, honoring the traditional techniques while allowing her own artistic voice to shine through.

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Complementary Perspectives

While Araceli’s works anchor the exhibition with their timeless elegance and reverence for tradition, Marcy’s contributions introduce a refreshing dynamism and contemporary flair. The juxtaposition of their styles creates a rich, layered experience for the viewer. Araceli’s precision and mastery provide a solid foundation, while Marcy’s innovative approach adds a new dimension to the exhibition.

In this mother-daughter showcase, the unique styles and approaches of Araceli Limcaco Dans and Marcy Dans Lee are not just complementary but symbiotic. Together, they weave a tapestry that celebrates the intricate beauty of calado embroidery, offering a glimpse into the past while looking forward to the future. Their works, while distinct, resonate with a shared passion and dedication, creating a dialogue that is both profound and inspiring.

About the author:
Rodolfo Canete Jr., a seasoned freelance journalist and media producer based in Hong Kong, is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist with a diverse creative portfolio. Over the past year, his work has garnered accolades in international art competitions across Asia, Europe, and the United States. Currently, he is the artist-in-residence at ANASAEA Artverse in Berlin and Vienna. His unique style of panoramic street photography and award-winning digital collage are featured in the “Visual Narratives From Overseas Filipino Artists” exhibition at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.