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Cesare A.X. Syjuco

CESARE A.X. SYJUCO (b. 1953 in Manila ) is undoubtedly the most acclaimed Filipino multi-media artist of our time, and is likewise a prizewinning painter, poet, performance artist and art critic of international stature. Once widely regarded as “the Golden Boy of Philippine Art”, his remarkably varied distinctions have included the TOYM Award for Art & Culture Advancement; the Gerry Roxas Foundation Presidential Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts; the Gawad CCP Sa Sining Biswal from the Cultural Center of the Philippines; the AAP Grand Prize and Gold Medal for Painting from the Art Association of the Philippines; the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in English Poetry; the UNESCO Paris Gold Medals for Photography and Design; the CMMA Outstanding Filipino Communicator citation from the Catholic Mass Media Awards for Journalism; and the very first Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Award for Art Criticism, among many others -- all before the age of 40.

Cesare’s sudden and unexplained disappearance in 1992 – at the height of his tumultuous and often controversial art career – transformed him, in the words of one writer, “from the country’s most visible art renegade.. into something even larger than life.. a cult figure of legend among his peers”. But it is mostly for his groundbreaking experimental works in “visual-literary transmedia” that his fame as a world-class Filipino artist endures to this day.

His major solo exhibition “Flashes of Genius” at the CCP Main Gallery in 2004-05 -- his first Manila appearance in 12 years -- was unanimously hailed by both visual and literary critics as “a stunning comeback… a brilliant achievement for Philippine Art as a whole.”

A flurry of smaller exhibitions has recently garnered for him a 2007 Araw Ng Maynila “Patnubay Ng Sining At Kalinagan” Award from the 436-year-old City of Manila , and a prestigious 2007 La Sallian Achievement Award from his alma mater, De La Salle University.

In 2008, he will be releasing a 15-track CD Album and Book Set titled “A Sudden Rush of Genius”, featuring his avant-garde poetry and music. A historic promotional tour of that album has likewise resulted in a DVD Boxed Set of his live performances titled “A Flagrant Display of Shamelessness”, to be released next year.

National Artist for Literature: 
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