‘Collective Dreams’ exhibition features the visions, aspirations of the kids from Boys Town Davao

THE Alliance Française de Manille (AFM), with the support of the Embassy of France, presents Collective Dreams, an art exhibition featuring the visions and aspirations of the kids from Boys Town Davao, through the FreeArt Association. The exhibition opened on November 17 at the Alliance Total Gallery and will run until January 20, 2017.

It was a yearlong exercise in dreams and colors that has now became the door through which people can see into the visions and aspirations of the kids of Boys Town Davao.

It started out in 2015 with sessions on how thoughts can affect their lives, and how they can harness the power of their dreams and their words. They were made to write down their dreams for themselves, to imagine their perfect world, their happy thoughts.

Some were more graphic than others, surreal even.

Gusto kong maging isang marunong na magluluto ng pagkain. Gusto kong iayos ang iba’t-ibang klaseng pagkain sa iba’t-ibang kulay ng pagkain at lasa nito. Gusto kong pakainin ang lahat ng tao sa mundo ng mga klaseng pagkaing may iba’t-ibang kulay [I want to learn how to cook. I want to be able to present these recipes according to their colors and tastes. I want to feed the whole world with different recipes of different colors].”

Others started out dreaming the normal things, and then exploding to what others may say is impossible. “I just want to finish my studies and have a good job, a good life and a family. But my wildest dream is not a collection of cars, but to be an archaeologist, writer, or a biologist…. I want to have paradise here in the world, where no one is hungry and poor, where everyone is free, and everyone gets the wage he or she needs.”

Then, there are the cute little happy thoughts.

Ang aking, happy thoughts sa aking buhay ay ’yung makasama ko ’yung mga good friends ko na maglaro ng basketball at magkasama araw-araw, kumain at tsaka magtawanan. Lalo na kung makita ’yung crush nila [My happy thoughts are those where I’m with good friends playing basketball and being with them every day, eating, laughing].”

And those that touch your heart in its simplicity.

Ang happy thoughts ko ay noong sinabihan ako ng aking Papa at Mama na ang bait ko raw at sana hindi raw ako magbago. Ngayong nasa fourth-year high school na ako at graduating na ako, tuwang-tuwa ako dahil ipinagmalaki ako ng aking magulang [My happy thoughts were when my parents told me that I’m a very good boy and that they wish I will remain that way. Now that I’m in fourth-year high school and will soon be graduating, I am very happy because my parents are proud of me].”

The endeavor started with Mindanao artist Rey Mudjahid “Kublai” Ponce Millan linking up with Boys Town to engage the boys into artistic expressions. He brought with him his artist friends—Rogelio Cayas Jr., head of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts Education of the University of Mindanao; UM-Cafae faculty member Victor Dumaguing, special program for the arts senior high-school teacher Jeff Bangot; and Sun Star Davao editor in chief  Stella Estremera—who joined the boys over several Saturdays to learn about dreams, colors, figures and drawing. After expressing their dreams and finding joy in just thinking about these, the boys learned the skills to create. They were taught how to make papier mâché figures and play with colors, with Kublai guiding them in creating visuals that are show-worthy and can entice any viewer to look and feel the children’s thoughts.

The artworks in this exhibit are the playful expression of all 50 boys in each and every piece. The boys were gathered in a room with 50 cardboard sheets, where they were made to draw their dreams and most surreal thoughts, each boy moving from one board to another drawing on each, contributing to a whole. Thus, the title Collective Dreams.

From these exercises emanated Free Art Association’s Collective Dreams, an art exhibit by the boys of Boys Town Davao on view until January 20, 2017, at the Alliance Française in Manila.

The title of the exhibit reflects the concept of FreeArt Association. FreeArt is all about art as a free expression that lets your imagination fly wherever your dreams take you. Dreams are part of the expression of our subconscious, and can be a creative power and a departure to achieve our wishes and goals if we learn how to use these as positive creative mental power in life.

By developing the creativity of children to build their imaginary world, we show them that everything can be possible in their imagination, and from their imagination to real life. n

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