Ever since prehistoric men first decided to paint pictures of bison hunts on the stone walls of their caves, painting has been recognized as a wonderful means to make abstract concepts real for us. After all, they do say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” A painting can make large ideas that can be difficult to negotiate more concrete and easy to imagine. This act of making abstract ideas palpable is evident in “Love, Peace, and Unity” by Romeo Dumuk III.
This acrylic on paper work is a very colourful piece that features a number of elements. The predominant colors are blue and earth tones such as warm browns, oranges and yellows. The center of the painting is dominated by a human-like figure who seems to be seated in a pose reminiscent of the Buddha. His hands are clasped together with the fingers coming to a point and directed skyward. His lower limbs are bent, but instead of assuming the arrangement for the lotus position they flow downwards. Upon closer examination, it is revealed that what looks like legs are actually the bodies of two smaller figures with bent knees and hands similarly clasped in a position of prayer. These small figures look like children, suspended in the blue haze that forms the background of this painting.
Above these praying figures, there is a bright yellow flower that resembles a daisy or a wildflower – something simple and unassuming that you would find growing freely by the roadside rather than in an expensive bouquet. This flower-like image could also be a heavenly object – a bright sun or a light radiating from the sky. From the corona of this bit of blossom or light – whichever it is – come blue and red lines that appear to embrace the top third of the picture. Beneath it are swirls and spatters of yellow and orange.
Love, peace and unity in this picture are evoked by the exuberant and ingenuous execution of the artist. It is a simple picture, yet one that manages to give the viewer a feeling of gladness and tranquility. Indeed, this painting is a good example of MacLuhan’s maxim about the medium being the message.
Those who want to see or buy this painting and other like it may visit one of the nicer cheap hotels in Davao City – the Jade Dragon’s Suites. This Davao hotel is home to Chings Resto-Kaffee, a coffee shop and art gallery that showcases local talent.