â€œWe can mold and manipulate stone and metals to the extreme,â€ Anton Quisumbing explains as he ends his working day preparing for the â€œSimbahanâ€ (Churches) exhibit at the Social Hall of the Philippine Consulate Generalâ€™s office in San Francisco. The miniature facades of Philippine churches, chosen for their aesthetic and virginal, restorative appeal and ranging from a foot high to almost three feet, stand majestically atop their double-purpose carrying cases. Hours and days of sculpting that started in November of 2000 are blessed with bas-relief replicas carved in Mactan stone, a fossilized limestone found in the island of Mactan, Cebu. Using resin and plaster to complement other meticulous details, Anton finishes the miniatures with a patina of simulated antiquity. Thus, when a visitor enters the exhibit hall, a hushed aura of â€œsacred spaceâ€ pervades the atmosphere.
Anton, the Fine Arts graduate who majored in Sculpture from the University of the Philippines, can also handle almost any metal — iron, brass, bronze, aluminum, and zinc — from the family-owned foundry in Mandaue City, Cebu. He tackles a variety of projects ranging from monuments (â€œ100 feet stainless steel monuments are magnificent,â€ he says) to commissioned works of art meant for corporate identities. Since November of 1990, Anton Quisumbing has displayed his artwork in several exhibits in the Philippines and Malaysia. Anton adds, â€œI am honored to be a part of Consul General Rosalâ€™s emphasis on a Philippine arts and culture program for the San Francisco Bay Area. Other cities in North America would benefit from more of these cultural exhibits.â€
There is a special console table carved in Mactan stone that Anton proudly displays as part of the â€œSimbahanâ€ exhibit to showcase his versatility as a sculptor. The purist can recognize its Moorish-inspired influence. â€œI was inspired by my visit to the Alhambra Castle in Granada, Spain in 1992. My exhibit at the Seville World Exposition had highlighted other traditions. Working on designs based on ornamental calligraphy was another coup because curlicues and graceful angles make you appreciate the artwork stone carving delivers,â€ Anton says.
The ability to combine commerce and art in his life is one of Antonâ€™s special talents. Currently involved as the Executive Vice-President of Loran Industries, Inc., a family-owned furniture manufacturing company established since 1978, Anton Quisumbing handles the businessâ€™s marketing and product development. For information, contact Anton Quisumbing at san[email protected] or check out the website at www.loranfurn.com.
The works of art, including the console table, are available for sale.
Â© Lorna Dietz, October 2001. This was the profile written for the October 15, 2001 exhibit opening at the Philippine Center, San Francisco.