Thursday, October 27, 2011

Salvador Bernal, 1945-2011: 'The poverty of a production need not imply a poverty of the imagination.'

CCP Vice-President and Artistic Director Chris Millado: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of a great artist. Badong [Bernal] redefined scenic design in the Philippines and was a teacher and mentor to our current crop of designers. He was responsible for creating the beautiful sets and costumes that defined the aesthetics of the various ballet, theater and musical productions at the CCP and other venues.”

2003 National Artist citation for Theater Design: “Sensitive to the budget limitations of local productions, [Bernal] harnessed the design potential of inexpensive local materials, pioneering or maximizing the use of bamboo, raw abaca and abaca fiber, hemp twine, rattan chain links and gauze cacha. In doing this he exemplified the versatility of Filipino materials for design and proved that the poverty of a production need not imply a poverty of the imagination.”

Salvador Bernal's last production for CCP was Tanghalang Pilipino's rock musical Banaag at Sikat last year (libretto by National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, music by Lucien Letaba), for which he designed the set and costumes, shown here. (As I saw it: For “Banaag at Sikat,” National Artist Salvador Bernal designed a scenery of overlapping floor-to-ceiling capiz panels that suggested the layers of propriety, custom and status one had to live with in colonial-era Filipino society.)


Crystal said...

sir bernal was a great loss to the art world :( RIP

ethan h said...

What a great stage design!

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