MetroVan Independent News October 2015 - Page 14

14 October 2015 lifestyle Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza (SYM) works of art. Featured Artist Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza (SYM) VANCOUVER SOCIAL CORNER By Bert Morelos Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza, known in the Philippine and International art circle as “SYM”, was born in Cebu City, March 11, 1934. SYM took fine arts courses at University of Sto. Tomas and University of the East, both in Manila. But his formative education came from his Maestro Marino Abellana, sometimes referred to as Cebu’s Amorsolo. SYM, the multi-awarded Legendary Artist, founded the Dimasalang I. The art movement which was based in Manila derived its name from Dimasalang Street in Manila’s Sampaloc district where he lived and worked. It was inspired by the French Impressionists and its members included the likes of journalist and painter E. Aguilar Cruz, Ibarra dela Rosa, Andres Cristobal Cruz and Romulo Galicano, his future brother-in-law. The Dimasalang I artists began as a casual informal group of painters who congregated in scenic venues in Manila and its surrounding suburbia to paint on-the-spot. As a natural-born teacher, SYM mentored many artists. He encouraged the formation of Dimasalang II which consisted primarily of his students in Manila, namely Nestor Villanueva, Carlos Cadid, Godofredo Mendoza and Vic Larosa. SYM and his family immigrated to Vancouver in 1981 and was offered a four-year work contract by Heffel Gallery on Granville Street. Two months after arriving with his wife Elena and seven young children, Symele, Vilmen, Sovila, Zael, Ronel, Yvi and Eleza, they moved to Richmond where they now reside. SYM in Vancouver generously shared his vast knowledge, exper tise and philosophies relating to art where he formed the Dimasalang III International Artist Group. The first set of Canadian Dimasalang in the mid-80s included Edgardo “ED” Lantin, Rod Pedralba, Noel Trinidad, Simeon Dee, Maria Apelo Cruz and Jess Hipiloto. It was registered as non-profit society based in British Columbia. The group continues to grow and remains active. For decades, SYM was a realist and impressionist artist favoring street scenes and landscapes in his motherland and later in British Columbia. In 2000, he began going neo-cubist, explaining that it was a return to his roots. As a student in 1950s, he had a particular liking for cubism, admiring the works of Pablo Picasso, Braque and Gris. According to SYM, there is no more challenge in realism. He finds cubism broader and much more interesting. With neo-cubism, it’s like being a brand newartist. Everything seems fresh. He wouldn’t talk about retirement and what is definite is he will continue doing what he loves to do… He will continue painting every day. In 2010, SYM in his devotion and passion for art and as evidence of his prolific masterful paintings launched his book, “SYM, THE POWER OF STRUGGLE” by Alfredo Roces and Sandie Gilis featuring his life and the highlights of his artworks from the late 50s to the present. SYM Mendoza (right) with Bert Morelos (left). The book, “SYM, THE POWER OF STRUGGLE” by Alfredo Roces and Sandie Gilis featured Mendoza's life and highlights of his artworks from the lat RS2F