Living in these times, when abundance leaves little exercise for creativity, might have caused us to forget what art is about.

Art is not only an expression, but also a creation.

Millennia ago, Egyptians built one of their longest surviving artworks, the Great Sphinx, which vandals came to destroy later by tearing off bits and pieces.

There were artworks, too, inside the Malacanang palace depicting a dictator whose face, in our anger, we stepped on, punched holes through, and later burned. Whatever the reason, that was vandalism.

Images and figures of Mary and Jesus are works of art, too. Placing a penis over a nose, blacking out the eyes, adding bunny ears and a red nose, and that condom destroyed them. That was vandalism.

Whatever messages the vandal wanted to relay has been lost in the destruction, depicting self-indulgence rather than creation; much like random graffiti sprayed or penned, in just a few seconds and without thought, over wall paint painstakingly evened for hours.

Creating a likeness of your OWN god delivering your messages could have been passed off as another matter.

Expression for the sake of expression belongs to halls other than those at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

That is, unless we’re ready to admit that vandalism, destruction, lack of creativity, and insensitivity have already found a place in the heart of our culture.

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