by SARA GRACE C. FOJAS
Images by PINGGOT ZULUETA
In this fast and modern world, Lino Acacio’s paintings would make one yearn for the simple life—living under the wide open sky, in a land filled with lush green trees, with no buildings and billboards visible, just nature’s pure majesty.
The Batangueño artist, known for his deep love for nature, encourages everyone to protect and save the environment for generations to come in his latest exhibit “Luntiang Buhay” at the SM Megamall Art Center.
“My one-man exhibit is the continuation of my advocacy to create environmental awareness,” Lino says. “My concern for our environment drives me to continue to paint pictures of a truly liveable place, one full of life, free of pollution, with fresh air, and organic food. No greed, just a simple life—a place where children play traditional games and not with gadgets, just enjoying the beauty of nature.”
His Saya ng Kabataan shows how the world can be a big wonderful playground for children. Araw ng Pagpapala is a picture of a slow Sunday morning spent with the family, a time when they can be with each other. Hatid sa Mercado displays a hard day’s work of a simple farmer. Pista ng Nayon presents the merrymaking of a province fiesta.
“Like other artists, I started my interest in art when I was a child. We lived near the sea and the sand was my first canvas,” says the 62-year-old artist. “When it was low tide, I would draw in the sand everything I wanted to draw. In my elementary and high school days, almost all the pages of my notebooks were filled with drawings. When I took up fine arts at FEATI University, I learned the art of painting under impressionist Ibarra dela Rosa. I then started to discover my own style and the landscapes of Batangas became my subjects. I was inspired by the beauty of my hometown. My subjects are mostly landscapes but my favorite painting that hangs on my wall is a painting of a church, the San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa City. I believe it is my lucky painting.”
His 1989 exhibit “Doon Po Sa Amin” showcased the luscious and peaceful landscapes of Batangas. His recent exhibit “Luntiang Buhay” is the sequel of his “Luntiang Kapaligiran” series, his fight for preserving nature.
Each of his outdoor scenes presents the life of people living in the province—a natural world veiled with rich green trees where everyone lives in simplicity. Looking at it while you’re in the middle of a busy city, it’s difficult not to think that it could all be gone someday if we don’t take care of it.
“My style is between impressionism and realism,” says Lino. “I do not follow the process and colors of other artists. Instead, I use fine brushes I found in Germany. I used to buy these at St. Patrick art store but it is now closed. The fine strokes and small details created by these brushes made my paintings unique.”
Perhaps all these scenes created by Lino come from the fact that he is close to the people in Batangas. Aside from painting, he served as a barangay captain for four years. He also founded the Grupo Sining Batangueño to encourage others to explore art. His accolades include the Bacusi Natatanging Pintor sa Sining Biswal Award, the Dangal ng Lemery Excellence Award, Gawad Kultura award, and the Batangas Artist Award for Visual Arts. He was also an honorable mention at the Art Ecology competition.
“I paint for the love of nature,” Lino says. “My next exhibit will be composed of huge paintings to have more impact to viewers and for them to realize the importance of saving the environment for future generations. A real place to live in… the real life.”
Lino Acacio recently concluded his sixth solo-exhibit “Luntiang Buhay” at the SM Megmall Art Center.