Tin-Aw Art Gallery’s Lee Paje flies to NY after Don Papa Art Competition win

Jace Amodo
PUBLISHED March 13, 2018 12:17 pm
Photo by Jace Amodo/Inside Manila

(Inside Manila) After the successful exhibition at the Philippines premier art event that is Art Fair PH, Bleeding Heart Rum Company, makers of a small batch single island premium rum from Negros Occidental, has announced the winners of its Don Papa Art Competition 2018.

For its third year edition, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila hosted the judging of entries for the competition. Out of 650 registered artists, 30 were shortlisted and then cut down further to the Top 10 finalists. Lee Paje of Tin-Aw Art Gallery took home the Grand Prize for her work Passage to The Land of Sugar in oil and patina on copper.

Passage to the Land of Sugar by Lee Paje. Photo Release/Bleeding Heart Rum Company

A former marketing executive who pursued her passion for the arts, Paje explores themes on the role of women, issues of gender fluidity, myth-making, and unique contemporary lifestyles in her art. She is also the only woman who made it to the competition’s finals.

According to Paje, Passage to the Land of Sugar explores the possibilities and adventures beyond the walls (of the canister) into the boundless Sugarlandia universe may it be to an exhilarating cityscape, a vibrant seascape, or the vast land of Sugar. It is a manifestation of what Sugarlandia’s passageway would be, with a hint of Negros’ historic past.

The piece shows the path to Mt. Kanlaon where it originates, to the world where experiencing the sweet rum, and to the rest of Sugarlandia waiting to be explored. Within the tower-like structure (once formed as a cylindrical canister), animals found in Negros are next to explorers' tools and maps; American oak barrels are beside books; the sugar cane is reimagined and reinterpreted in various ways.

Paje hopes that the closer one looks, the closer one discovers the expanse of the adventure waiting to be unraveled—just like how Don Papa rum drinkers find complex flavors within each sip.

Lee Paje Grand Winner with Don Papa Team. Photo Release/Bleeding Heart Rum Company

Passage to The Land of Sugar also bagged the People’s Choice Award tabulated from on-site and social media votes. Her winning masterpiece will be the visual basis for the limited edition Don Papa Art Canister 2018, which will be released in different countries during the holidays, making it a perfect opportunity for Filipino artists to showcase their work internationally.

As part of her prizes, Paje will receive an exclusive month-long Artistic Residence Sojourn in New York City. Paje’s gallery representatives also get to go with her to NYC and receive a pop-up sponsorship from Don Papa Rum in one major gallery exhibit.

Meanwhile, Discover by John Paul Antido of Pinto Art Museum won the Artistic Merit, a new award given to the best execution of artwork as a standalone piece. An oil painting on canvas, Discover showcases Sugarlandia as an extraordinary place filled with golden harvest and sweet extract, found within the lush forest and wild vegetation.

Art Competition Top 10 Finalists with Don Papa team and UK Press. Photo Release/Bleeding Heart Rum Company

This is a press release from Bleeding Heart Rum Company with minor edits made. For more information, visit www.donpaparum.com or follow Don Papa Rum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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