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Hop on the bunny

The Water Rabbit would be hopping on in a couple of days. The Chinese New Year will kick off on January 22 and will last until February 9 the following year.

What can we expect in the Year of the Rabbit?

The year 2023 has been predicted as a year of hope. The fourth animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the Rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. So, we can expect more opportunities for relaxation and contemplation.

From left: Conrad Manila General Manager Fabio Berto, guest of honor Jose Roberto Delgado, featured artist Lizanne Uychaco, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC) President Elizabeth T. Sy, and SMHCC Vice President Peggy Angeles

If 2022 seemed quite chaotic and hectic, 2023 would be more quiet and more serene. According to Chinese astrology, those who were born in the years of the Rabbit are often gentle creatures who think things through before taking action. They have a peaceful and patient energy, which they use to approach any challenges or opportunities calmly and rationally.

The luckiest signs this year based on Chinese astrology are Ox, Tiger, and Snake. Zodiac Signs Dog, Horse, Goat, and Pig will not be so lucky. Roosters and Monkeys have to work double hard to make headway. Rabbit and Rat will be influenced by the opposition of Tai Sui (also known as the Grand Duke), which is actually the mysterious force that dominates or influences people’s destinies.

In Chinese folklore, there are about 60 Tai Sui Gods. This year, the Tai Sui who is in charge of human fortune is General Pi Shi, and the signs who allegedly would offend this particular Tai Sui are Rabbit, Rooster, Horse, Rat, and Dragon.

General Pi Shi was known for his strong mental abilities, hard work, and industriousness. Born from a famous general, this year’s Tai Sui was able to command large armies and resolve political problems.

While 2023 seems challenging for those who are in opposition, having General Pi Shi as presiding Tai Sui indicated there would be skillful and experienced leaders who have the knowledge and wisdom and can strategize in the direst situations.

Based on Chinese folklore, you’d know you might be in conflict or have been confronting the Grand Duke when your bright ideas fail, when you engage in unnecessary arguments in the workplace, you feel unwell just before an important event or appointment.

Conrad Manila’s ‘Colors of Prosperity’ features mixed media works inspired by Filipino-Chinese traditions

An offended Tai Sui can bring misfortunes in varying degrees, from mild such as plan failure to severe like loss of career and wealth, suffering from illnesses and accidents, to death. As Lilian Too said: “The Grand Duke can cause havoc and you will feel the impact when offended.”

Consider the location of the ruling animal sign of the year, because this is where Tai Sui usually resides. Rabbit’s home sector is in the East; therefore, Tai Sui will occupy this in 2023.

To avoid this misfortune, Chinese people follow the adage “a happy event can counteract three disasters.” To weaken the bad luck, a person can choose to get married, start a business, have a baby, or simply hold a birthday party.

Or perhaps, you can find lucky charms which could counter the bad luck.

I’m particularly interested in the artworks of esteemed visual artist Lizanne Uychaco, who recently opened her second solo exhibit in Conrad Manila’s Gallery C. Her first solo exhibit with the hotel, “Heaven and Earth,” displayed 24 paintings, in 2019.

The 22nd installment of “Of Art and Wine,” the exhibit titled “Colors of Prosperity” features mixed media works inspired by Filipino-Chinese traditions. Her art pieces are known for their minimalist style yet rich textures, with a focus on subjects that bring good luck, harmony, prosperity, wealth, and success.

“There are many things that bring good luck. I like things that are lucky. We all need luck. I believe when you focus on things that are positive, they will bring out the positive in you. When you look at a symbol of success, you meditate on success. You are going to strive for success. If you look at negative things, they will affect you. It is like when you look at something sour or dark, your five senses capture that and it affects you. See positive things and bring good luck, it also affects your being and it manifests,” said Uychaco.

Other pieces on display by Lizanne Uychaco

Her pieces carry a recurring symbol of an abstract oriental coin, once the currency of Asian countries, which evolved into a charm for luck, wealth, harmony, prosperity, and protection.  Its round shape with a void square represents heaven and earth, yin and yang which was the basis of the I-Ching, the circle of life, and the Zen of meditation.

Uychaco grew up wearing this coin and developed a curious attachment to it.

“Are inspired by things that bring good luck. I grew up wearing the coin from when I was five. I was too sick and had to drop kindergarten. The monk gave me a coin and told me it was a magic coin. He said I would be well, very lucky, very rich, very prosperous, and successful. Not sure about being rich, but I’ve been very lucky, happy, and blessed,” said Uychaco.

A Filipino-Chinese visual artist, Uychaco was launched by the Ayala Museum in 1993 through a discovery series. Most of her works are largely rendered in mixed media, owing to her lifelong training in sculpture, pottery, jewelry-making, silver craft, gold gilding, calligraphy, and painting in watercolor, oils, and acrylics.

Her art pieces have been widely exhibited in the Philippines and overseas and have been collected by museums and published in art books. Uychaco is among the artists managed by Art Elements Asian Gallery in SM Aura.

Apart from her orientation in art, Uychaco holds two master’s degrees in business administration and economics from Ateneo and UA&P. Currently a senior vice president of SM Investments Corporation, she is also a trustee and president of Sunshine Place, a foundation dedicated to senior recreation, enabling people to paint, fulfill bucket lists, and develop their minds, bodies, and souls.

“We are delighted to usher in 2023 and the Year of the Rabbit with Lizanne’s vibrant Filipino-Chinese art pieces that echoes tradition, family, and positivity. Our commitment to sharing the light and warmth of hospitality through curated touches of luxury that are empowering and bold are echoed by Lizanne’s solo exhibit,” said Conrad Manila general manager, Fabio Berto.

The pieces have a recurring symbol of an abstract oriental coin

Leading the art exhibit opening are Elizabeth Sy, President, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation (SMHCC); Peggy Angeles, Executive Vice President, SMHCC; Fabio Berto, General Manager, Conrad Manila; Jose Roberto Delgado, Chairman, Transnational Diversified Group; and Lizanne Uychaco. The evening’s guests were treated to well-curated cocktails by Conrad Manila’s Executive Chef Warren Brown complemented by a selection of premium wines.

Of Art and Wine: Colors of Prosperity by Lizanne Uychaco is open to the public from January 10 to March 18. For inquiries on the artworks, please call Conrad Manila at +63 2 8833 9999 or Art Elements Asian Gallery at +63 917 957 7005 or email conradmanila@conradhotels.com. — Glaiza Lee

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Credit belongs to : www.manilastandard.net

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