Gilbert Bergano Alberto, an Igorot sculptor from Hungduan, Ifugao province, is making a name for himself globally. His sculptures go beyond art, telling a story that resonates worldwide. In this article, we'll explore Alberto's international acclaim and how his stone masterpieces serve as a powerful way to highlight and preserve Filipino heritage.
Preserving Culture Through Sculpture
As an Ifugao, Alberto believes in knowing where you come from to be proud of who you are. He's all about keeping Igorot culture alive through his sculptures. According to him, understanding our roots is key to holding onto our identity.
"It is very important that we do not lose touch of who we are as a people because our culture and our values depend on our true understanding of ourselves," Alberto emphasized.
Global Acknowledgment: Winning Big in Switzerland
Alberto's sculpture, "An Old Man with a Gong Playing the Sounds of Wisdom," bagged two major awards at the 10th International Sculpture Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland. This feat made history as the first time a single artwork clinched the top spots in both the Jury Prize and Audience Choice Award categories.
He competed with 30 artists from 20 countries, all carving limestone blocks weighing about 300 kilos each. Alberto's four carving tools worked their magic, earning him recognition from both the experts and the audience.
Sculpting Stories: "The Rose of No Man's Land"
One of Alberto's notable works is "The Rose of No Man's Land." It's a tribute to Red Cross nurses in war, showcasing historical figures like former Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon and ex-American president Abraham Lincoln. Alberto turned a dead pine tree into a piece of art, telling an important chapter in Philippine history.
He said, "I wanted to honor the brave nurses of war in this art piece because they contributed so much and sacrificed their lives to save battle casualties."
Future Project in Baguio City
Now based in Baguio City, Alberto is gearing up for a significant project that aims to highlight Filipino sculpting talent globally. His commitment to documenting Philippine history through art remains strong, inspiring future generations to connect with their roots.
In a world where cultures blend, Alberto stands out, making a mark for Filipino artistry on the global stage. His sculptures not only celebrate Igorot culture but also prompt viewers to think about their own identities, fostering a deeper appreciation for diverse stories that connect us all.
Conclusion: A Timeless Legacy in Stone
As we traverse the chapters of Gilbert Bergano Alberto's artistic journey, one thing becomes clear - his sculptures are more than stone and form. They embody a legacy, a testament to the resilience of Igorot culture and the unwavering spirit of preserving identity amidst a changing world.
In each chisel mark, Alberto etches not just figures but a narrative of pride and recognition. The global accolades, particularly in Switzerland, underscore not only his personal triumph but the collective victory of Filipino artistry. As Alberto embarks on his future project in Baguio City, we anticipate another chapter in his story, a chapter that will further amplify the voice of Filipino sculpting talent on the international stage.
In the hands of Gilbert Bergano Alberto, stone becomes a medium to bridge cultures, to prompt reflection on history, and to declare, with unwavering certainty, the enduring pride of a people. As his sculptures continue to echo worldwide, they leave an indelible mark on the rich tapestry of Philippine heritage, ensuring that the legacy of Igorot culture stands tall, timeless, and proud.