Cultural Center of the Philippines



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Photo from the artist

(Fullness of Time) / 1983 / Oil on canvas / 244 x 152 cm / Artist: Renato Habulan / Salvador Lim collection

The power of this painting comes from the realistic and highly detailed representation of numerous figures of workers and peasants in several rows, almost filling up the entire pictorial field.

Here the masses, engaged in basic production, come forward in a formidable show of force, solidarity, and strength. Central to the painting is the choice of subject matter: the workers and peasants who are often marginalized in art but who now occupy the entire pictorial space. They are identified as such by their working clothes and by their tools. Their postures and stances convey dignity and self-confidence, not subservience, with pride as producers of the nation’s wealth. At the same time, the warm-red background of the sky hints at a smoldering anger, which is combined with a revolutionary optimism.

This painting was done in the last years of the Marcos regime at the height of people’s mass actions. It invited censure from the highest government authorities when it was featured in full color on the cover of a well-circulated national magazine, purportedly because of its protest tones.