Ang Kiukok

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Ang Kiukok
Born Ang Hwa Shing
(1931-03-01)March 1, 1931
Davao City, Philippine Islands
Died May 9, 2005(2005-05-09) (aged 74)
Quezon City, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Education University of Santo Tomas
Vicente Manansala
Known for Painting
Movement Cubism
Awards National Artist of the Philippines
Ang Kiukok
Traditional Chinese 洪救國
Simplified Chinese 洪救国

Ang Kiukok (Chinese: 洪救國); born Ang Hwa Shing;[1] (March 1, 1931 – May 9, 2005) was a leading Filipino painter and a National Artist for Visual Arts.[2]

Early life and training[edit]

He was born Ang Hwa Shing on March 1, 1931 in Davao City, Philippines to Chinese Filipino parents, Ang Pang Suy Gong (later Vicente Ang) and Lim Chin, who had emigrated from Xiamen.[1] He pursued Art Studies at the University of Santo Tomas, where he was taught by Filipino art masters, most notably Vicente Manansala who was to become a lifelong friend and mentor.

Body of work[edit]

He first attained prominence in the Philippine arts scene in the 1960s with a distinct style that fused influences from cubism, surrealism and expressionism. Some classified his style as "figurative expressionism", others merely called it ugly. What could not be doubted was the violence in his imagery, a factor that slighted the commercial viability of his works until the 1980s. He favored such subjects as fighting cocks, rabid dogs, and people enraptured by rage or bound in chains. He painted multiple depictions of the crucified Christ that did not shirk from portraying the agonies normally associated with the crucifixion. When asked why he was so angry, he replied, "Why not? Open your eyes. Look around you. So much anger, sorrow, ugliness. And also madness." The intensity of his works stood in contrast to his own personality, described as "placid and affable".[3]

The grave of Ang Kiukok at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

It did not escape attention that many of Ang's most violent or gruesome imagery was painted during the martial law rule of Ferdinand Marcos, though he did not build a reputation for himself as a prominent critic of the Marcos regime.

Ang was conferred the honor of being a National Artist for Visual Arts in 2001, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 32, s. 2001, which was signed on April 20, 2001.[4] The ceremonial conferment of the honor to Ang and three other artists - F. Sionil Jose (literature), Ishmael Bernal (film) and Severino Montano (theater arts) - was held on June 11, 2001.[5]

Legacy and death[edit]

In the end, Ang emerged not only as a critical favorite, but a commercially popular artist as well. Upon his death from cancer on May 9, 2005, it was reported that he and fellow National Artist Fernando Amorsolo were the most widely bidded after Filipino painters in auctions.[6]



  1. ^ a b Ang Hwa Shing's Birth Register
  2. ^ Cultural Center of the Philippines (2008). The National Artists of the Philippines 1999-2003. Pasig City: Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 971-27-1412-8. 
  3. ^ (Cultural Center of the Philippines 2008, p. 20)
  4. ^ "Proclamation No. 32, s. 2001 | Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  5. ^ Vanzi, Sol Jose (May 21, 2001). "4 NATIONAL ARTISTS HONORED ON INDEPENDENCE DAY". PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE (Manila). Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-04-03. 


  • Torres, Emmanuel (2003). "Ang Kiukok's Icons of Pain and Struggle". The National Artists of the Philippines 1999-2003. Philippines: Cultural Center of the Philippines & Anvil Publishing, Inc. pp. 15–29. ISBN 971-27-1411-X. 
  • Zulueta, Lito B. Visionary National Artist Ang Kiukok Dies; 74, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 11, 2005, retrieved on January 1, 2007 and, retrieved on, July 6, 2007
  • Endaya, Imelda Cajipe (artist and independent curator) and Cecilia B. Rebong (Philippine Consul-General). "Pamana: Modernong Sining" (A Heritage of Modern Art), An Art Exhibit from the Collection of the Philippine Center in New York, Printed Catalogue, The Consulate General of the Philippines, Philippine Center Management Board, and, June 11, 2007, 12 pages.