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Remembrance of Late Filipino Master Painter in British Columbia Exhibit

Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza
The late Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza, fondly known as “SYM,” left an indelible mark on the art world, not only in his native Philippines but also in Canada, where he moved in 1981.
As a multi-awarded artist, Mendoza’s contributions to the art community were profound, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of artists.

Dimasalang III Pays Tribute

Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza

In the heart of New Westminster, an exhibit titled “Walking with Sym” pays homage to the late master painter. Organized by artists from the “Dimasalang III” group, the exhibit showcases the talents nurtured by Mendoza. It serves as a heartfelt tribute to their beloved mentor.

Leonardo “Jun” Cunanan, publisher of the community paper ‘Dahong Pilipino,’ reflects on the invaluable mentorship he received from Mendoza. Under Mendoza’s guidance, Cunanan and his peers learned the importance of mastering classical drawing fundamentals—a lesson that continues to resonate in their work.

Mayo Landicho, now a renowned tattoo artist in Vancouver, credits Mendoza for pushing him to excel in his craft. Mendoza’s guidance and personal instruction were instrumental in Landicho’s artistic journey, serving as a game-changer in his career.

The exhibit features the works of 24 artists from Dimasalang III, each showcasing their unique talents and perspectives. Animator-artist Norman Belen finds inspiration in Mendoza’s depictions of simple scenes from the Philippines. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing for home.

Recognition and Appreciation

Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza

Member of Parliament Peter Julian commends Mendoza’s versatility in using various artistic styles to convey his messages effectively. He praises the Filipino artists featured in the exhibit for enriching Canadian culture and making significant contributions to society.

Fil-Canadian lawmaker Mable Elmore emphasizes the enduring legacy of Mendoza. This highlights how his influence continues to resonate through the works of Dimasalang III artists.

Consul General Arlene Magno echoes the sentiment. She notes that the exhibit not only honors Mendoza but also showcases the immense talent within the Filipino community. She emphasizes the unity and solidarity demonstrated by the Dimasalang artists in their collective pursuit of artistic excellence.

Ronel Mendoza, Sym’s fifth child, expresses gratitude for the tribute to his father’s legacy. He believes that Mendoza would be proud of the achievements of the Dimasalang III artists and the impact they have made in the art world.

An Ongoing Tribute

Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza

The “Walking with Sym” exhibit at the Anvil Arts Centre in New Westminster serves as a poignant reminder of Mendoza’s enduring legacy. Running until May 29, the exhibit celebrates his life, art, and the profound influence he had on the artists he mentored.

In commemorating the legacy of Sofronio Ylanan Mendoza, the “Walking with Sym” exhibit stands as a testament to his enduring influence on the art world. It highlights his impact in both the Philippines and Canada, serving as a bridge between two vibrant artistic communities.

Through the heartfelt tributes of the Dimasalang III artists, Mendoza’s profound impact on generations of artists is celebrated. His legacy is further honored through the recognition from community leaders, highlighting his lasting influence within the artistic community.

As his artistic legacy continues to inspire and shape the creative landscape, the exhibit serves as a poignant reminder of the power of mentorship, unity, and artistic excellence. It highlights the significant impact that individuals like Mendoza have within the Filipino community and beyond.


Read Also: Nicole Coson’s “In Passing” Exhibition Explores Diaspora and Identity in New York


Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
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