The Fashion Arts Autism Benefit (FAAB) has chosen the top artists in the Philippines to showcase their masterpieces in an international tour.
Vico Cham, Nich Huang, Nina Bantoto, Jorel Alegre, and Daniel Sanchez are the 5 artists chosen to create one of a kind works of art that will travel around the world. Each of them was diagnosed with autism at a very early age and is determined to raise awareness of their commonly misunderstood disability.
They work under the supervision of the talented Anna India de la Cruz-Legaspi. Piña cloth is their choice of medium which is made from pineapple leaves. It’s a strong fiber and typically combined with silk of polyester.
This is a particularly difficult canvas to paint on and requires special skill sets. However, the techniques seem to come naturally to the artists. The works will be put into about 20 gowns and formal wear to be shown in Manila, San Francisco, and New York City during the United National World Focus on Autism event, and in Geneva for the World Health Organization event.
The gowns will also but put to auction during the year long world tour in 2016. All proceeds will go directly to the artists to help fund their developing art careers.
Solinda Bautista, the director of Autism Hearts Philippines, Inc., says this project will accomplish three very important things. First, it helps individuals with autism maximize their potential while raising global awareness. The project also promotes community acceptance and inclusiveness worldwide. The next step, and probably the most important, is to give hands-on opportunities for the artists to gain real world working experience, allowing them to be productive members of society for those who are on the spectrum.
Through the fashion events, the world will focus on the talent of these individuals instead of their disabilities. The 24 year old Vico Cham says he is “proudly autistic”and can’t wait to show people.
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By Raiza Belarmino