Filipino artist wins first place at international art competition

Bricx Martillo Dumas bested 208 other entries to win the top prize of the DigitalArt4Climate tilt.

Filipino artist wins first place at international art competition
(Images: DigitalArt4Climate; Instagram: @bricxed)

Digital artist Bricx Martillo “Brikko” Dumas bagged on Sunday, November 14, the first prize of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) art competition, DigitalArt4Climate, with his work entitled “Nexus.”

His winning artwork showed a hand holding a plastic bag with a straw filled with a beverage that resemble a fish’s tail. There’s also a cigarette tucked in the fingers whose ashes turn to little leaves when seemingly blown by the wind.

“Explorers and settlers would just wipe out an entire species and in the process, decimate the eco-system forever. The difference now is, we knowingly doing this,” read a quote by Leonardo DiCaprio beneath the artwork.

“Changing the way we live now changes the way we will live tomorrow,” the artwork’s description added.

Screenshot 61
(Screengrab from DigitalArt4Climate)

According to Dumas, “Nexus” is a “visual representation of how our simple everyday lifestyle affects our environment, ecosystem, and how we struggle to live.”

Dumas’ piece was the sole submission from Southeast Asia in a field of 208 entries from 58 countries. The winner of the competition was decided through online public voting on the official website of DigitalArt4Climate.

On his Instagram account, the Leyte native shared a short speech celebrating his win as well as imparting the reminder that now is the perfect time to curb the effects of climate change.

“This competition may come to an end, but our fight for climate justice is far from over,” Dumas said in his speech. “Eight years ago, my hometown suffered the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan. It changed my life forever. Should we wait for another typhoon as strong as Haiyan just to realize that this world is suffering from mass extinction, or should we be the change that this world needs? 

“Our time is now.”

For winning the competition, Dumas took home 1,500 euros or around P85,000. Other winners include pieces by artists from Iran, France United States, and Kenya, who will each receive 500 euros, or around P28,000.

According to its website, COP26’s DigitalArt4Climate is an initiative “which uses blockchain technology to turn art into digital assets or NFTs, which can be collected and traded, thus opening up a socio-technological innovation space which helps to unlock extraordinary potential for resource mobilization and climate empowerment.”

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