The newly installed sculpture near the University of the Philippines Theater has of late acquired more than celebrity status, enticing numerous curious folk – from students to passers-by – to come and take their souvenir pictures and selfies, and groupfies with the gleaming naked lady that seemingly levitates horizontally, back slightly arched and hands outstretched, long hair streaming down unto a circular pool of water.
UPLIFT. That’s the name that the visual artist and sculptor Ferdinand Cacnio has given his work in brass.
It has become the latest – and controversial – tourist attraction in the Diliman campus.
It reportedly took Cacnio 10 years to complete, as a contribution of UP Batch 1985.
Even before it could be formally installed, UPLIFT quickly drew reactions mainly from netizens, who took to social media to point out its striking similarity to a work by the Dutch artist Elisabet Stienstra, The Virgins of Apeldoorn, which consists of three bronze sculptures of women floating in the air installed at a park.
Cacnio firmly refuted comments and observations that his sculpture was copied from Stienstra’s work in the Netherlands.
“#UPLIFT is my own creation,” Cacnio said addressing allegations of plagiarism that some netizens have raised.
He was also quick to turn to Facebook to issue his rejoinder: “To all those asking questions:
Before today, I had never seen nor heard of Ms. Stienstra or her work. Hindi ko siya kilala (I do not know her). We’ve never been to the Netherlands. I was not inspired by her, I did not model my work after hers. I am not guilty of plagiarizing or copying her work.”
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