Tuesday, December 31, 2013

285. Shadow Boxing: BAMBINO JESUS

Shadow box crafts seemed to be a popular hobby among Filipinos in the 20s and 30s as I have seen countless examples of all sorts---from boxing family portraits embellished with mother-of-pearl flowers, embroidered art, to religious tole art such as this 3-dimensional Bambino Jesus, pasted on a heavy board, then dressed in real cloth and accessorised with handcrafted symbols of his Passion as well as silk flowers. The shadow box dates from 1929--the back was lined with old newspapers dated from that era.
It's been said that these kinds of crafts were introduced by religious educators, evolved from some kind of monastic art that nuns dabbled with in the 19th century. Favorite motifs includ dressing up prints of the sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, as well as the Holy Family. My Bambino box was purchased in Bulacan. The condition is fair to poor--the flowers are disintegrating, the lithographed cut-out of Jesus is starting to curl. Hopefully, I can have this restored soon! This kind of art is slowly vanishing, but it's never too late to try your hand at this--all you need are deft hands, some artistic skill and lots of imagination!

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