It's been said that we should stand up for what is right, even if we stand alone. Words have never been truer for Kevin Eric Raymundo's (aka Tarantadong Kalbo) latest statement art that's spawned a massive collaboration in the local art world.
Posted last June 17, Raymundo shared his work of a solitary defiant raised fist in a sea of bowed down fists.
The fist bump gesture is reminiscent of President Rodrigo Duterte's pose often used by his supporters and allies, with the glowing raised fist symbolizing dissent and the act of making a stand (or "tindig") amid the obedience.
The artist posted the telling work with a simple caption: 'T u m i n d i g.'
The 34-year old satirical artist isn't one to shy away from dissenting through art, as many of his most popular works and comics call out government decisions such as the Manila Bay dolomite sand, Anti-Terror Law, and the overall pandemic response.
"I wanted to create a piece na ine-encapsulate ang pakiramdam ng isang artist-activist sa panahon ni Duterte at ng kanyang terror law," Raymundo shared with PhilSTAR L!fe on the inspiration behind the work.
With his outspoken approach, Raymundo knows that his isn't everyone's cup of tea, especially in the online realm.
"Sanay na ako [sa bashers]," he shared. "As a satire artist I deal with [them] on a daily basis. Nakakapagod siya, but it is what it is."
"Pinaghanadaan ko naman itong pinasok ko."
Not long after the Tumindig art went viral, other local artists joined in on the piece with their own renditions of the defiant fist avatars. Three days since its posting, Twitter and Facebook were soon flooded with the hashtag #tumindig and countless artists following suit.
The first artist that joined Tarantadong Kalbo's piece was animator and illustrator Kapitan Tambay, as it soon grew in the community and reached the likes of Cartoonist ZACH, Tsambolero, Hulyen, Rob Cham, before branching out into other parts of the Internet.
"While the original post went viral din naman, akala ko that’s it. I wasn’t prepared when artists started adding their own avatars sa piece," Raymundo shared.
This day, four months ago, our paralegal, HR worker Renalyn Tejero was arrested based on trumped-up charges.— Karapatan Caraga (@KarapCaraga) July 21, 2021
Renalyn along with artists and all those who stand up for human rights are being imprisoned and worse, killed by the fascist Duterte regime.#Tumindig#DuterteWakasan pic.twitter.com/6WYrobv7G6
Kaisa ang Iskolar ng Bayan sa laban para sa ayuda, Ligtas na Balik-Eskwela, kalayaang pang-akademiko at pamamahayag, at malawak na sambayanan sa pamamagitan ng tahasang paniningil at pagpapatalsik sa rehimeng Duterte na siyang nagsadlak sa buong sambayanan.#Tumindig https://t.co/Bhf8BpCBrc pic.twitter.com/vwi3hLgIcu— The Catalyst (@PUPTheCatalyst) July 20, 2021
today i set the original #Tumindig artwork as my lockscreen to serve as a reminder that standing up even by myself is a start, and that beneath our individual fortitude, there is a wave. one that we must sustain. thank you @KevinKalbo and to all artists and allies! ✊? pic.twitter.com/Y4n0gAIUQ8— Rez (@rezenpeace) July 21, 2021
Raymundo has since shared a follow-up to his original post, with the once dominantly bowing crowd now filled with 73 dissenting Filipino artists from all walks of life. Each avatar can be seen either donning their advocacies or carrying placards.
"Artista ng Bayan, Ngayon ay Lumalaban!," he captioned.
For his parting message regarding his now-viral artwork, Raymundo encourages everyone to register to vote.
"We will achieve great things kung sama-sama tayo," he said. True enough, the once-grim artwork symbolizing defiance has transformed to showcase those that choose to simply but powerfully stand up.
Check out the #tumindig hashtag to check out more other local artists joining the widespread collaboration.
Photos from Tarantadong Kalbo