Young Mandaya artist at Museo Dabawenyo

A hearing-impaired lass hailing from the municipality of Caraga is the latest artist to open an exhibit in Davao’s Museo Dabawenyo. She is the first artist from Davao Oriental to do so.

Sharmi Angelique Sayman Capina, only 23, went to regular school despite her handicap and the arts became her ally since childhood as an avenue to express herself fully. Her talents further developed as a Fine Arts student at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao.

Sharmi had her first exhibit in 2015 during INALIMA, one of the events celebrating the Araw ng Davao Oriental, centered on historical and cultural subjects. In 2016, she showed another set of works inspired by the Indian Mandala during Caraga’s Founding Anniversary. The same year, Sharmi was also featured during the Regional Festival of Talents held in Tagum City.

Her current work featured in Museo Dabawenyo called “Inawas ng Muna” meaning Cultural Heritage, shows scenes in the life of the Mandaya tribe.

In message read by Museo Dabawenyo Officer-in-Charge Orly Escarilla, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the exhibit is timely as the city will be celebrating the Kadayawan sa Davao next week.

“[This] is a recognition of the invaluable contributions of our indigenous people in shaping Davao City,” Duterte-Carpio said.

“With the artworks on exhibit until September, I trust that more people -Filipinos and our foreign visitors alike – will get to know more about the Mandaya, their traditions and beliefs and their way of life, so that we may all have a greater understanding of our history, and forge deeper connections with the people whose forebears came before all of us, in an effort to help them preserve their indigenous culture”, she added.

Sharmi, on the other hand, said she just wants to show the world how beautiful the Mandaya culture is through her eyes.

“I do not want to become great. I just want to be remembered,” she said. (GLP)