Hernando R. Ocampo, a self-taught painter, was a leading member of the pre-war Thirteen Moderns, the group that charted the course of modern art in the Philippines. His works provided an understanding and awareness of the harsh social realities in the country immediately after the Second World War and contributed significantly to the rise of the nationalist spirit in the post-war era. It was, however, his abstract works that left an indelible mark on Philippine modern art. His canvases evoked the lush Philippine landscape, its flora and fauna, under the sun and rain in fierce and bold colors. He also played a pivotal role in sustaining the Philippine Art Gallery, the country’s first.
Ocampo’s acknowledged masterpiece Genesis served as the basis of the curtain design of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater. His other major works include Ina ng Balon, Calvary, Slum Dwellers, Nude with Candle and Flower, Man and Carabao, Angel’s Kiss, Palayok at Kalan, Ancestors,Isda at Mangga, The Resurrection, Fifty-three “Q”, Backdrop, Fiesta.