Abdulmari Asia Imao

National Artist for Visual Arts (2006)

(January 14, 1936 – December 16, 2014)

A native of Sulu, Abdulmari Asia Imao is a sculptor, painter, photographer, ceramist, documentary filmmaker, cultural researcher, writer, and articulator of Philippine Muslim art and culture. Through his works, the indigenous ukkil, sarimanok and naga motifs have been popularized and instilled in the consciousness of the Filipino nation and other peoples as original Filipino creations. His U.P. art education introduced him to Filipino masters like Guillermo Tolentino and Napoleon Abueva, who were among his mentors.

With his large-scale sculptures and monuments of Muslim and regional heroes and leaders gracing selected sites from Batanes to Tawi-tawi, Imao has helped develop among cultural groups trust and confidence necessary for the building of a more just and humane society.

Selected works:

Industry Brass Mural, Philippine National Bank, San Fernando, La Union
Mural Relief on Filmmaking, Manila City Hall
Industrial Mural, Central Bank of the Philippines, San Fernando, La Union
Sulu Warriors (statues of Panglima Unaid and Captain Abdurahim Imao), 6 ft., Sulu Provincial Capitol

List of Awardees