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Over 400 Masks From Around the World on Display at IMACO Exhibit


Just a few days shy of wrapping up the 40th edition of the MassKara Festival but the City of Bacolod has yet another mask-themed treat for us!

A special exhibit opened today featuring more than 400 masks from 22 countries. Located at the Ground Floor of the Main Atrium (Landmarks: Vikings/ Sperry), the exhibit is part of the IMACO International Conference that the City of Bacolod will be hosting at the SMX Convention Center on November 5 to 8, 2019.

IMACO stands for International Mask and Culture Organization. The esteemed organization is based in Andong City, South Korea and has forged a sisterhood with our hometown, Bacolod.

A press conference was held at the masks’ exhibit area right before the unveiling. Ms. Dawon “Ginny” Lee, chief of the IMACO International Cooperation Team said that they were delighted to host both the Mask Display and the IMACO Conference in the Philippine city famous for its smiles and masks.

The Exhibit of Masks will run until December 26, 2019. There are masks featured from five continents: Asia, Europe, America, Africa, and Oceania. Of course, among the Asian masks are a collection from the Philippines, most especially the smiling masks of the Bacolod MassKara Festival.

Among those from Asia are masks from the Philippines, particularly the smiling masks of the Bacolod MassKara Festival.

Lee was all praises for the MassKara Festival, showing interest in the celebration, dance parade and how they’re interested in “how [you] preserve the masks and how everyone is participating in this event.”

Lee was very appreciative of the assistance and support of the city government. Led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, the LGU was instrumental in the preparations for the exhibit and the conference. Some 200 delegates from 17 countries are expected to attend the IMACO Conference.

IMACO and the Cultural Heritage

The interest of IMACO is in the preservation of masks collected from around the world. The mask culture, as Lee said, is part of the intangible cultural heritage that is difficult to preserve. This they do to safeguard and preserve the masks, thus preserving cultures.

Founded in 2006, IMACO is composed of more than 130 organizations from some 60 countries. IMACO is invested in creating archives of mask-related cultures that is important to cultural community symbols.

How IMACO does this involves research, preservation, and data gathering. By doing this, Lee says we can all develop an understanding of mask culture.

Learn more about the masks from around the world! Visit the IMACO Mask Exhibit at SM City Bacolod.

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