Manāra—the Arabic word for “minaret”—is the result of the creative collaboration between internationally acclaimed sculptor and painter Toym Imao and industrial designer and installation artist Lilianna Manahan.
I was able to interview artist Lilianna Manahan and get to know her insights about their installation
Two acclaimed Filipino artists came together to celebrate Moro culture through Manāra, an interactive art installation at the Ayala Museum Plaza, which officially opened on May 3.
Featuring 23 minarets and lanterns, the Manāra interactive art installation features Moro textiles, wood and metal work, music, and indigenous patterns. Manāra is a project of Ayala Foundation.
Traditionally, minarets served as lighthouses, providing light to people and vessels that needed to find their way. Minarets, which are also important architectural features of mosques, are also where calls to prayer are made.
For over 50 years, Ayala Foundation has been implementing community development initiatives in Mindanao. One of the foundation’s first projects was the Sumilao Cattle Research Project at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro in the 1960s. At present, the foundation has been nurturing its partnership with the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao for its youth leadership program Leadership Communities, and its education program Training Institute.
Ayala Foundation has also partnered with the City Government of Marawi for the community-based Siyapen Drug Rehabilitation Center, which was started earlier this year.
Similarly, the Manāra art installation hopes to shed light on the richness and diversity of Moro culture, and in the process inspire a deeper understanding of Muslim Filipinos. At the same time, the interactive art installation serves as a call for unity—for Filipinos, even though they come from diverse backgrounds, to become more open to dialogue and cooperation.