MANILA - Sulu-born National Artist for Visual Arts Abdulmari Asia Imao passed away on Tuesday. He was 78.
The acclaimed sculptor, according to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, was best known for "popularizing and instilling the indigenous ukkil, sarimanok and naga motifs in the consciousness of the Filipino nation and other peoples as original Filipino creations."
"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," it added.
Imao was conferred the title of national artist back in 2006, alongside Benedicto R. Cabrera, Bienvenido Lumebra, Ramon Obusan, Ildefonso P. Santos, and Ramon Valera.