Tuesday, June 30, 2009


There are exceptional artists that had the experience of “channeling” their creativity. Guided by their sturdy faith and unyielding prayers, the artworks they are producing appears to be coming through them rather than being created by them. One such artist is Joey Cobcobo – painter, carver, fine art printmaker and recently short-listed in the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards.

In 13:52 Gawa Dos, Cobcobo remains steadfast in his art ministry as he continues to head off for something new, to break away, to defy, to grapple with the unfamiliar. In this series of woodcut prints, Cobcobo’s main focus is to present works that retain their Filipino flavor.

“Coffee Break” comes as a call for respite very much similar to the vernacular “Magkape muna tayo.” However, the call for respite in Cobcobo’s monoprint which appears as an impression of a small coffee branch is an invitation for those who have surrendered battling every day struggles and ended up defeated. “Pagod ka na.” Take a coffee break, have faith and rely on the Lord. “Come unto me and all ye that labor and are heavily laiden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Steadfastness in searching and understanding the meaning of God’s words is the central message of “Taguan.” The Filipino “Hide and Seek” is a game played by children on the streets whose objective is to patiently look for and find those who have hidden. The gospels of Jesus Christ with its clear-cut messages were written in parables, metaphorical earth stories with heavenly meanings which may not be immediately understood. Cobcobo’s monoprint encourages persistence, that unwavering faith to continue to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33) and to find strength in his Words (Philippians 4:13).

The image depicting a man with no arms and legs is that familiar mendicant we see by the steps of church doors or by-streets, a portrayal of the Filipino poor’s hopelessness in life whose main source of daily provisions comes from the alms he can collect. “No Legs, No arms, No Worries” becomes autobiographical for Cobcobo whose strives in life armed only with that unwavering faith and trust in his Lord and Savior who is the ultimate Provider (Philippians 4:19).

Joey Cobcobo – visual artist, God’s servant and warrior fights daily battles no different from the monoprint “War In Heaven” which is the apocalyptic combat. ‘“Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ... (Revelations 12:10) Joey Cobcobo shall continue to be a messenger of The Good News.


Manny Montelibano
July 4 - 28, 2009

Visual artist and filmmaker Manny Montelibano unveils a one-man show on July 4, 2009 at the Galleria Duemila, Pasay City. The exhibit entitled “ESCABECHE” consists of a series of multi-media installations that explores the bittersweet experience of the Philippine diaspora. With close to 10 million Filipinos working as OFWs in every part of the globe, this migration has embedded itself not only in the national psyche but more importantly, in the daily life of the Filipino family. Utilizing common and images and mundane objects such as landline telephone handsets, Montelibano delves deeper into the thematic undercurrents of this phenomenon.

Montelibano’s films and video installations have been exhibited locally and internationally in such venues as Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Loop Gallery, Seoul, Korea and Open Space Art Center, Victoria Canada.

“Escabeche” will have an opening on July 4 at 4:00 PM. For more information, contact Galleria Duemila through Tel. No. (+632) 831-9990 or Telefax (+632) 833-9815, e-mail: or visit our website at The gallery is located at 210 Loring Street, Pasay City.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Draped in Silk: The Journey of the Manton de Manila
July 1 to December 29, 2009

The Yuchengco Museum invites you to the opening of the exhibit Draped in Silk: The Journey of the Manton de Manila on Wednesday, July 1, at 6 p.m.

Draped in Silk narrates the story of a 16th century precious cargo, of Chinese silk embroidery, and of a maritime trade between Asia and Europe. The Philippines, then a Spanish colony, was a port of call for galleons that sailed to and from Mexico. One of the many coveted merchandise brought by these galleons were embroidered silk shawls from China, which were to become known as the Manton de Manila. The dainty and bright embroidery of these Chinese-made shawls captured the imagination of Spanish from all walks of life, and adapted as part of their fashion and costumes for dance and music.

The exhibit explores the many anecdotes surrounding these captivating shawls, including the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade and the manton's influences on Philippine embroidery traditions. In contrast, artists and designers from various creative fields showcase contemporary works inspired by the manton—from illustrations, painting, and photography to couture, installations, and décor.

The museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala & Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati City. For more information, call 889-1234 or e-mail


Igan D’Bayan & Joey De Leon will mount a back-to-back exhibit dubbed as Heavy Mental + Fish & Chips. Igan will be presenting paintings of clowns to underscore the absurdity and dark comedy of historical events, as well as art history itself, while Joey presents clown and fish paintings using casino chips as a metaphor for chance and “accidental beauty.” On view on June 30, Thursday until July 12 at The Crucible Gallery, 4th Floor, SM Megamall.


The Ateneo Art Gallery
warmly invites you to the opening of

Drunken Revelry
Poklong Anading
2008 Ateneo Art Gallery - Common Room Networks Foundation
Residency Grant Recipient


Un / Fold
Marina Cruz
2008 Ateneo Art Gallery - La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre
Residency Grant Recipient

on Thursday, 2 July 2009 at 6pm
(Exhibition runs until 14 August 2009)

Ground Floor Rizal Library
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights
Quezon City


Poklong Anading
8 July 2009 at 10:30am

Marina Cruz
15 July 2009 at 4:30pm

Gallery Hours:
Weekdays 8am-12nn/1pm- 5pm
Saturday 8am-12nn

For more information please call 4266488

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Rapid urbanization and the ever-expanding global market have changed the Philippine economic topography in the past fifty years. That wave of free capital has impinged itself and has changed the course and landscape of art and art-making. To speak of what is “Contemporary Philippine Art” and what is “contemporary” in Philippine Art for the past fifty years as a consequence of the influx of a disconcerting assortment of stylistic and aesthetic developments can be encapsulated in two terms: “phasic” and “hybrid.”

Free capital has also altered the landscape of Angono. The once bucolic locale has long ceased to be idyllic. Its terrain and folkways, its color and pageantry is now fused with the once rural and the current urban. But what undeniably remains is its impressive heritage of painting.

Aaron Bautista, professional painter and art teacher from Angono, working mostly with mixed media on canvas has established a style in abstractionism which currently comprises his body of works. Yet for 13:52 Gawa Dos, Bautista chose to pay homage to his old town and for this instance set aside his non-representations. What resulted is the highly hybridized set of artworks characterized by the conjoining of unlikely styles together in the work of a single artist (for instance, a Bautista mixed media abstraction alongside with a Bautista portraiture).

What is impressive in Bautista’s works for 13:52 Gawa Dos is that while it “cannot be categorized as pure folk genre paintings, certain elements of a rich pictorial tradition persist: strong figuration, emphasis on color composition, empathy for the cultural milieu of family, and the appearance of fiesta and folklore in various context and conditions.” On the other hand, his non-representational works, those daringly-manipulated spaces, and the exuberant play of colours that appear to burst out of his stretched canvases provide him a niche in the deepening realms of abstraction.

Clearly, Angono continues to generate artists and their diverse works of art. Botong’s small town withstands and keeps on being reinterpreted, still with that element of custom, folklore, tradition, of times gone by, and recollection, within and beyond its hybrid landscape.


A Photographic Exhibition on Gum Bichromate Printing
By Marc San Valentin

2 July – 6 September 2009
The Landing Gallery
UP Vargas Museum

The Jorge B. Vargas Museum will open a photography exhibition entitled Nostalgia featuring recent works by Marc San Valentin on 2 July 2009, Thursday, 6:00 PM at the Landing Gallery.

Nostalgia is a collection of colored photographs using the gum print or gum bichromate process. It is a pigment-based process that relies on a printing workflow and addresses each color of a photograph by printing each channel separately. The process results in painterly images and textures that resemble oil pastel. Through this process, the exhibit characterizes the transition of photography from technical and scientific representations to a more creative approach. It is also the product of extending the process of contemporary colored photography into more expressive avenues rather than assuming the terminal status of online gallery images.

Marc San Valentin is currently a photography instructor at the U.P. College of Fine Arts. He has been actively researching and practicing different photographic methods focusing on extending the photographic process to include alternative or more traditional printing methods. His past works ranged from alternative processes like cyanotypes and salt prints to pinhole photography, which he recently incorporated as a method of classroom instruction in one of the photography classes being offered by the U.P. College of Fine Arts.

Marc San Valentin will also hold an Artist’s Talk on 9 July, 2009, Thursday, 2:30 PM to discuss the process and concepts related on gum bichromate printing.

Nostalgia will run until 06 September 2009. For more information, please contact the UP Vargas Museum at 928-1927 (direct line), 981-8500 local 4024 (UP trunkiline), 928-1925 (fax), 0929-8567909 (mobile), or send an e-mail to You may also visit the Museum’s official website at

Saturday, June 27, 2009


By definition, technology is the sum of a society's or culture's practical knowledge, especially with reference to its material culture. Our material culture includes machines, equipment, systems and objects we have created. The objects we create become the filtrate of our encounters and dealings, our experiences and actions. This filtrate is the confirmation of something else that has happened. This happening is the principal action that unites mind with spirit of place.

Twenty-first century myth meets thirty-first century reality. The creations rule over the creator. Planet Earth is habitat to man-machines and machinated potentates. The works of Derrick Makutay reflect that habitation/co-habitation of humanity and technology. Set in the ghoulish, garish, nightmarish landscape populated by automatons and machines, Macutay’s rich figures and characters illustrate the current and evoke a mental picture of what lies beyond. Like a death knell, such symbolism altogether reverberates of a future bound by the dictates of cables - technology’s circulatory and nerve pipelines. Makutay becomes the master of the chillingly preordained doomsday where human memory has to be quantified by gigabytes.

Yet entrenched within Macutay’s canvases, there lies that deep, dark, discernable beauty of something wonderfully alien. Makutay cleverly focused on subject matter, representation and narrative in his art while fusing the free interaction of the virtual bringing about a condition of perception no different from an electric shock.

On another plane, that man and machine suspense-action-drama also elicits that societal interplay where the technophiles are mere minions in the technostructure; where to evangelize for modernity is to technologize; where the climax of this technothriller is the continued divide between the powered and the powerless.

Thus in this pictography of the next wave of civilization where life and time shall be measure by gigabytes-per-second, Macutay’s works embody that grand narrative and that crisp and ironic play of style laced with the metaphysical cynicism at the expense of the real. Futuristic. Virtual. Aesthetically cyber. Whereupon even etymologically, the word “technology” comes from the Greek word “tekhne” meaning “art.”


The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is pleased to inform you of the first ASEAN-wide Photo Contest on Biodiversity with the theme, ZOOMING IN ON BIODIVERSITY.

In partnership with the European Commission, ASEAN Member States, and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) , the contest aims to generate public awareness on the importance of sustaining our biodiversity. Powerful images of biodiversity' s importance to food security, health, livelihood, climate change, and other pressing issues and concerns can translate awareness into public support to reducing biodiversity loss – a silent crisis that could lead to humankind's extinction.

The contest will run until 30 August 2009 and winners will be awarded during the ACB side event at the ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity in Singapore on 21 – 23 October 2009.

We would appreciate it if you could help ACB and AIJC promote the photo contest by publishing the news release and poster AD. You may also post the announcement and poster in your website with link to the ACB website (www.aseanbiodivers i, until 30 August 2009.

Download contest rules.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Iconic. The woman’s legs inspire. As humans, we react to its image. For all its familiarity, we hardly ever pause to regard the woman’s legs as a visual form. Bambie Beltran painted on canvas a series about these appendages in ways to cause the viewer to reconsider its splendor and renew faith in all things woman and human.

In Beltran’s own words, “These paintings give tribute to the enduring appeal of the female leg. A woman's leg is an erotic oddity. It is non-genital and is nearly identical in structure to the male limb. There is no obvious reason why it should be eroticized. Yet through much of history and across many cultures, the female leg was kept covered and treated as taboo until it became an object of sexual obsession. In Victorian times, the word leg was forbidden in polite society, lest gentlemen be driven wild with lust. Pre-Hispanic Filipinos did not have this taboo until the Iberian influence spread throughout the archipelago. At present, after women’s legs came out of hiding, their allure remains mysterious and powerful.”

Celebrate color in the shape of a woman’s limb, the curves, the lines, its experiences and the imperfections. Most of all remember the womanity and humanity in humanity.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Consciousness. At the onset we transact with that which we cannot figure out; the ideas that materialize in mind that baffle us, grasp us in awe and agitate us . . . for it is the resolution of these ideas that can grant us the things necessary to keep us alive. Such was the predicament of Josef Laureano. Ever the introspective introvert Laureano beguiles in the bewitching and overpowering rendering of his passion and anguish on his canvases laced with the subdued yet academic language of abstraction. It is to unshackle with acrylic paint that which is unpicturable.

TRANSITION. The blacks, the whites, the neutrals and a conceptual scheme are a characteristic of Laureano. The bold gestural brushwork, almost Zen-like, creeps over his canvases with studied form and composition. Painterly yet poignant, visually engaging but calm. His solitude buffers the value for space, imparting visual poetry almost like a haiku.

THIS WAY PLEASE. To comprehend the meaning behind an artwork is to decipher the artist. We draw parallels between the maker and the painting and the marriage of both as an art form. In understanding Laureano, there is a weaving of a relationship between artist and artwork, place and position, contemporary wandering and immediate environment, covert and overt, motion and emotion drawn from his personal experiences. Laureano points towards the direction; we follow his footpaths.

FUEGO. There is no room for hesitation. Laureano takes center stage. Firm in resolve. Unfaltering in commitment. After 13;52 Gawa Dos, we dig more into his psyche on his first solo exhibit. No backing out. Ready. Aim. Fire.

UNTITLED. Abstractions and visual poetry. Not much words necessary. Josef Laureano.


“Rural Abstractions”

Aaron Bautista mounts his tenth solo exhibitions at Verdana Art Gallery Studio with opening cocktails on June 27, 2009 6pm.located at Corinthian Gardens no. 39 Castrillo Street, Quezon City.

According to Aaron his last installment of paintings is mainly based on series of abstractions called “Fields of Gold” is a continuation of long held fascination of using gold medium and color field abstraction done in mixed media on variable sizes of canvas.

His process of gluing found objects like strips of canvas, pieces of wood, nails, sinamay, coins and other items assembling a composition on textured canvas surface then spreading/dripping it with enamel, oil paints to create a near monochromatic, predominantly of gold abstract landscape. It was gold that mostly dominates the entire composition, a field abundant with ripen wheat and ready to be harvested as in Sting slyly sings it with conviction, “you can tell the sun in his jealous sky/when we walked in the fields of gold…” and we presumed these as mountains, rice fields and lake and is another picture of small town called Angono, which deeply inspires him and where he grew up and also the late Botong took his inspirations of idyllic long gone or being urbanized. Aaron stated that “gold is a symbol of longevity, bounty and abundances. My works were spontaneous but nevertheless speaks of individuality from other artists”.

As the two panels of four by four feet “Two Giants” and “Caged Beauty” engaged us to overlook the sinuous locking of patterns and lines with interweaving black scrapping of details where primary colors set against the foreground settings make it look like an urbanized topography. With intermittent clouds that hover the upper parts of the canvases. These “oriental-look” reprimanded us of that feeling where we should stay across and stealthily experiences it’s time-being.

The series “On this Site will Rise”, the painter uses the same exuberances and make rooms for avowed metamorphosing accoutrements of post and lintel apparitions but yielding on the side and nevertheless mingles with wash and dry effects of the medium being often used and manipulated. Most drips concealed us of the posh and commercialized encroaching of his town being leased to the corporatism and franchises of advent urban planning without so much empathy for the cultural legacy. We empathize with this innuendoes and sentimentalities with these pieces and let the non-objective partaking to the process of the artist for so many reasons.

Abstract art is a responsive way of delivering us to these kinds of thought and belonging. And so much had been said of that throughout especially who had taken the course of academics in the arts. Bautista who studied at UP Fine Arts and is also a member of Neo Angono Artists Collective and Angono Ateliers Association, still trying the justification of art to its fullest embryonic self-assessments that can be receptive to spectators who in turn have been inundate with sense of fit-in resultant from common responsiveness. With this kind of abstractionism that he as an observer still does what his deliberate mind should be able to represent meanings in abstraction.

Show runs until July 25, 2009. For further inquiries please contact Ana Cornelia at (0929) 2572249 or visit


Folk Lore
New Works by Paulo Vinluan

My work is an ongoing dialogue between perception and portrayal of a persona for one’s own social pursuits. It explores the superficial masks we present to the public and the tenuous relations that charge a civilized society. With reference to the phrase “Wolves in sheep’s clothing”, a visual mash-up of characters and visual symbols emerge. A sampling of wolves in suits, dogs with tribesmen heads, exotic dancers, rodents, Louis XIV chairs with human limbs and dining rooms doubling as performance stages become the tableaux of characters. It delves in what we consider vital in our social pursuits such as acceptance, self-worth, success and power. The image betrayal ends in a comical, tragic display of the conflict between human nature and animal instinct.

Folk Lore will run from Saturday, 13 June 2009 until 4 July 2009 at the Blanc Compound, 359 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. Gallery hours are from 11am–7pm, Mondays thru Sundays. For further enquiries, please call telephone numbers 752-0032 or 0920-9276436, email or visit and

Paulo Vinluan appears courtesy of Finale Art File.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Each flower is a portrait. Marga Rodriguez does not just paint flora. She employs form, color, and texture to transmit sentiment. Rodriguez brings into play flowers as visual metaphors communicating diverse themes. The delicateness of flowers, coupled with their transient magnificence, captivating frailty, and arresting color, attract sensitivity and intensify the drama. The momentary life of flowers prompts urgency.

During Victorian times since there was so much social protocol, people were not allowed to express their feelings openly. Men and women would send flowers with hidden meanings (floriography) to represent their thoughts and feelings. Rodriguez found this intriguing at the same time appropriate especially if the relationship hits a sour note.

Societal decorum then demands women to be as pliable, poised and graceful under pressure. But how do you become one when your heart is breaking, and when you seriously want stab someone? The works presented on this series dramatize the full range and rage of the artist’s feelings, while retaining all of the gentleness warranted.

There is opulent expressiveness in the twist and turns of edges of petals, stems, and leaves. The flowers in this series, having no faces of their own, characterize a representation that audiences of diverse circumstances can identify with. The artworks focus on the individual or the relationship between individuals. The flowers portray themes such as resignation, heartlessness, unrequited love and jealousy. Conquering superficial unlikeness, they serve as portraits of universal appeal. By depicting emotions using faceless metaphors, the viewers become active observers.


First Impressions: Early Views of the Philippines
June 25 to July 30, 2009

In celebration of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, the Embassy of Spain in cooperation with the Philippine Map Collectors Society and the Yuchengco Museum cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibit "First Impressions: Early Views of the Philippines." The exhibit opens on Thursday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.

First Impressions showcases the work of Spanish and Philippine cartographers through colonial-era maps of the Philippines. The exhibit runs at the Yuchengco Museum until July 30.

The Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati City. For more information, call 889-1234 or e-mail

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Kawayan de Guia, Neal Oshima, Allan Razo and Julius Clar
June 24 - July 25, 2009

Sundance is about contemporary interest in the archaic processes that were developed at the birth of photography. It has been suggested that the alternative process movement is a reaction to the anti-photography esthetic of post-modernist art. It has also been noted that the widespread interest in processes like the Daguerreotype, glass-plate collodion, albumen printing, camera obscura, etc. coincided with the advent of digital photography. It should be further noted that with the predominance of digital imagemaking even silver-gelatin printing, analogue black and white or color photography conducted in a darkroom, could now be considered an alternative process.

For a contemporary photographer exploration of these processes is a combination of archeology and alchemy. Ancient techniques must be researched in archaic tomes and unstable potions must be mixed in near darkness. Obscure papers must be procured, cut, sized and carefully handcoated with light-sensitive solutions. In this respect it is the very opposite of digital photography and for some of its most passionate adherents this is possibly its greatest attraction.

Others are attracted by the tremendous diversity that these processes offer. Digital photography, for all of its ease of use, tends to produce prints that look very much the same, particularly when compared to the range of images produced by these archaic means. Some find the evidence of the hand of the artist in the final print and the unrepeatable nature of many of the techniques deeply satisfying. Platinum and palladium printing, for example, offer a tonality that even the most technically sophisticated digital printers have yet to match.

For the collector, when the guaranteed lifespan of an inkjet print is a few decades, these prints offer proven longevity. Excellent prints from the earliest days of the medium remain. Many of these processes are as archivally stable as the paper that they are printed on. But, for a contemporary collector, their real value is their unique beauty, expressed through the vision and craft of the artist who made them.
—Neal Oshima, June 2009

Sundance by Kawayan de Guia, Neal Oshima, Allan Razo and Julius Clar opens at 6 pm in Silverlens Gallery on June 24 and runs until the July 25, 2009.

Sundance will be shown alongside Balana by Charlie Co at Slab (Silverlens Lab) and Where Or When by Marc Gaba at 20Square Gallery.

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, 816-0044, 0905-2650873, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am–7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm.

Image: Detail, Allan Razo, Shell 3, 2005, and Cactus, 2004

Monday, June 22, 2009


Marc Gaba
Where Or When
June 23 - July 11, 2009
20Square Gallery

My practice is a continual exploration of how the relation between the virtual and the actual might be configured and rendered.

Situating the relation, with these works, within the problematic of nostalgia and beginning basically from a wish to face its mute and sleepless lullabye, I cut away planes of color, the Rothko-like moments, from prints of Edward Hopper’s paintings—to draw the lines and unearth, so to speak, the documentaristic intimacies from which the images started.

Nostalgia humors any surgery on it, or so I think as my gestures turned into an exercise in paradox: not so much that “plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose” but that when I traced the lines and made them graphic, the lines drew new shadows in return. How ask in that dynamic about the extent and scale of what is past?

I finally take these collages as a collaging of painting onto actual space, in the drift of actual light—mixtures of time that form an interface at which the present moment and whatever there is to be nostalgic about happen in the same zone.

—Marc Gaba, May 27, 2009

Image: Marc Gaba, Caroline And Change, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009


UST College of Fine Arts and Design mounts `viral' exhibit

Riding along the idea of the AH1N1 flu virus, students of the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design Advertising Arts Department will be featured in "+H3S1S Virus," an exhibit of outstanding individual advertising thesis works for 2009.

The title of the exhibit is a namesake for `viral advertising' which refers to marketing techniques using pre-existing social networks to increase brand awareness and achieve other marketing objectives through a process similar to the spread of pathological or computer viruses.

Featured in the exhibit is a broad selection of advertising and commercial works from total advertising campaigns, special events, corporate identity and book illustrations to fashion design, visual merchandise and photography.

Participating artists' features are Chester Albania's advocacy campaign entitled, "One Step Ahead" for National Geographic Society and Bantay Kalikasan, Marcelino Bugaoan's photography feature, "Dyipni", Louie Bunag's book illustrations in "Secret Ingredient", Katherine dela Cruz's special event, "Let the Fireflies Save the World"; Matthew Niel Hebrona's corporate identity redesign for Diego Cera Organbuilders Inc., Kris Magboo's "Abaca Bridals", Salve Regine Marilao's "Batik Fashion," Ehrlich Marz Ocampo's visual merchandising design for Silverworks, Shiena Marie Pantinos' advertising campaign for Mwah! Nail Polish, Paelo Pedrajas' "Lighting Techniques for Fashion Photography, " Vernon Bryan Revillosa's corporate identity design for Ma Mon Luk Chinese Restaurant, Edilyn Ruth Yu's corporate identity design for Cosmetics Revelations and Johanna Charito Zulueta's total advertising campaign for Glutaphos brain vitamin.

The "+H3S1S Virus" exhibit opens on June 22, 6:00 p.m. at the UST Beato Angelico Gallery, España, Manila and will run until July 2.


Raul Sunico is new CCP artistic director
By Lito Zulueta
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:26:00 06/14/2009

MANILA, Philippines – Celebrated pianist and respected pedagogue Raul M. Sunico is set to become the new artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Sunico, the dean of the Conservatory of Music of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), will replace Nestor Jardin, who is also CCP president, and who will retire on July 26.

The transition is taking place as the CCP is set to mark its 40th anniversary in September.

It is not known whether Sunico would become concurrent CCP president like Jardin.

To become CCP president, Sunico would have to be appointed to the CCP board of trustees by Malacañang.

Sunico told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of that he would report for his first day as CCP artistic director on Tuesday. He said he expected to meet with the CCP board of trustees chaired by Emily Abrera.

Earlier last week, Sunico said he met with UST Rector Magnificus Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., to discuss his CCP post and his future at the Pontifical University.

As artistic director, Sunico will be in charge of the artistic programming of the country’s foremost performing arts showcase.

Specifically Sunico will oversee the artistic programs of the CCP resident companies, such as Ballet Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, Philippine Madrigal Singers, Philippine Ballet Theater, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, UST Symphony Orchestra, and Bayanihan Philippine National Dance Company.

He will also administer the annual National Music Competitions for Young Artists (Namcya).

Since CCP is also a venue for movie screenings and visual arts exhibits, Sunico will supervise such programs as the Cinemalaya film festival and the 13 Artists Awards.

Sunico will also direct the CCP's Cultural Exchange Program, which develops arts councils all over the country through workshops and seminars.

In addition, Sunico will also oversee performances by international acts in CCP.


Sunico (born 1948) brings to the CCP formidable credentials as a world-class performing artist, artistic impressario, and educational manager.

Sunico graduated from the University of the Philippines with the degrees of Bachelor of Music (cum laude), Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Statistics. He attended the Julliard School in New York, where he received a Master of Music degree.

He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in Piano Performance, from the New York University, where his dissertation featured a performance guide to Philippine Piano Concertos, which is being prepared for publication by the UST Publishing House.

Sunico won the silver medal in the Votti International Piano competition in Vercelli, Italy; was a finalist in the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Itlay; and received the Henry Cowell prize in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition in the United States. He received the TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines) Award for Music in 1986.

His becoming dean of the UST Conservatory, the country’s largest music school, was a sort of homecoming since he trained under Benjamin Tupas in the Conservatory when he was young.

As UST Music dean, he has joined a distinguished line of deans such as Stella Goldenberg Brimo, Erlinda Fule, Bernardino Custodio, Sergio Esmilla Sr. and National Artist Antonino Buenaventura.

Under his deanship, the UST Conservatory mounted lavish and difficult but well-acclaimed productions of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” (2006) and Strauss’s “Die Fledermaus” (2008), both at the CCP Main Theater.

It has also been under his deanship that UST was able to start a season of classical Christmas concerts featuring some of UST’s brightest alumni talents here and abroad, such as soprano Rachelle Gerodias, baritone Andrew Fernando, and United States-based mezzo soprano Clarissa Ocampo.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Opening, Thursday, 10 September 2009.

Exhibition: 10 - 22 September 2009. Emily Harvey Foundation 537 Broadway New York City, New York 10012 USA
1000 Artists Each Produce Their Edition Of 500 Postcards In The Sprawling Unbound 1000-Page A Book About Death.
The Book Will Be A Limited Edition: 500 Copies (Following The Number Of Artist Produced Cards).

An Open Call To Artists Worldwide

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH is an open, unbound book produced by artists worldwide. Artists are invited to create a "page" in the form of a postcard about death– any aspect about death. Works can be of any design, personal or conceptual, color or black and white.

The original work about death stays with you, the artist; the 500 postcards produced from the work is for the exhibition, and are sent to the gallery.

Artists can include any information about themselves on the cards, front or back.

The 500 post cards are then mailed to the gallery in New York City for exhibition.

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH takes its inspiration from the late, underground American artist Ray Johnson (1927 - 1995). Ray Johnson’s unbound “book” of the same title was mailed to his New York Correspondence School “students” and included pages in his idiosyncratic style that were funny, sad and ironic “one-page essays” on death. With the A BOOK ABOUT DEATH project, artists are invited to plunge into subject in creating their own pages that score the dramatic final dance of death.

EXHIBITION & EVENT: Each artist contribution will be displayed in the Emily Harvey Foundation gallery space in New York. Visitors will be free to take cards and create their own book about death. As the cards are removed, the exhibition will disappear.

During the exhibition, a lecture/panel discussion will take place with a number of leading writers, curators, artists and collectors bringing together a number of salient ideas about death, books, mail art works, Ray Johnson and the global nature of A BOOK ABOUT DEATH. The panel list will be announced when it is finalized this summer.


1. Produce an artwork about death. Make 500 postcards and mail the package to A BOOK ABOUT DEATH c/o Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery 537 Broadway New York City, New York 10012. All submissions will be accepted if they arrive in time. Artists may produce more than one card if they wish.

DEADLINE: Postcards should be in the gallery no later than 5 September 2009.

The Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery
537 Broadway 2nd Floor
New York City, New York 10012 USA
Tel 1-917-331-2960

2. Once images are produced, a light-weight jpg should be e mailed to MATTHEW ROSE, along with the artist's name and URL (artist web site address) for publication on the blog – This will allow the organizers to archive the works and artist details. Other artists will also be able to visit the exhibition in progress.

Friday, June 19, 2009


“Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” is a solo exhibition of mixed media works by the Hong Kong based, Filipino artist Arnel S. Agawin. The exhibition, which comprises drawings, paintings, video and installation, takes as its starting point, a journey of discovery by Agawin to the inner recesses of Hong Kong’s psyche. It is a journey he had to make in becoming a resident of Hong Kong and making this place his home. It is not only a journey about his process of assimilating into the specific social and cultural context of Hong Kong, but also an attempt to transform this context.

The centerpiece of Agawin’s exhibition is called “Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” and it is a singular wing made from twigs, leaves and handmade paper.

Agawin plans to carry “Remains of a Travelling Battered Wing” from his home in Quarry Bay to the gallery in Soho and he plans to make the walk barefoot.

This performance is symbolic of the journey he had to make in adapting to life in Hong Kong, barefoot so that he can make a ‘better connection to the earth’ whilst bearing his wing. A documentation video of this performance and interaction with passers by, will be part of the exhibition.


I want to present a “composite work” that visually represents my adaptations to Hong Kong’s societal realities as a circumstancial migrant and willing adoptee. It will interpret aspects of my experiences as a person continually deconstructing his own cultural mold to either adapt to or confront inevitable cultural impositions, memorializing the triumphs of mutual respect and understanding, and taking heed of the warning signs of all forms of prejudice.

The works will aim to effect an intellectual curiosity for the creative expressions of the different people of cosmopolitan Hong Kong such as a Filipino artist, in my case. It will suggest to examine issues about racial discrimination, environmental protection, free-expression, xenophobia, etc. through the visual subtleties of the medium used (i.e. installation, performance and wall hangings) than direct political declarations.
- Arnel S. Agawin


Kaida Gallery
14 – 30 June 2009

HYBRID MOMENTS opens on 14th June (Sunday), 6 p.m., at Kaida Gallery, located at the 2nd Floor, GFO Building, 122 Kamuning Road, Quezon City, Philippines 1102. The show runs until the 30th of June 2009. For inquiries, please call (632) 4144777 or write

Thursday, June 18, 2009



Daniel Coquilla presents his recent works in his 17th solo show titled “Laro.”

The medium and large-scale oil paintings explore the Filipino concept of play as depicted in the artist’s trademark top view perspective. Though emerging sporting events like dragon boat racing and rock climbing are included, laro is not confined to competitive physical activities. Likewise featured are traditional games such as tupada ng gagamba as well as leisurely activities like Vespa scootering. Further, there are even concocted diversions like synchronized swimming in a batya. The title piece “Metro Rail” shows how a MRT station was transformed into a covered court for the popular pastime of basketball. Such plurality of subjects indicates the Filipino’s use of recreation both as a means of social interaction and as an adaptive measure to conditions and environment.

Laro will open on Monday, 6PM, June 15, 2009 at blanc makati. blanc is located at Crown Tower 107 H.V. dela Costa St. Salcedo Village, Makati City. For more information please call or sms 752-0032/0920- 9276436 , email or visit www.blancartspace. multiply. com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

drawings encounters from the turnpike and a light from a distant world

Katrina Bello
drawings encounters from the turnpike and a light from a distant world
3 June - 6 July 2009

The indomitable symptom of a city's city-hood is in its ruins being invariably built on the rubbles of the past only to anticipate its atavistic need to be subsumed once again beneath the layers of its accumulated wreckage. The cycle of building and destroying and building once again is read as a palimpsest of such movements and its ever changing civic and economic policies that bring about these inevitable and necessary effacements and displacements of its structures. The city essentially pillages from its own built environment the claddings for its unrealized empire.

In Katrina Bello's suite of mix media paintings to be featured in her upcoming exhibit at Mag:net Gallery, Drawing Encounters From The Turnpike and A Light From A Distant World, this process of continual diminishment or rather perpetual construction is evinced through the recurring lattice patterns swathed by broad pale washes of intermittent shades of gray. The polyhedrons, drawn predominantly as skeletal frames, are reminiscent of American architect Lebbeus Woods' rendering of his Locus Memory Plan for the WTC memorial in NY. Where Woods' lines are precisely scratched over a dense layer of ink wash, Bello's lines are similarly drafted with such exactness, forming polyhedrons that are bisected and intersected by milky drips and lacey cobweb mesh. The color used in some paintings seems to underscore the ghostliness of these empty structures.

This suit of paintings is however, a further exploration of her interest with either unfinished or abandoned construction sites ubiquitously strewn around urban centers everywhere around the globe. Most are based on photographs and videos she has taken on train and car rides traversing from her place of work in NYC to her temporary home in New Jersey where she worked as a freelance photography researcher.

If her early charcoal studies of these structures emphasized the somber settings of these structures so telling of their placement in highly industrialized parts of the city and their finer rendering easily identifies them as the poking steel and metal of unused billboard supports and forlorn radio towers, these paintings rather take on the essence of these emptiness, foregrounding their ethereal presence in relation to their raison d'etre or for their archaic idealism. Thus, they are presented as basic forms, but emptied out of their function or history, engulfed by the abrasive fluorescence of bright white pigment. Accordingly, they appear also as being hurriedly obliterated as to reinforce the idea of their being mere skeletal remains of their former selves - obliterated by either the forces of nature or the wavering pitfalls of human nature, phantom limbs that are sacrificed for willful destruction erected upon layers of wisps of remembrance.

One who posses this vision of place, or specifically of the city may well be comparable to what Walter Benjamin names as the "angel who watches over terrain vagues" , the one who from the same hand can easily fabricate such a place and send it to ruins thereafter, or completely expunge it of all its traces as a reclaimed tabula rasa, back to its anonymity, back to being terrain vagues, back to being non-spaces. It is rather a tireless practice that is "Concerned with space, with discontinuities, with moments - fleeting or eternal" , his drafts and plans a testament to the "brief shadowy existence" "of buildings, fences, doorknobs, vistas, monuments, signboards street names" Drawing Encounters From The Turnpike and A Light From A Distant World will have its opening cocktails on the 3rd of June at 6pm an d will be on view until the 6th of July, 2009.

Mag:net Gallery Ayala is at the ground floor of The Columns Tower 1, at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Buendia. For details or inquiries, contact the gallery at 929-31-91 or email or visit

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Subject / Object
9 June - 2 July 2009

Subject/Object, MM Yu's latest solo exhibition of new photography-based works at Mag:net Gallery Katipunan, embarks on an experiment where the photograph embodies both the intentional and accidental, the found and the perceived.

In the show, Yu shares over a hundred photographs of random scapes and objects, shot in spaces inhabited by her contemporaries from the Philippine art scene: areas where the artistic and utilitarian, personal and professional, merge and create an interface.

Out of these visual investigations, Yu produces photographs of accidental sculptures or still lifes, perceiving uniqueness in the nondescript, intention in the incidental. Yu limits her interventions in the compositions to framing; she chances upon the scenes as they are in artist's studios and homes, documenting what she sees at random, selecting frames based on visual impact and interest. She engages in a form of documentation that privileges intuition, aesthetics, and randomness.

Yu also includes in the show several actual objects, their ambiguous presence perhaps alluding to how subjects simultaneously become objects on display, and demonstrating the process of borrowing as a means of documenting presence.

Yu's photographs also seamlessly pose the question of how the boundaries between art and "non-art" may not be so delineated after all. The artists implicitly represented in Yu's photographs are noted for their diverse contributions to the advancement of Philippine contemporary art, yet none of their names are literally denoted or alluded to in the carefully composed and vivid images of spontaneous and generally anonymous settings, except for a few context clues related to their works. Yu intentionally puts less focus on artworks that hang on the gallery walls and focuses her lens on objects and spaces related to processes or activities prior to exhibitions or the production of actual works: desks, rooms, tables, exercise balls, tools, raw paint, the work wrapped up or in a state of completion.

In choosing inhabited spaces, personal effects, and artworks as subject of her photographs, Yu casts a new aspect to the act of documenting contemporary art practice.

Consistently threading the conceptual through abstraction and photography, Mm Yu graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts, majoring in Painting, in 2001. Yu was among the winners of the 2007 Ateneo Art Awards and the recipient of the Ateneo Art Gallery's residency grant with the Common Room in Bandung, Indonesia. Yu has participated in the Big Sky Mind's 18th Avenue Artist Compound Residency in 2003 and in numerous group exhibitions since 1998.

Subject/Object by MM Yu opens on June 10 (Wednesday), and runs until July 2, 2009.

Mag:net Gallery is located at 335 Agcor Building, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. For details or inquiries, contact the gallery at 929-31-91 or email or visit

Monday, June 15, 2009


Emerging artists Jane Arrieta Ebarle and Oliver Rabara join renowned impressionist Mario Parial in a trilogy exhibit entitled "ARTISTANG TOMASINO AKO!". This exhibit is the initial presentation of the UST Atelier Alumni Association as a countdown exhibit to 2011 when University of Sto. Tomas celebrates its 400th year. Exhibit opens on June 17, 2009, 6:00 pm at the Shangri-la Plaza, 3rd level. It will run until June 30, 2009.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Artist’s Statement:

by Kiko Escora

We are all ultimately alone. We wake up in this world alone, engage our own lives alone and eventually face death alone. Yet we all too easily forget that this is one of the most natural of human conditions – to be alone. We have somehow managed to stigmatize it, equating it to loneliness or hollowness or even to being incomplete - states that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the condition.

In these times of easy access to information, of instant gratification and of endless possibilities, ­we are misled to seize the moment and to literally busy ourselves to death. Along the way, in our very short lives, we have learned to take for granted some of the very basic pleasures in life – the stillness of being with oneself for example, or the luxury of being boring, or tuning out of the chaotic world that we have made for ourselves, or the very simple joy of just being alone.

About the artist:

Born in 1970 in the Philippines, Kiko Escora is a Thirteen Artist Awardee (2003) of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines and has taken part in various solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and Indonesia. He has also participated in several art fairs in Singapore, Cebu City, Dubai, Miami, New York, Beijing and Hong Kong, as well as auctions at Christie's and Sotheby's. MONO is his 22nd solo exhibition and 5th overseas.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


The Ateneo Art Gallery along with presenters Shangri-La Plaza, Unionbank, Metro Society, YStyle of the Philippine Star, and sponsors Smart Communications and the Lifestyle Network are pleased to announce the twelve artists short-listed for the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards. The artists were chosen for their outstanding exhibitions over the past year from among over a hundred nominations received during the initial judging held on 8 June 2009.

The short-listed artists are:

Martha Atienza for Man in Suit, 1 - 22 April 2009, Green Papaya Art Projects

Alan Balisi for Spacing Out, 8 - 29 September 2008, Blanc Compound

Ringo Bunoan for Archiving Roberto Chabet, 3 March - 4 April 2009,Vargas Museum

Joey Cobcobo for 8 Printmakers, 8 - 30 September 2008, Avellana Art Gallery

Kiri Dalena for Keeping the Faith, 13 November 2008 - 4 April 2009, Lopez Memorial Museum

Kidlat De Guia for Sleeping White Elephants, 7 - 30 June 2008, Galleria Duemila

Christina Dy for Soaplands, 25 July - 30 August 2008, CCP

Patricia Eustaquio for Death to the Major Viva Minor, 16 October -22 November 2008, Slab

Jan Leeroy New for Terratoma II (War of the Worlds) in Singapore Biennale 2008, 11 September - 16 November 2008, Singapore City Hall

Goldie Poblador for The Perfume Bar: Collected Memories and Ephemeral Representations in Thesis Exhibition, 24 March - 3 April 2009, Corredor Gallery, UP Diliiman

Pam Yan Santos for Like, 3 - 24 November 2008, Blanc Compound

Michelline Syjuco for Armadillon, 8 August - 8 October 2008, Mag:net Gallery

This year's crop truly embodies the theme of this year's Awards, The Next Wave, with its selection of diverse and contemporary art practices ranging from installation, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture signifying the innovative spirit of this prestigious contemporary art prize. With the exception of Christina Dy, all the short-listed artists are first-time nominees.

From among the twelve artists, three will be chosen as recipients of the Awards. The Jury will be meeting to determine the three winners on 29 June 2009. The results will be revealed during the Awards ceremony on 13 August 2009 at the Grand Atrium, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City in the midst of an exhibition of the short-listed artists' works that will be on show from 7 - 17 August 2009.

For more information, please contact Amanda Legasto, Project Coordinatorfor the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards at 4260088/09176283362 or email

Friday, June 12, 2009


In celebration of Independence Day, Yellow Door Gallery and Power Plant Mall present ‘Notes From a Filipino Heart’, a group art exhibit on view from June 8 to 18 at the North Court with opening cocktails on Wednesday, June 10, at 5:30 in the afternoon.

‘Notes From a Filipino Heart’ features paintings and sculpture by some of the country’s best and brightest artists. The exhibit celebrates the inherent strength and beauty of the Filipino through the depiction of various scenes or places, or the many faces the Filipino wears—as a father, mother, sibling, friend, worker, or lover.

To be displayed are works by Onib Olmedo, Raul Isidro, Nemiranda, Edgar Doctor, Julie Lluch, Lydia Velasco, Buds Convocar, Pete Jimenez, Raymond Lauchengco, Jack Salud, Aba Dalena, Jemina, Aner Sebastian, MaxBal, Fitz Herrera, Anna de Leon, Migs Villanueva, Rovi Jesher Salegumba, Randy Lazo, Jojo Austria, and Carlos.

The artworks to be exhibited will render the theme in the artists’ distinct styles, from figurative to abstract, and from traditional to modern.

In giving the artists the freedom to portray these qualities in their own preferred modes of expression, the exhibit promises a diverse and exciting peek into the sentiments that lay in the heart of the Filipino artist.

This exhibition is also made possible by G.Rocha Catering and Business World.

A special Independence Day concert, ‘Feel Harmonic’, featuring the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the exhibiting artists, Jack Salud, begins after opening cocktails at 7 p.m.

For more details, contact Yellow Door Gallery at 0920.962.4347 or 0917.533.4206 or email Visit their website at


A series of festivals billed as Brave New Works 09 features ground-breaking performances, exhibitions, screenings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines from June to July 2009. The events are part of the celebration of CCP’s 40th Anniversary.

The festivals, which exemplify the CCP mandate of encouraging and showcasing original Filipino works, usher in a deluge of provocative new works from poets, playwrights, choreographers, composers, visual artists and independent filmmakers. Six festivals converge to showcase productions in poetry-in-performance, modern theater, contemporary dance, new symphonic music, painting, sculpture, installation, multimedia and digital feature film.

On June 10, June 24, and July 1 at 6:00 p.m., oral tradition, protest poetry, and lesbian-gay-bisexual-transvestite (LGBT) works top bill the WordJam! Spoken Word Festival to be held at the Barbariba Grill & Bar in Trellis 2, CCP Complex. A storytelling session for children on July 8 at 8:00 a.m. at the CCP Main Theater Lobby also forms part of the festival. The storytelling session is open to the public. WordJam! is undertaken by the CCP Literary Arts Division.

The Virgin Labfest, a festival of new plays (untried, untested, unpublished and unstaged) by emerging and well-known playwrights, directors and actors will be held from June 23-July 5. The event is a joint venture of CCP, Tanghalang Pilipino and the Writers’ Bloc, Inc. with the support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Now on its fifth year, the festival has earned a solid reputation for its exciting and provocative line-up of one-act plays from playwrights both young and old.

Filipino and international dance artists meet at the Wifibody Independent Contemporary Dance Festival 4 from June 25 to July 5, and is presented by the World Dance Alliance-Philippines, Choreographers’ Network, CCP, and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Wifibody features a choreographers’ competition, galas, dance on film, workshops, among many other activities that encourage new talent and experimentation.

The Thirteen Artists Awards, a triennial program of the CCP, nurtures and promotes artistic excellence by recognizing progressive and innovative art. The 13 young artists will be formally honored and their group exhibition will be simultaneously opened on July 9. The awardees are Buen Calubayan, Christina Dy, Don Djerassi Dalmacio, Patty Eustaquio, Kawayan de Guia, Winner Jumalon, Raquel de Loyola, Raya Martin, Iggy Rodriguez, Don Salubayba, Jaypee Samson, Pamela Yan, and MM Yu. They were unanimously chosen by jurors Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez, Lao Lianben and Mark Justiniani. The exhibit will be curated by Wire Tuazon and Louie Cordero will be designing the trophy.

Musik Underkonstruktion: Hearing the Future Symphonic features new symphonic works. A co-production with the Metro Manila Community Orchestra (MMCO), the event takes place on July 15.

The 2009 Cinemalaya independent film festival and competition, now on its fifth year and entitled Cinemalaya Cinco, will unveil 20 new digital films that will compete on July 17-26 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Some 25 new independent films will also be premiered during the Festival.

For inquiries, contact the CCP Performing Arts Department at 832-1125 loc. 1602-1607.

Thursday, June 11, 2009



recent works by:

Abstract vs. abstract : a barely adversarial encounter of artistry

In the art scene, though most artists live and work solitarily in many ways, always, a sense of competition and subtle adversarial relations exist. Professional, ideological, political, esthetic and creative differences define these relations. Seen in art competitions, the pursuit of critical acclamation which gives impetus to better work and the drive to cut above the rest and the amount of commercial success—though not always, become measure of skills and talent of an artist and the pertinence of his art. Thus, it always a harsh question of who’s better than who?

But imagine two long time friends and creative comrades engaged in a conflict?

Abstract vs Abstract may seem a matter of taut and stern contradiction, but it is a veiled juxtaposition meant to effectively counterpoint and emphasize and finally to celebrate the works of two ingenious abstractionists, Max Balatbat and Fitz Hererra.

It is an embodiment of the contemporary abstraction of almost similar and yet so radically different approaches and styles. In fact, their work can even be regarded as sui generis in the ambit of abstract art in the country.

This exhibition covers their recent and latest works of scaled up abstract pieces from a shared esthetic background and temperaments proudly occupying the expansive space of the Art Center of Megamall this June 12- 26.

Notably, these bracing works resonate what is essential to Herrera and Balatbat and from which they both draw inspiration---their music as well as their immediate, storied and familiar environment. All these things pervasively permeate in their own individual visual enterprise which they conjure in an unfettered creative process.

More geometric and linear in his meshed elements, Maxbal continues to be noted critically for his abstraction of architectural spaces, interesting urban landscapes of ramshackle, run down edifices, and images of dismal urban communes. These renderings also become bittersweet reminders of his childhood, lost innocence in a place called International Cabaret, a prominent brothel house in Caloocan where he grew up.

In this particular collection, he however poignantly reflects on the lives of scorned and lowly regarded prostitutes of Avenida and their nocturnal world morally prejudiced and disdained by society.

As darkness embraces this sordid stretch and all its alleys and as the fancy flickers of bars and brothels sets in, he recreates in his canvas a paradise as his humble tribute to these women-also mothers, wives and daughters, as pause from the dusky night and nocturnal side of harsh realities

Fresh from a juried exhibition, he recently won the grand prize in the 2009 Art Association of the Philippines -ECCA (Exhibition Center for the Contemporary Art) Abstract Art Competition.

Meanwhile, Hererra, as a musician who’s into highly amplified metal music, in his own creative fashion, consistently takes music and chaos as a necessary catalyst in his art production. His painting mostly done at home in the PNR Compound, an informal settlement or iskwater in Caloocan, this locus surrounded by grim realities of poverty and ranting sounds and sight of disarray gets constantly married to his favorite tunes. Under these circumstances, he manages to produce, brilliant and affable visual pieces with easily accessible metaphor and other circumlocutions.

For his part, his lyrical pieces are both subtle and loud expression of his passion for music. His evocative brushwork can be seen as more, rhythmically billowing and swirling layers of heavy paint in loopy volumes.

An intense visualization of creative flux , this suite of paintings consists of texturized oil and acrylic pieces with the inclusion of more circular strokes departs from the earlier frames he did in the past. He creates wild trajectories of paints as he crudely daubs his canvas large patches of dark pigments then into light ones, which later also produces a quality of diaphanous transition in between tonal gradations overlapping colors.

Also as a peculiar practice, he does not repeat vertical lines and to identify his work, a visible circular stamp of embossed paint can also be seen, gestured with obvious drip marks and linear patterns.

These works assume the intense and tantalizing visual game of raw and constrained images, hues and tacked with rage and tranquility. However, pedagogical values in terms of technique and approaches are unmistakably skilled and sterling.

In a way, this collection is a proper respect to the individual spaces in the universe of abstraction, their individual and combined talents, their tenacity and spiritedness, as well as obeisance to their influences.

Having found abstraction as their true metier in art, this show attempts to underscore nuances in this genre, not just between these two brilliant artists and what sets them apart from the others within the same visual game. The earnestness present in this collection can hardly be dismissed. Unwittingly, it can grab and demand attention.

Fitz Hererra: combining grating music and gritty art

In the art scene, though all skilled not many artists start out already good, get better in the process and remain pertinently acknowledged. Perhaps a fluke to some but not to an artist of an undeniable gift combined with grit and commitment.

Fitz Herrera has been painting for more than decade now and this is marked by his impressive exposure in many fine art venues and his steadily lauded reputation throughout these years. Both him and his colleague, Maxbal hailed from the obstinate and unbowed art collective, Sininggang, whose members endured and persisted despite the scant attention they received early in their careers.

Hererra’s current works resounds a unique progression in his artistic career. Although influenced by a number of local and foreign artists, like Pep Manalang, Mark Rothko and Gustave Klimpt to name a few, Herrera follows no consistent praxis. As noted by art specialist Ruben Canete, his works belong to the realm of post modern abstraction.

This man’s artmaking can be described as an interplay of a constant conversation between himself, music and any of his currently assigned muse. He takes music as a necessary lead to guide his process and his other interesting impulses to complete it.

Even in the onset of his career, his passion for music already manifested in his earlier works in which either they are directly titled from the artist’s favorite songs or their lyrics. While sternly adhering to formality and technicality, he also plunges liberally into his creative process pushing himself and his boundaries. Always fluid, his final frames always fresh and uncontrived.

As a brilliant artist, he so deserves and warrants anything but marginal praise.

- exhibition notes by Philip Paraan


National Museum of the Philippines, Manila Contemporary
and Fortune Cookie Projects

Cordially invites you to:

Opening of the exhibition of Julian Schnabel prints is on 6pm
Friday, 12 June 2009
At Manila Contemporary Gallery
Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Ave., [Pasong Tamo Extension],
Brgy. Magallanes, Makati City
Exhibition runs from 12 June to 5 July

Opening of the exhibition of Julian Schnabel paintings is on 6pm
Saturday, 13 June 2009
At North Wing Gallery
4F Museum of the Filipino People
Agrifina Circle, Ermita Manila
Exhibition runs from 13 June to 30 July


Art in the SKY:
Sculptures of Joel Ferraris at the SM Sky Garden

By Joel E. Ferraris

Faced with the challenge to design (originally) 8 sculptures for the SM Sky Garden I turned to God the Father Almighty, through Lord Jesus Christ, for wisdom to be able to set me on the right focus. I understand that it is very important to have humility, honesty and integrity in life especially when dealing with blessings clearly coming from Him. And as an artist I believe that the quest to have originality of designs is a prerequisite as a way to face both the challenges and opportunities in an increasingly competitive and highly innovative age wherein respect for intellectual property is vital.

The Internet is flooded with images of multitude of art forms and artistic expressions and with this reality plus the trend called globalization it seems that all ideas have been exhausted and are easily available and there’s no more room for originality and novelty. Yet I stubbornly but firmly believe that it is still by looking inwards during an artist’s solitary moments that pure inspiration is gained and new ideas are born as if they are fruits picked from a tree only found inside one’s thoughts.

All the ideas for these sculptures are a result of the mix of what is tangible, of the nature-inspired and organic, of realities observed and/or experienced and those that are abstract. They all triggered the birth of new concepts some of which were somehow recycled from old ones but given new forms and shapes plus the introduction of novel images that individually convey their message. These are all aimed to blend with the contemporary environment and the demands of this age where public art becomes more interactive than simply resting proud yet gathering dust and grime on a high, unreachable pedestal.

Public art as one major visual component brought into malls becomes not so purely art for art’s sake monumental pieces nor merely cheap props that seem to look like eyesores competing for attention with boring but loud window displays and signage but something that could contribute to the balance between what is purely commercial and that which is strictly artistic. Situated in a classy garden-type setting these sculptures strategically distributed to accentuate the whole SM Sky Garden area could hopefully contribute to elevate the lifestyle, the culture plus the aesthetic as well as artistic awareness and appreciation of mall habitués especially when they enjoy one romantic evening or one relaxing weekend with their families and friends.

Lastly, as society dreams, struggles, hopes and gears towards a more well-governed, highly improved and self-sufficient community of people whose succession of leaders support and sustain the continuity of vision as well as all those vital and relevant projects started by previous administrations the presence of a neatly planned and wholesome environment complete with the spiritual, social, cultural and artistic components to positively redirect and straighten people’s mindsets offers the citizen an alternative that is highly inspiring and promising. Moreover, the valuable lessons I learned as a muralist for the Hong Kong Mural Society promoting public art under the leadership of Artist Kong Ho especially about the importance of cooperation, constructive compromise and collaboration to achieve the goal of producing something beautiful are some of the vital elements that I believe our countrymen need in order to move on and succeed. But on top of that people could make this dream come true if they are equipped with humility, obedience and strong faith in the Almighty God the Father who grants His graces in His own perfect time to those whom He is pleased with in.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009



Jose “jes” Evangelista’s latest 6th solo show of recent abstraction works on view starting June 12 (Friday) 6pm at The Whitewall Gallery.

“My latest body of works includes series of mixed media painting and few sculptural works. From my experience traveled here (Philippines) and abroad, I’m showing collective images rendered in layered shapes and flat to textured media. With these pieces, I also offered my show as thanksgiving to God for his amazing hand and unexplainable provision in financial, physical and spiritual. ”

“Story of Glimpses” was made from my personal travel experiences in two countries that I was lead to. Every piece of my wall bound works will present several images that I choose to paint. The Luneta, where most Filipinos and foreigners take time to visit as well as the Space Needle are both interest me as my subject rendered in 4x4ft,mixed media. Also the “bagahe”,7x9inches panels of wood as the symbol of a traveler is my first sculpture from my past five solo shows.

“During my studies at the University of the Philippines, College of Fine Arts, I have come to conclude that art must not only speak to the eye, but also to the heart and mind. I became enlightened with my faith and from thereon created works inspired by these beliefs.”

Jes Evangelista is a Manila-based artist working in mixed and new media in painting. His works have been exhibited in Manila, and last 2007-2008 was one of who represents the Philippines in Oakland California and the Seattle Center House, in Seattle, Washington, USA with a subsequent invitation to tour Seattle Arts Museum (SAM), USA.

He won the first prize for abstract painting in the recently concluded 2nd Semi-Annual Abstract Art Competition by Art Association of the Philippines Annual Art Competitions & Exhibition Center for Contemporary Arts and also a finalist in the 23rd and 25th Shell National Arts Competitions. He is a part time art teacher at The Master’s Academy, Home school and does tutorials on painting.

White Wall Gallery is located at 7467 Bagtikan St. San Antonio Village, Makati City (632-71074390. Look for Mr. Antonio Verzosa/ Sherwin). Email address:








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