Tuesday, November 30, 2010


To re/enforce is to be persistent in insisting on putting into effect. It is to be vigilant in invoking for continued practice. It is sustained clamor for further action. Such is the central assertion in these exhibitions of four Filipino visual artists whose combined artistic outputs are being mounted at the ArtistSpace of the Ayala Museum which opens on December 1, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

In “Tuldok,” multi-awarded Antipolo City-based Jerson Samson re-stresses the vox populi while providing a powerful reassertion of popular democracy. The concretization of popular will from the philosophical concept of populism that stuck an imprint amongst the Filipinos after the much-romanticized disenthronement of a dictator mirrors the sociopolitical context in Samson’s previous works employing his current painting style. However in “Tuldok,” there pervades the rhetorical undertones that lie opposite the exaltation of the voice of the people; comes now the exaltation of the people with a voice. In the large oil on canvas “Tayo,” the multitude that brought this new-found democracy can thus be reflected as those who pile up questioning outside the gates of a palace which looms over the horizon, far from their reach, where the popular voice hold office.

Monnar Baldemor in “Usapan” reiterates the need for constant communication between people as it is vital for an artist to communicate with his viewers. Here Baldemor stresses that whether how trivial or mundane or intellectual the subject matter maybe, one reaches out to another effectively through the spoken/written word. It is this spoken/written word that Baldemor infused in his paintings; snapshots of daily life provided with text to further give emphasis on the thoughts of his subjects. Such texts are as vital in the painting as the messages that Baldemor is trying to deliver to his audience.

The convolutions of everyday life constantly being made complex by the unrelenting advancements in technology as evidenced by the changing terrain of his native Cordillera became the focus/locus of Baguio City-based visual artist Ernie Gomez. The encroachment to land and its people and culture swept aside if not annihilated what was then pristine. As reflective as the national scenario, Gomez backtracks to the simplicity of provincial life in “Everyday Lives”. He reinforces this with a pictography of a race, moment, milieu poking on our sensibilities for a lot of introspection and self-evaluation as a people and a nation.

Yet perhaps the cerebral juxtaposed by the philosophical comes out in Anthony Panugao’s “Conscious│Subconscious.” True to form and figure as in his first solo exhibition last year, Panugao’s apocalypse remains to be foreboding. Also here the artist resummons the function of faith. Panugao’s central premise is anchored upon the question “What if the subconscious mind fuses with the conscious mind?” Like osmosis between two potent faculties distinctly separate. Panugao utilizes this philosophy of the mind that distills in a mind-body problem to create analytical pieces where the viewer is being asked to re-calculate.

Re/enforce, a collective of exhibitions mounted by Artepinas, Inc. for the ArtistSpace of the Ayala Museum is curated by JCrisanto Martinez and shall be on view until December 13, 2010. Inquiries may be channeled through the Ayala Museum or at (+63) 922.331.41.08 or via electronic mail at

Texts: JCrisanto Martinez
Images, Monnar Baldemor, Ernie Gomez, Anthony Panugao, Jerson Samson

Saturday, November 27, 2010



THE CHARLATAN INK ART PRIZE for the Visual Arts will be held biennially in New York from 2011 onwards, but in an innovative twist will be traveling every other year around the globe. Possible venues for 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 are in chronological order Brisbane/Australia; Graz/Austria; Cracow/Poland and Shanghai/China.

THE CHARLATAN INK ART PRIZE for the Visual Arts is open to all artists practicing VISUAL ART : painters (in any medium & stylistic expression from classical painting to collages to illustrations to graffiti to drawing to print); photographers (film/digital); sculptors (3D works/jewellery); film-makers (video/film-camera/animation film); conceptual artists (working in all mediums mentioned above); crafts (from pottery to weaving to carpet-looming)

Artists needing to upload moving images should do so in the entry form for VIDEO INSTALLATION

Artists needing to upload more than one image to present their complete work should do so in the entry form for CONCEPTUAL ARTISTS

All other 2D/3D Artists should upload their image/images in the entry form for ALL OTHER MEDIUMS

Make sure that your artwork conforms to the size limits and conforms to the 2011 CHARLATAN INK ART PRIZE's THEME : 'Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?'


Friday, November 26, 2010


Visual artist Monnar Baldemor and writer Kap Maceda Aguila first met in 1992 while working for the editorial team of a noted publishing group. The two bonded not just over closing pages but the joys of alternative music as well – sharing and discovering new tunes and musical genres. At one time, the two helped form a punk band, Paregoric, with Baldemor on bass, and Aguila on vocals and guitar.

The “Usapan” series was born from a curiosity to see how the written word could work within the colorful domain of Baldemor’s abstract paintings. “While Monnar’s paintings already provide snapshots of daily life and its intricacies, I wanted to give the viewer greater context – and insight – into what the subjects are thinking. More importantly, I wanted them to interact with each other,” says Kap.

Baldemor’s physical manipulations of these subjects are reminiscent of Spanish master Salvador Dali and Hieronymous Bosch of the Netherlands, while the detailed pen and ink strokes recall German painter Ernst Degasperi. Son of the prolific internationally known painter Manuel Baldemor, Monnar shares a preference for pastel colors – but forges a divergent path from the rural, festive landscapes of his father.
Monnar adds: “The text is an equally important of the painting. Rene Magritte, a Belgian surrealist painter, also employed the written word on some of his canvases.”

“I want to drive what Monnar’s paintings actually seek in the viewers: to pique their curiosity, to think about what we do as a people, and the moments that define us. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that there’s profundity and humor in the pedestrian. Like Magritte, Monnar asks us to be sensitive to them,” says Aguila.

Monnar, a University of the East-Caloocan Fine Arts graduate, has earned five Jurors’ Choice nods in the prestigious yearly art tilt of the Artist Association of the Philippines. He was also chosen as finalist in the Phillip Morris Group of Companies Philippine Art Awards. Baldemor has worked in the publishing field for almost two decades and maintained cartoon strips for various publications.

Kap has a BA in Communication (majoring in Journalism) from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He completed his academic units at the same institution towards an MA in Communication (majoring in Communication Research). Kap writes for the Philippine Star and other publications, bowls, and now plays the drums.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


View Singkong Saloobin Exhibition Opening Photographs


Ronaldo Ruiz
Renaissance Gallery
December 1 - 10, 2010

In a world of visual codes, art is the key. Ronaldo Ruiz opens his twenty-first solo exhibition dē-kōd' in Renaissance Gallery, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, on December 1, 2010, at 6:00 pm. Ruiz uses metallics and thick applications of saturated paint to produce contemporary mandalas that mesmerize and unnerve at the same time, with scattered organic shapes serving as breaker to the otherwise smoothly shaped elements of his recent works.

As the artist layers paint, texture, body and form, he is no doubt trying to decipher the creative concerns that he has been working on in the past decade or so of his career—how does one come to terms with the high tech, fast-paced world of today without losing himself? How does one decode, decrypt and make sense of all the signs, languages and messages he encounters every single minute? It seems that everyone is drowning in information overload, with social networking invading our very lives. Today, principle may be reduced to a Facebook fan or hate page, with everyone having the freedom to write whatever it is they want to blurt out to the universe without the burden of consequence. Whether you are the attacker or the attacked, the world wide web is a flexible and ever-widening arena that saves all impressions and lets all your ideas float in cyberspace, there to be retrieved by whoever is interested. Email threads of conversations or arguments from years back may resurface at any minute, no matter how outdated they are, like a scarlet letter that refuses to be erased. An individual may be surprised at just how many hits his name searches log on Google, and find long-buried images not suitable for public viewing. Tweets serve as micro journals relaying even the tiniest bit of irrelevant information, not excluding useless facts like the author using the bathroom at that certain time.

For Ruiz, the answer seems to be focus. Almost all of his pieces in dē-kōd' involve a gathering, lines converging at a stable center point, no matter how chaotic the surroundings might be. True to his past works, his rich colors remain distinct, but there are now tints and tones of thin color applications that meld well with the raised patterns he coaxes out of the canvas. He also makes use of animal stencils that not only lend organic forms to his works, but also create interesting patterns and surprising combinations. They may be likened to thoughts exploding, yet still drawn by centrifugal force to an energy that emanates from deep within.

With pieces named as Decryption, Decode, Crack Passwords, Debug, Psych-Out, Unlock and Unriddle, the purpose of the artworks are imminent, that of breaking concepts into visual configurations that, as always, aim to communicate, and break information down into something more substantial, palatable and digestible. In dē-kōd', Ruiz makes an effort to show once more what his art is for, that is, converting abstract ideas of technology and consumption into simpler terms that anyone can understand. The receiver, his audience, can enjoy his artworks with no need to obsess with undecipherable symbols that do not add value to their lives. Life is complicated enough. Ruiz in dē-kōd' makes sure that the recipients of his messages get the point, front and center, amidst the chaos.

Kaye O’yek ©

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


SIX6, curated by Isa Lorenzo
with Frankie Callaghan, Wawi Navarroza, Neal Oshima, Rachel Rillo, Steve Tirona and Denise Weldon
November 24, 2010, Wednesday

Silverlens Gallery is turning SIX!

We are celebrating our anniversary with a Photography show by SIX artists - Frankie Callaghan, Wawi Navarroza, Neal Oshima, Rachel Rillo, Steve Tirona and Denise Weldon. SIX6 is curated by Silverlens’ Director, Isa Lorenzo.

Susan Sontag's treatise 'On Photography' was the seminal text on photography theory. Published in 1973, it considered the relation of photography to art, to conscience and to knowledge. But it considered a time before digital images, computers, and Photoshop. The medium then was film. The last twenty years have seen further democratization of photography through post-production and digital tools. Today, photography is considered in relation to imagination and fantasy.

The photographers selected for this exhibition at Silverlens Gallery, it’s forty-first in its six years, are artists who have had landmark solo exhibitions in our short history. They are artists who continue to work within the multi-tasking framework of one who takes and makes photographs. They all straddle the line between film and Photoshop, using the media freely as necessary to create images that are less truthful to the eye, but more in connection with created scenery.

The instruction, the theme of this show if you will, was taken from the first page of the first chapter of Sontag’s text: “to collect photography is to collect the world”. The images that came back paralleled the photographer as traveler. The traveler who puts a camera between his eye and his landscape, but documenting not the place, but the space and the feel framed by his viewfinder. “The photographer as someone in perpetual movement, someone moving through a panorama of disparate events”, Sontag calls it. There are urban landscapes, imagined interiors and silhouetted exteriors, rural metaphors, and signifiers of human intervention.

Frankie Callaghan lights his nightscapes with a mixture of available and strobe lights. He sets up the found, like a hunter setting up light traps for his camera, his is a meticulous and repetitive process. For Six, we see a strip of four photographs. Beginning with a water village, an informal settlement of squatters; transitioning to other homes: a series of stacked concrete bunkers with lights beaming from open windows, a dwelling under a city bridge; ending with a green earth landscape. Read from left to right, it is a series on human habitation and altered landscapes of a developing country. Read from right to left, it is a series of how light has changed our consumption of the night.

Steve Tirona, the rock star, is unpredictable. Warming up the show, he brings to Six an urban kaleidoscope in fading colors of a chromogenic print. Titled with references to surf culture and drug use, his work brings a freedom to the show that reminds us that photography is a lot about “democratizing all experiences by turning them into images” (Sontag).

Rachel Rillo is concerned with form and material. Her photographs talk to drawings in the way that concrete sings to architects. She uses her photographs alternately as wallpaper, windows, or buildings, and pairs them with a black erasure where the skies or the interiors should be. She called these ‘Metaspaces’. They are unreal; but like a good hit, psychedelic and celebratory.

Denise Weldon is interested in quiet. Her personal work has always been about finding the spaces in between life’s daily grind, and harvesting the good out of them. This she manages to do in Six. Standing in a place where there is much foot traffic, whether a train station, an airport, or a bus stand, we don’t know. But we do know that people are moving quickly over a hard surface at a fast pace; and they appear bouncing or dancing, purposefully. And she is quietly shooting them.

Neal Oshima has been taking photographs for a long time. He is best known for his books, and his alternative process cyanotypes and kallitypes of Philippine textiles and traditional clothing. He likes to play with processes and materials. Constantly pushing the boundaries of photography, he was an early adapter to the digital image. In Six, he photographs water, specifically a river, and makes pseudo-rorschachs with the images in Photoshop. These are not blots, they are solid in his frame: suggesting anatomy, leaning to form, pointing to motion. He calls the series “riverrun”, after the first word of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Like the Irish author’s work, Oshima’s is an experiment in fiction.

Wawi Navarroza is a chameleon. She is whoever you want her to be. The universal appeal of this artist lies in her visual ability to crack the obvious. She ‘returns to landscapes’ in this show, creating monuments of remembrance and markers of the deliberate—a white sheet over a home’s furnishings to remember a typhoon’s destruction, a bed of fuschia bougainvilla at the height of summer. X marks her spot, suggesting a return to home.

Not to be taken as a landscape show, but a show of the specific concerns of each artist, the emphasis is on space. For after all, it is the space within the created frame that is burned it, filled, or erased.

-Curator’s Notes by Isa Lorenzo
SIX6, the Silverlens Gallery Anniversary Show with Frankie Callaghan, Wawi Navarroza, Neal Oshima, Rachel Rillo, Steve Tirona and Denise Weldon, Curated by Isa Lorenzo opens with Year of Glad by Hanna Pettyjohn; and The Easter Bunny, just as charming and just as fake by Nikki Luna.
Image: Neal Oshima, riverrun 3, 2010


Tuesday, November 23, 2010



Alliance Française de Manille in cooperation with The Drawing Room presents a two-person exhibition called Simple Depictions. It is simply about people and places. Marina Cruz's works look like portraits of children, models of true simplicity and sincerity. Her work dwells on memory while Rodel Tapaya explores the mystery of rural landscapes. His works depict scenes that are both common and complex; straightforward and mysterious.

The multi-awarded artist couple are both graduates of the University of the Philippines' College of Fine Arts. They are currently working and residing in Bulacan with their two boys.

The artists’ reception will be held at the Total Gallery of the Alliance Française de Manille, on Thursday, November 25, 2010, from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, and the exhibit runs until December 16, 2010. For high resolution images of the artworks and more details about the exhibit, kindly contact Mr. Earl Parco (AFM Cultural Officer) at 895 7441 / 895 7585 or email, or visit the AFM website at

Monday, November 22, 2010


Sining Amang is composed of Eldrid Ayende, Garry Cruz, Artemio Conde, Michael Toribio and Brian Villareal. All of which are Fine Arts students at EARIST (Eulogio Amang Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology). Surprisingly, they weren’t all in the same batch, they would later meet years after. They met each other by different means, and they bonded by their artistic goal for art exhibitions. They claim that Sigwada Gallery was one of the key elements that strengthen their bond. And where else should their first group show be?

Singkong Saloobin is a look within your kept emotions and ideals. It is a peek at one’s personal secret diary and exposing it to the public, but not with trembling hands, but with slid strokes and determined objectives to show the world who they really are, what they really want to say and what they really want us to see.

The group talks about death, faith and losing faith, fears and misconceptions, love and heartaches, deceit. The group explains that these are experiences they have endured, these are lessons they wish for their viewers to learn. Yes, it’s mostly a cauldron filled with negativity, at first glance maybe. But if you look again, dig deeper, there’s another part of the story in which they tell on the canvas. All the negativity in the world can and has a positive thing in it. And that is the lesson learned afterwards. The moral in the story, the lesson in the mistake, the shining moment out of darkness, and these artists are the living proof.

Eldrid Ayende’s work entitled, “Wala sa Realidad and Kahulugan ng Tunay na Katahimikan” talks about how one’s faith can deteriorate in time. How one’s experience can easily make you abandon your faith. He expresses his thought on his painting by depicting the statue of a saint and how, because it is wooden, being eaten slowly by termites. The deterioration and having not to care for the statues symbolizes how one cannot sustain faith. One simply forgets it. Though the lesson Eldrid explains is that, even though a/the statue crumbles down in the physical world, it doesn’t or it shouldn’t affect one’s faith.

Garry Cruz’s “Nasobrahan sa Love” explains that too much of everything is not good for you, not good for anyone. It tackles the self destruction of a man whose main goal was to love but in the end found the opposite. Based on experience, Gary described his work as a very personal work, close to being a journal and at the same time a rant or his emotions, but non-the-less a lesson to others who have yet to trail the path of giving and taking too much love.

Artemio Conde explains that after one’s death, the grudges and negativity we used to see and have for a person should be buried along in the grave in his work, “All that Remains” Artemio further reached out to his core and explained that these are topics that he can’t normal say to people surrounding him, that these are the things that he sees as a solution. When a person leaves this word, like in a eulogy, we instead remember them with the moments that we cherish, because basically, he says, that is all that really remains.

Michael Toribio’s “Death + Hourgalss” is basically a cycle of life and death. It is his expression of the reality of things to come and of where things start. Michael wants to remind his audience no to prepare, but to brace themselves and accept the fact of one’s death and it is a part of life. The idea is not all peaches and rainbows, but the message is that of an hourglass, after the last grain of salt falls rebirth comes when it is switched backed on the other side.

Brian Villareal has lived through the street of Quiapo, Manila most of his adult life, when he passes by the underpass or the church of Quiapo, along with people come children begging for alms. In his work, “Palimos ang Paawang Pulubi” he portrays a boy he has seen a few times, have observed more than once that the change gives to him by passer bys doesn’t have a higher goal than to sustain addiction. Weather it’s computer games or rugby in the nearby hardware store, it doesn’t go farther that that. Brian’s painting depicts the boy with a sad face, almost crying, begging. But all the while when you look closely a different message can be seen. The intentions of the young man revealed, and the piece talks to the audience, telling them that the young man only wants money, but needs love instead to change his life.

Madness fills the world with what a person perceives, darkness fills the streets of Manila right after the sun sets. People sleep and some people reveal their dark side in the night. Instead of cowering in the dark, people can overcome it. Survive in it. After all the sun comes out tomorrow and gives us a new day, but with lessons learned after the night, we can act differently, forever adjusting, forever changing until we finally get it right.

They face their fears and send out their messages through art. Artists who have similar goals have done the same, yes, it’s nothing new. What’s new is this group’s voice. It’s not the first time these artists have gathered to participate in a group show. It’s their voice in unity that echoes throughout, and that makes it unique. It’s the voice that shouts out and at the same time whispers it in their canvas.

Their message is simple, words aren’t the only way to bring about your feelings and emotions, actions of course speak louder, but this is their approach. It is their lessons learned, their experiences, and their perspective on how one or a group of five can be heard and listened to even without words.

Texts: Marius Black

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Asia Art Link, like all other important art events elsewhere, started from a dream. This dream was centered on the belief that art can bring out positive results of transcending boundaries, building bridges instead of walls despite of cultural, historical and political differences among nations.

Of course it had to be envisioned and enacted by the dreamers themselves – the artists.

A brainchild of prominent artists/organizers Ng Bee of Malaysia and Trinh Tuan of Vietnam, with able support from Filipino artist Jeho Bitancor, Asia Art Link finally took shape during the three artists’ show at the Viet Art Center in Hanoi in 2007.

Geared towards establishing a platform where artists from the region can converge and exchange recent developments in visual art practice, Asia Art Link was launched at Hanoi Fine Art Museum in 2008. It was a showcase of 32 artworks, mostly paintings and sculpture from 31 emerging and established artists from Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, with a special participant from France. The exhibition, which represented cross-currents in contemporary art-making, proved to be a success and left a significant mark in the cultural life of Vietnam.

In late 2009, curator Susan Lin and foremost Chinese ink painting artist Chen Yung-Mo from Taiwan hosted Top of the World: Asia Art Link Exhibition held at Taipei 101 Observatory, juxtaposing Art in Village: Bamboo Village International Art Workshop in Yilan County, Taiwan reinforcing it as an emerging avenue and venue for artists to explore the diversity of culture and visual languages that have continued to evolve.

This year, the Asia Art Link 2010 Philippine Committee spearheaded by artists Jeho Bitancor, Salvador Ching, Dennis Gonzales, Norman Dreo, Roen Capule, Ruel Caasi, Salvador Convocar and Noel Pama takes pride in hosting the event. The exhibition will also feature established Filipino artists Karen Flores, Ramon Orlina, Junyee, Pandy Aviado, Fil Delacruz, Raul Isidro and Leonardo Aguinaldo representing the diversity of Filipino artistic expression from different generations. About 50 artists have been invited from nine Pacific Rim nations including Singapore, Korea, and Denmark and the scope of the event includes a wider array of expressions from painting to sculpture, performance art and multi-media installation.

Asia Art Link 2010 PILIPINAS gathers artists from INDONESIA: Nurkholis, Hadi Soesanto, Rommy Iskandar, Hardiana, Eddy Sulistyo, Suryo Hardihandoyo, I Made Arya Palguna, Ferry Gabriel; from MALAYSIA: Ng Bee, Long Thien Shih, Tang Yeok Khang, Cheong Kiet Cheng, Hoo Kiew Hang, Tiong Chai Heing, Chen Yen Peng, Cencis Ng; from TAIWAN: Susan Lin, Chen Yung-Mo, from THAILAND: Jintana Piamsiri, Paramat Lueng-On, Winai Prabpripoo; from VIETNAM: Trinh Tuan, Nguyen Ngoc Phuong, Tran Nhat Thang, Bang Si Truc, Nguyen Minh Phuoc, Nguyen Van Cuong, Nguyen Tran Cuong; from SINGAPORE: Fern Min Eng with special participation of Christian Moeller Nielsen from DENMARK.

As we continue to evolve, it is important to note that Asia Art Link must be perceived not only as a gathering, but in the light of artists and communities renewing ties and establishing grounds to define commonalities and differences - a healthy dialogue for growth and understanding, as we try to assert ourselves in the still larger art community and world culture.

Notes courtesy of JEHO BITANCOR
2006 CCP Thirteen Artists Awardee

The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents from October 28 to November 28, 2010 the exhibit organized by the Asia Art Link Philippine Committee at the Pasilyo Vicente Manansala, Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino and the Pasilyo Victorio Edades (2nd, 3rd and 4th Floor Hallways) of the CCP. A grand reception awaits guests at the Main Theater Lobby for Opening Night 6:00pm on October 28.

Admission is free. Gallery Hours 10:00am-6:00pm daily except Mondays and Holidays.
For particulars, call CCP Visual Arts at +63.2.8323702 Tuesdays to Fridays 9:00am-6:00pm

Monday, November 15, 2010


In this exhibit, Victor Bong Espinosa goes back from where it all started, to indirectly pay homage to his roots, after having come home from a most recent trip abroad. And to start, where exactly does an artist like Bong begin to take all these necessary baby steps that helped him reach the distinction he experiences now? And from where does he draw mainly for his inspiration so that he can always bounce back again this time, at that exact place in his heart and mind where his art may have started? Apparently, just like what is common to other notable artists in our midst who continue to toil in their works - creating artworks is an ongoing process that continues up to now. Circumstances come and go, but the artist continues to persist.

Bong may have been wishing to share the most recent fruits of his artistic spirit, not as a deliberate effort, but really more as an acknowledgment for the gifts and blessings he has gratefully received to date. He endeavors to give due recognition to all forces and beings, either known or otherwise, who may have helped him turn his art into what it is now. We can expect that he must have struggled to overcome those typical limits set by being a regular family man, in today’s society. Bong’s has a supportive wife, and those loving children who are growing up fast to eventually lead their individual lives before Bong may have paid heed again to be with them while they’re still young. The demands to meet the need to create by an artist’s include competition for attention from those in the core family where Bong happens to be the responsible family man.

Always pleased to tell the curious of his art that he’s actually a self-taught artist, Bong, also, gives primary emphasis on the rigors of his life experiences every time he creates something for his craft. This craft along painting that he deftly turned into an art all these years, which itself is a clear-cut recognition of his artistic abilities, has been given much recognition. Such that Bong is always thought to be an artist by every one who has encountered and seen his work. A series of ongoing and continuing experiences has been the well spring of his inspiration, the main source of materials that we, in turn, continue to have become grown very familiar with whenever we see samples of Bong’s art.

His preference for using what’s available, for what’s around and easily within reach in everyday life situations, all have allowed him to create, spend time painting and recognizing the creative forces that Bong has taken steps to acknowledge and share with everyone around him. His family, friends, relatives have benefitted from his kind heartedness in sharing his art – the kind of art which to the one who’s not familiar with Bong’s art, usually encounters surprises in the detailed, almost minute application of colors in paintings, and the deliberate control of dispersing lines in drawings that we see in practically every piece of art Bong has created to date.

With this exhibit, we see more solid snatches of Bong’s distillations of his experiences. He keeps and sustains very keen awareness of his senses as they relate with everything that happens around him. We’ve seen him work on projects that we wonder where exactly does he get all the inspiration to continue crafting his art on the canvas. Of course, individuals and other groups may have commissioned Bong to work on particular topics. And indirectly, Bong has created works following certain boundaries usually found in art competitions. Along the way, Bong has certainly earned and won credentials just to prove the point many times over that he can deliver with his art, if those among the skeptical and those among the jaded who believe they’ve seen everything when it comes to art. And Bong continues to create, draw, paint, and come up with surprises that are always worthy of being included in exhibits. And we’ve always noticed, there’s the effort on his part to go back from where he has started, from where all these artworks have been drawn from – we are then again ready to see these fruits here in this exhibit.

Bong’s works have been noted for their well-worked out details that look like they’ve been drawn as they connect with his earlier works. Certain themes come up into mind of the typical viewer – ethnic life scenes, the origin of life, displays of sensuality, forms of love and affection, nature, tropical idyllic settings. But there’s more. We’re delighted to recognize that Bong has so much in terms of experiences in his life, such that we’re confident to say he could very well draw from them anytime, and have them become enriched with his journeys outside of the Philippines. As such, be ready, then, to experience what’s visually delightful in each of canvases you will face in this exhibit.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


There is really nothing true in this world. Everything is just opinion. Enrico J. L. Manlapaz, curator

This peculiar exhibition was born out of an extremely pretentious proposal which I received sometime June 2010 from some twelve artists. The concept paper carried “Superficial, gloomy, mysterious, grotesque, the unrealities of relentless faith have been incurred in this manner that gothic [sic] is evidently associated.” I had to force myself to continue reading further, and I did anyway. It proceeded with a blatant review of the European eras, ending with “The deployment of Romanticism is greatly accentuated and somehow it manifests a sense of approach most likely to all traditions of our society [sic].” I did not write those. Someone else did and I am not patronizing the write-up by editing it

My only reaction then? I asked if they were talking about a cultural phenomenon currently referred to as “goth.” I googled a bundle of articles ranging from Goths (the Germanic tribe) to Gothic (as in architecture of the Middle Ages) and ending with Goth (a subculture whose main reason for existence is to provide an alternative for mainstream lifestyles). I explained that every period in history has some kind of a subculture: as in Beatnik of the 60s, Hippie of the 70s, Punk of the 80s. I even kidded about our own Jejemon (and I received a violent reaction!).

A month later, I received another proposal, this time reduced to six artists, with a concept that states “…we want to search the truth within the concept of spirituality. To visualize in forms of belief, religion and lifestyle that we think is now being a malpractice and how it manifest in this diverse culture.” [their language, not mine.] It was baptized La Verdad (Spanish for The Truth).

In the meanwhile, I lent dvds of two infamously notorious films Dogma and Religiulous. I proposed a working title of Truth+Dogma. The management of my “landlord” gallery, for reasons of artistic style, trimmed down to five the list of six artists I presented. Another artist begged off as he is busy preparing for a major exhibition in a “prestigious” cultural center.

Four artists remained for the meeting held sometime August 2010: Bernard Del Mundo, Zaldy Garra, Kris Jan Gavino, and Averil Paras. In that meeting, these famous words surfaced: “Wala naman kami talagang gustong mangyari. Gusto lamang naming pag-usapan ang mga ka-untruth-an nila!” (We really do not wish for anything to happen. We just want to talk about all their nonsense.) But the Filipinese is much better. There you have it: UNTRUTH.

Epilogue: I really love the idea of ambush interviews where the mind is free and defenseless to express itself. I have been doing this in all my organization development facilitation. As common as with other humans, artists blurt out what is in their mind, catching them with their pants down, with words emanating from their subconscious mind and slipping uncontrollably out of their tongues. Wisdom is revealed in this fashion. Pretensions are left behind. It is when one has to worry about what people would think or say that all these untruths are revealed. What a contradiction!

Enrico J. L. Manlapaz
Antipolo City, 26 October 2010


Friday, November 12, 2010


Manuel Ocampo and international peers to nail the crotch of civilization at Manila Contemporary

This is the second time, the first being Julian Schnabel, for Manila Contemporary to host an exhibition of artists outside the region. The curator of this arresting international exhibition is Manuel Ocampo, Philippine contemporary art's most eminent figure.

The participating artists for Painting with a hammer to nail the crotch of civilization: a group show of wall works and tattoo imagery organized by Manuel Ocampo such as Goetz Arndt (Germany), Claus Carstensen (Denmark), Gaston Damag (France/Philippines), Curro Gonzalez (Spain), David Griggs (Australia/Philippines), Dr. Lakra (Mexico), Albert Oehlen (Germany), Pablo Siquier (Bueno Aires), Gerardo Tan (Philippines) are internationally acclaimed and historically relevant in the art of their region. As long-time friends of Ocampo, they were also invited to participate in the show based on a common practice of challenging mediums such as painting and sculpture.

In Ocampo's curatorial notes, he notes the pluralist characteristic of today's art world. He points out the absence of dominant style, hence, the fruitless task of looking for an authentic language in any visual medium. Pluralism seems to be the value of aesthetics now. Looking at this phenomenon in a globalised cultural perspective, the hegemonic tendency of pluralism is also understood as an expectation to return to primitive gesture and societal customs/ attitudes outside the Western cultural sphere. Art, then, becomes an anthropological enterprise. In this vein, Ocampo shows that it is painting that receives the backlash from this pluralism.

The vision of this exhibition is what Ocampo states as “the resistance to the critical denigration of painting [...] by locating it within a historical tradition that is dependent on a practice that is community based and reactive to societal discourse – mural painting and tattooing.”

This vision is being met through technological and reproductive mediums, such as with the aid of computers, projectors, printers, scanners and dissemination of images via email.

These images of the respective artists will be transferred on to the walls and floors of Manila Contemporary and likewise will be part of the tattoo flash available for a limited number of inking sessions to the public. The tattooing component is made possible by Sin City Tattoos. Tattooing will begin at the opening night of the exhibition on November 13 and will run through the duration of the exhibition.

Together with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, Painting with a hammer to nail the crotch of civilization: a group show of wall works and tattoo imagery opens on Saturday, 13 November 2010 at 6pm in Manila Contemporary and will be followed by an Artists Talk by Claus Carstensen, Curro Gonzalez, David Griggs, Manuel Ocampo and Gerardo Tan at 2pm on Sunday, 14 November.

The exhibition will run until 5 December 2010. Manila Contemporary is located at Whitespace. 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension, Brgy. Magallanes, Makati City. For inquiries about the exhibition, please contact Sidd at 844 7328 or email to


Wednesday, November 10, 2010



IL Arte Variazione
By University of the East Fine Arts
November 5-27, 2010
NCCA Gallery

Complexity in art brings together students and teachers in an exhibit

The one thing that unites artists is their differences. They differ in opinion, medium, and how they see art as a whole. But this diversity is what makes their works interesting, much more when pooled together in an exhibition.

The University of Caloocan College of Fine Arts is mounting an exhibit titled “Il Arte de Variazone (Complexity in Art)” which will feature multimedia works of students and faculty on November 5 at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Gallery, Intramuros, Manila.

Artist and College of Fine Arts faculty Lito de Guzman said the exhibit will see artists’ different expressions of different kinds with students in third and fourth years participating. A number of faculty will also showcase their works.

The decision to display different media is to illustrate the freedom artists in the school have. About 95 percent of the students in all levels are major in painting while the rest major in advertising.

“What we teach the students are not only the basics of drawing, painting, or creating their own masterpiece,” De Guzman said, “We, as teachers, also keep them grounded and let them stay in the real world and express themselves.” Keeping grounded may mean also teaching them how to put a price in their artworks.

De Guzman himself will display a digital output in abstraction using Adobe Photoshop he did for only a few hours. “I can see freedom with computer art,” he explained, “I can do many things here and the results are amazing.”

His daughter, Deborah Chloe de Guzman, is into abstract like her father. “I want people to see beneath my artwork,” she said, “I’d like people to be more intrigued as to what my perspective is. I want them to ask questions and think.”

The younger De Guzman, advertising major, is mounting three artworks: “Metaphor of Nautilus,” “Flamenco Dances,” and “Screaming Sorrow.” These are all abstract which she confessed is her comfort zone or where she best expresses her emotions.

Jommer Louie Bolesa, painting major, has a penchant for clowns or more aptly for drawing his portrait. “Lungkot sa Likod ng Komedya” is a take-off from the theme song of the movie “Payaso” displays a sad face of a clown. Looking beyond the painting, one can see the real life clowns live. Some of them are not always happy but some do. His two other works are “Ruined Clown” which was inspired by the works of American singer, poet, and lyricist, Jim Morrison. “Jack en Poy” is well, Bolesa doing the finger game all by himself.

Chikoy Domingo, another painting major, decided to create three different but connected artworks that will illustrate the life of an artist. “Ang Paglabas Mula sa Tipikal na Mundo” sees a flower where he says means the life artists know before they become artists. “Ang Paghanap sa Sarili” simply means looking beyond what is typical or normal in the real world. “Ang Pagpasok sa Mundo ng Sining” is the artist’s way of finding the highway to art world and learning about himself in the process.

Unlike the young De Guzman who always bats for perfection which is the reason she shies away from Realism, Domingo wants his work to be not perfectly done. “Because nothing is perfect in the real world,” he said, “And I want to reiterate that in my works. Being imperfect is also beautiful.”

Teacher Leandro Uy who has been teaching at UE Caloocan for 17 years and is now also teaching at the College of Saint Benilde will be showcasing a Realistic artwork. He has several works that tackle Abstract and Cubism but decided to mount Modern Realism because he wants to show diversity in the collection. “Even if artists specializes in one medium, they should learn the different styles too so they can do whatever they clients ask them to do.”

Ron Macasio gets more historical with a mural of the Malabon Church (San Bartolome Parish) and Meycauayan City Hall. “I intend to let people see the treasure that is the Malabon Church,” he said, “Its design and architecture has not been properly recognized and this is my chance to make it known to people.” He said that people will get to appreciate it when they see it that is why he sticks with Realism for this particular exhibit.

While some of the students and faculty have participated in various exhibitions in the past, the elder De Guzman said, they are specially happy to be holding it at the NCCA Gallery. “They are excited because having their works displayed and viewed by other artists, seasoned especially, is an honor for them and for us.”

The NCCA Gallery was created to provide a venue for contemporary artists’, students’, and schools’ artworks. This also creates a harmonious exchange of ideas that cultivates mutual respect.

“Il Arte de Variazone (Complexity in Art)” is on view from November 5-27 2010, with Lito de Guzman as curator, other participating artists includes, Leonardo Uy, Don Amorsolo, Romano Macaisa, Fernando Antimano, Chikoy Domingo, Joanne Gopita, Jho BEsa, Jommer Bolesa, Floyd Alcantara, Chloe De Guzman, Joeme de Leon, Biboy Mendoza. NCCA Gallery located at 633 Gen. Luna St. Intramuros Manila (back of San Agustin Church), Gallery Hours is Monday-Friday, 9 AM-5PM. For inquiries please contact Ethel Buluran or Mimi Santos at (632) 527-2192 local 505 or email or visit

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



“ ali – mu – om ” a painting exhibit by Peck Imson

PECK Imson bares all. Her works speak the journey of her being. Each piece of art is a story in itself displaying her passion in visual form. While a writer expresses herself in pen and paper, Peck transforms her passion in acrylic and canvass. The wit and character of her paintings spell her world.

In her second exhibit, this time it evokes the emotions of the inner self. From a frivolous and playful painter in her first foray in 2007, she has turned to an artful expression of a woman’s various moods. A different Peck is displayed as her artworks will show a more sensual painter for she has become more expressive in her choice of colors and figures in detailing passionate emotions.

Each piece strokes the sensual curves of the woman’s body and every sway conspires with the emotion she desires to portray. In her first exhibit, “Simply the Breast.” which was inspired by her sister’s suffering of breast cancer, Peck painted in a splash of colors displaying a happy and sunny mood. This painter is a Peter Pan.

This November 11, 2010, we will see how she has evolved, awakening her inner emotions that she admittedly preferred to keep to herself. Entitled “ ali-mu-om,” the artworks show her openness to release through her brushes and colors what she feels. A reluctant painter in her college days and drawing human figures as her waterloo, she now passionately puts in canvass her interpretation of a woman’s body and emotions.

At 45, this artful person has a love that encompasses all. The essence of her heart, soul and mind is imprinted in every detail of her work , not only as a painter but also in her professional work as an producer of one of the country’s top advertising agencies.. A graduate of the University of the East with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts major in Advertising, Peck will continue to seduce us with her sensual and provocative work of art.

The exhibit will run for three weeks starting on November 11, 2010 to December 2, 2010 at the Ricco Renzo Galleries located at the Ground Floor LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia St. ( formerly Reposo St.) Bel Air 2 , Makati City. For queries, please contact Ms. Kaye Nuguid at Mobile Numbers : 0927-3244013 and 0923-6588779 or Telephone Nos. (02) 8982545.


The University of the Philippines Jorge B. Vargas Museum in cooperation with Green Papaya Art Projects and 24HR Art Australia opens Immemorial on 28 October 2010, Thursday at 4PM. Installation pieces, video and sculpture will be housed at the West Wing, Basement and the Third Floor South Wing galleries of the Vargas.

Immemorial brings together Filipino and Australian artists in dialogues that explore intersections between cultures and understanding of identity. Striving to identify convergences, the works in the exhibition explore journeys, displacements, and ancestral histories across time and geographical divides. Identity is framed as contingent yet rests on shared strands of knowing.

Exhibit runs until 02 December 2010. This event receives support from the Australian Council for the Arts and the Australian Embassy Manila.

For information, contact the Vargas Museum at (+632) 928.19.27, email or visit

Monday, November 8, 2010


In his most recent one-man exhibition, Aaron Bautista explores the gradual transition of his beloved hometown Angono, through a series of different layers and the slow merging of images from both the representational and non-representational plane of images.

Angono, being the hometown of two national artists, namely Lucio San Pedro for music and Carlos "Botong" Franscisco for the arts, has been regarded as an arts town of the Philippines. This, maybe due to its rich cultural heritage and remote isolation from the modern emerging community. It basically remains pure from the deceiving clutches of political industrialization However, as the municipality slowly gears toward modernization; it may also be a big possibility that the town might lose its old world feel, in turn affecting its influence towards its homegrown inhabitants.

This concept inspires Bautista to materialize this show, because for him, his hometown Angono is a very integral part of his maturization both as a person and as a visual artist. It's a personal journey--his take on his town's progressive evolution towards change. This change, either leaning over the positive or negative trajectory, remains to be an unanswered mystery, which makes Bautista's show interesting to both Angono residents and everyone else who isn't.

This show is a very experimental take for Bautista as an artist, because this is the first time, after his long transient period of delving purely over abstracts, that he once again plays with the possibilities of figurative art. Beneath his paintings lie a layer of printed images, toned a dark, burnished hue of sepia for its old world feel. This provides good contrast to the paintings, since Aaron's abstracts had always been known to be composed of strong, vibrant colors. In the artist's attempt to produce an illusion of a visible reality, he mixes the two opposing layers visually, creating a soft, dream-like feeling of chaos resulting from the spontaneous mixture of images. The pictures beneath vary from an old portrait of an anonymous couple to a scene taken from Angono's famed Higantes Festival or Feast of San Clemente. Everything taken from the town, and by the town itself.

Viewed from another perspective, the artist's incorporation of picture prints could mean two contradicting reactions: either the destruction of a beautiful picture as it embraces the confines of abstraction, or the rebirth of a new image through the embodiment of the artist's usual colorized layers of red, yellow, blue, and green.

This decision he leaves to his audience.

Images: Aaron Bautista
Texts: Dave Lock


Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP) 2010
Call for Applications

In 1996, the Japan Foundation and the International House of Japan jointly launched the Asia Leadership Fellow Program (ALFP). The ALFP seeks to create a close, personal and professional network of public intellectuals in Asia. To date, over 80 Fellows from 16 Asian countries from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds have participated in this program.

This year, under the general theme of "Asia in Dialogue: Visions and Actions for a Humane Society," fellows will discuss how different values can coexist and how a community with a sense of solidarity can be realized. The ALFP seeks to be a central voice in a “Forum of Public Intellectuals.”

The ALFP is open to citizens of Northeast-, Southeast- and South Asian countries, aged 35 to 59 years old. Postgraduate degrees are not a prerequisite, but must have a good command of English and have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability or potential in their own professions.

There is no prescribed set of professions for an ALFP fellow; the professions of past fellows include, but are not limited to, academia, journalism, business, national and local politics, education, administration, the arts, publication, and NGO and non-profit activities. The ALFP is also eager to broaden the professional and disciplinary backgrounds of fellows. Regardless of his/her profession, a fellow is expected to have access to a wide audience in his/her country or region through publications, teaching, media performance, etc. to disseminate his/her thoughts and findings.

The program will provide each Fellow with the following: 1.) Round-trip airfare between Tokyo and the city where the Fellow is based; 2.) Daily Allowance (to cover accommodations, meals and other incidentals; 3.) Medical insurance during the Fellowship in Japan; and 4.) Other costs related to group activities, including a field trip and a retreat. In contrast, the program is not intended to support individual research projects.

Applicants may submit their application with complete supporting documents not later than Monday, December 20, 2010. Application materials can be sent thru email or fax: +81-3-3470-3170, but the original documents must be received by the ALFP Secretariat no later than January __, 2011 addressed to the Program Department, International House of Japan, 5-11-16, Roppongi, Minato-ku,Tokyo 106-0032, JAPAN.

For more information, please check the International House of Japan homepage at

Sunday, November 7, 2010


2011 Special Invitation Programme for Japanese-Language Teachers
The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa (May 26, – July 20)

The Japan Foundation, in addition to its Grant Programs for fiscal year 2011-2012 is pleased to announce that the “Special Invitation Programme for Japanese-Language Teachers” is now open for application until 7 December (Tuesday).

The programme which is implemented as part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange of Students and Youths (JENESYS) and financed by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund aims to provide teachers of the Japanese language in East Asian countries an opportunity to improve their skills and teaching methodology and to deepen their knowledge of Japan. Thus, it is for the improvement of the participants’ proficiency in Japanese up to the intermediate or advanced levels and to gain analytic knowledge necessary to teach Japanese; the Japanese Language, Japanese-language Teaching Methods and Cultural Programmes are the principal subjects covered. Qualified applicants are individuals who have achieved proficiency in the Japanese–language between the Level N4 to N5 of the New Japanese Language Proficiency Test (New JLPT) system or the equivalent of the JLPT Level 4 and 3 of the old JLPT system, under 35 years of age and who have at least 6- month experience in teaching the Japanese-language in established institutions.

For details on the aforementioned and on The Japan Foundation Grant Programs for fiscal year 2011-2012 and other projects / events, please contact The Japan Foundation, Manila (tel. # 811-61-55 to 58/ fax # 811-61-53; website:; e-mail :

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Call for Proposals for the 2011 Curatorial Development Program

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) and the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum are accepting proposals for curatorial projects for a workshop on curating contemporary art scheduled on January 27 and 28, 2011 at the UP Vargas Museum. Now on its second year, the project aims to provide a platform for interaction among young curators, their peers, and established practitioners in the field.

The curatorial proposal of 500-800 words should include a working title; a brief explanation of the project, with reference to artists, space, and relevant logistical details; and, conceptual issues or theoretical reflections. Only individuals 35 years old and below may submit. After the proposals are selected, the proponents will be advised to write a more detailed essay for the workshop.

This workshop is geared towards the goal of the JENESYS Program for Curators to develop curatorial resources in the region.

Deadline for proposal is on 15 January 2011. It may be e-mailed to, or under the reference “Curatorial Development Program.”

For inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila through telephone numbers 811~6155 to 58, or, or visit the website at

Friday, November 5, 2010


Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conferences

Fiscal Year April 2011 - March 2012

The Japan Foundation, Manila announces its Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conferences for fiscal year April 2011 – March 2012. The program provides financial grants to cover partial expenses in carrying out international intellectual collaborative projects, such as international conferences, symposia, seminars, workshops, etc., which are designed to deepen mutual understanding and establish closer relations between Japan and other countries while promoting intellectual exchange worldwide. Priority is given to projects that will involve participation from a number of countries and encourage interaction between various sectors of society.

This fiscal year’s grant program gives priority to activities which focus on the following areas: a) diversified society and public tolerance; b) peace-building and culture; c) environment and culture; d) social values of science and technology; and e) international governance and economic prosperity with special attention given to broaden and/or enrich the areas of Japanese studies through comparative and interdisciplinary approaches. In contrast, activities must not be used for any religious or political purposes and the project duration should be implemented and completed between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

In reviewing the duly submitted dossier, priority is given to projects which satisfy the following conditions: a) Multilateral projects: Projects that include participants from multiple countries; b) Multi-sectoral projects: Projects that aim to include participants from a variety of sectors such as academics, policy-makers, community or non governmental organizations; and c) Interdisciplinary projects: Projects that aim to bridge disciplinary boundaries and thereby contribute to the expansion and development of an extensive intellectual network. In particular, projects which include participants of the next generation. Furthermore, the participation of Japanese scholars/speakers is an essential component in project selection and approval.

Financial grant coverage includes traveling expenses, honoraria for paper presenters, lecturers, interpreters and assistants, conference materials, publication of reports, venue and equipment rental and public relations.

Application is open to universities or research institutions, non-profit organizations, NGOs, and international organizations. Applications from individuals and profit-oriented organizations will not be accepted.

Deadline for the submission of a full-blown (completely accomplished) project proposal is on Monday, 22 November (JFM deadline). The copy of the guidelines on the Philippine program focus is available at the Japan Foundation, Manila. For details, please call 811-6155 to 58 or you may send an email inquiry through

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The Japan Foundation Grant Programs
Fiscal Year April 2011 – March 2012

The Japan Foundation is pleased to announce the various grants that are now open for application for individuals and organizations. These grants are intended in different endeavors that are Japan-related; these are programs and activities in three major categories – Arts and Cultural Exchange, Japanese Language Education Overseas and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.

The pertinent grant information and accompanying application form for fiscal year April 2011 – March 2012 are now available at the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM). Please note that only individuals can apply for the Japanese Studies Fellowship Program (highly competitive and is open to preeminent scholars, experienced researchers and cultural specialists), Graduate Program on Japanese Language and Culture (Master’s Course), Training Program for Foreign Teachers of the Japanese Language (Advanced, Long-Term and Short-Term) and the Japanese Language Program for Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields - Researchers / Postgraduate Students, Librarians and Curators/Museum Researchers. The Grant Program for Intellectual Exchange Conference is designed for institutions/ organizations.

The guidelines must be read carefully and should one wish to apply, he/she will have to request for the application form for a specific program from the Japan Foundation, Manila. Duly accomplished forms with complete supporting documents must be submitted not later than Friday, 26 November (JFM deadline). Successful applicants (individuals / organizations) will be announced by April 2011.

For details / clarifications, please access the Japan Foundation homepage at Web Site: To avail of a grant application form, please post / fax / e-mail ( a letter of request to:

The Japan Foundation, Manila
12/F, Pacific Star Bldg., Makati Ave., Makati City
tel. # 811-61-55 to 58 / fax # 811-61-53

Deadline for the submission of the letter of request: Monday, 15 November 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


In this time of hardship, when coping with the high cost of living is the only way of survival, faith seems to be the only thing to hold on to. The population is constantly growing because of unplanned pregnancy of the youth and the poverty-stricken – with majority of both groups belonging to Christianity. As their religion is acquired through tradition, these people know only trivial matters regarding Christianity and are ignorant of the real Christian way of life. And most of the time, these matters are not enough to sustain faith, thus, they fall into temptation.

Science in a way, contributed in preventing this kind of moral dilemma by the development of birth-control methods and contraceptives, including the condom. And it is only a matter of time for people to ponder and fully realize about choosing the right decision.

The church will never admit it, but they do have shortcomings regarding this issue as they provide insufficient, if not wrong information. Practically speaking, it is untimely to disseminate to the people that the use of contraceptives is a sin, as they suggest that it is a form of killing. But little do they know it is just as the same in such an impoverished society. It further generates sin as it brings about unwanted pregnancy which eventually imply hunger, false hopes etc. and will result to theft and other crimes.

The Holy Spirit has given us seven gifts: Wisdom, understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. It is still up to us to use them wisely and accordingly regardless of our status in life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


There is a medical condition that an ophthalmologist (or commonly known nowadays as an Eye MD) call an afterglow or afterimage. This is a retained image in the field of vision that one gets after staring long enough into a scene, especially one that is of a high-contrast picture or a scene depicted in monochrome. Do you remember the reversed image of Jesus Christ printed on cardboard? When you stop looking into it, and then stare on a blank wall, you see an afterglow.

An afterglow is a retained vision in the retina; a glimpse of the past that seems to have hung on to one’s senses; a visual image that is embedded somehow in one’s memory. In reality, medical science has not really understood why or how this happens.

The 2nd one-man-show of Rafa Rod is entitled AFTERGLOW specifically because the images are exactly that – afterglow of his visual experiences that cannot be translated any other way except through his photographic art. The essence of his works are based on the latent images in his memory, in his past, that seemed to linger on and reveal themselves by manifesting as snippets of vision, glimpses of untold stories or fragments of ideas.

AFTERGLOW is a collection of twenty art works. The photographs are printed on fine art archival paper.

Rafa has elevated his photographic art by mastering the use of monochrome; he has dealt with the female form as a sole subject or incorporated into the mixed media works mainly inspired by European art themes. His subject matter involve the female nude, scenes of Paris, Barcelona and Dali-esque themes which are found in his expressions of surrealism, nudism and vintage art (like the use of century old glass negatives in the series Camera Obscura). In essence, the series AFTERGLOW is his first true mixed-media exhibit.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Preparations are under way for the 10th anniversary of the Zero In consortium, a group composed of five private museums—Lopez Memorial Museum, Ateneo Art Gallery, Ayala Museum, Bahay Tsinoy and Museo Pambata.

On November 4, the Zero In consortium takes over the 2/F gallery in Greenbelt 5 to unveil Points of Access. To be hosted by artist Carlos Celdran, the exhibition features five door frames that border spaces enhanced to recreate aspects of each museum.

Points of Access is open to the public from November 5-10, 2010. It highlights the individual abilities of each member museum and the cumulative strength of the group.

A “consortium map” detailing the locations of each member museum and information about them will also be launched on November 4, 5:30pm.

Lopez Memorial Museum will feature light boxes and images from its previous exhibitions and its upcoming one. A Chinese couplet will greet visitors as they go through Bahay Tsinoy's 15 drawers with items representing different eras of Chinese life in the Philippines. Museo Pambata will have a kulintang set, malong and the Pangalay zoetrope which, in keeping with the museum's interactive nature, may be tried out by guests.

There will also be a head door frame to reintroduce the consortium as it metaphorically reiterates its commitment to Zero In's collective desire to open up their spaces and invoke broadened perspectives to the role of cultural institutions. For more info, contact Fanny at 631-2417.








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