Thursday, March 24, 2011


"Life is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination."
-Swami Sivananda

It is said that one experiences perpetual ecstasy by being completely conscious of the things around them, yet their perspective, as well as their state of mind remain unaffected by these external forces. Yet upon surveying The Land of Eternal Bliss, the first solo exhibit of local graffiti artist Whoop, one cannot help but to ponder and comprehend the various emotions and stories that linger underneath that candy colored surface. A land inhabited by characters borne out of the artist’s constant pursuit of his own creative bliss.

Gazing through the series of paintings, gondolas and custom toys, one is reminded of Takashi Murakami and the Superflat movement, which took its cue from Japanese anime, manga and popular culture. What sets apart Whoop’s oeuvre on the other hand is his ability to inject his own visual language and symbolisms, grounded on his own personal history and social context, much different from its first world counterpart. Characterized by floating anthropomorphic objects and figures, these highly-detailed characters epitomize the various facets of the artist’s struggle and firsthand experience with the daily grind, as seen through the way he composed his diverse visual scenarios, most of which resemble the typical Manila street chaos. Though at first glance one sees visions of symbiosis, predation, and birth, the theme that actually resonates on all the pieces are those that subtly reveal itself underneath the bright colors and cartoon-like deities; love, loss, isolation and eventually, enlightenment.

The ominous eye that hovers above the terrain and in all of the artworks suggest a voyeuristic tendency, as a way to assimilate, digest and make meanings out of the images that continuously assault the artist’s senses. The mouth, despite its varying degrees of openness, evokes a sense of muteness, inviting the viewer to listen to secrets which they cannot hear; and to touch its lips, amidst the danger of being bitten. Underneath the cuteness that engulfs the image of a melted ice cream, with cross bones and cherry skulls, are embedded childhood memories of loss and wanting. Used as a form of coping mechanism, the image is stripped of its inherent fondness, only to be replaced by the bitter recollection it now conjures.

While The Land of Eternal Bliss is an exhibition that tends to draw its viewer to its inherent “eye candy” attributes, it cannot be overlooked that beyond the layers of exploding colors and free flowing forms are well spring of truths, memories and a new found sense of enlightenment, all waiting to be discovered. All of which are prerequisites in following your own bliss. (wes valenzuela)



In Memory of Jose Rizal and Leonard Co:

Walong Filipina honors eight Filipino Environmentalists

A chief of police, a cultural worker, an agriculturist, a gardener-artist, a priest, medical doctors, an inventor: each doing their work for the environment. They will be honored by eight women artists in the exhibit entitled "2011 Walong Filipina Sa Ngalan ng Kalikasan: Parangal sa mga Alagad ng Kalikasan." This edition also commemorates the life and works of two stellar historical figures: Jose Rizal, the unheralded environmentalist, whose 150th year of birth we are celebrating this year, and Leonard Co, the botanist who was slain while in the field, allegedly because he was caught in the crossfire.

Walong Filipina (Eight Filipinas) is an annual project by Liongoren Gallery, and has shown the works of close to a hundred women artists and other notable women from various disciplines from the time it was first held in March 1990. In 2010, the project honored the contributions of eight Filipina environmentalists, whose life and works were portrayed by eight male artists. ( This time, it is the other way around: eight female artists honoring eight male environmentalists.

Opening on March 25, at Liongoren Gallery, New York, Cubao, Quezon City, Walong Filipina 2010 honors the works of: Mr. Gonzalo Catan, inventor and advocate of organic products; Dr. Metodio Palaypay, zero waste management expert and health worker; Fr. Alfredo Albor, forest conservationist; Lutgardo Labad, cultural worker; Col. Romeo Magsilos, Marikina Chief of Police “No to Plastic” campaigner; Andy Orencio, artist and gardener; Dr. Warlito Laquihon, prominent agriculturist and researcher; and Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, former secretary of Health, herbalist and alternative medicine practitioner.

The eight women artists who will pay tribute to these exemplary men are: Lena Cobangbang, Marika Constantino, Marina Cruz, Hermogena Borja “Nene” Lungay, Goldie Poblador, Jeannie Tan, Josie Tionko and Pam Yan-Santos.

Continuing the practice started in 2010, eight researcher-writers composed of University of the Philippines art studies students, their professor and Walong Filipina co-curator Flaudette May Datuin and guest writer Malen Dulay team up with each pair. The students are: Hemerson Dimacale, who was part of the 2010 team; Christina Pangan and Loreli Tan, winners of the 2010 essay writing contest; Jacqueline Ali, Aliana Gimena and Meg Fontanilla.

There will also be an essay writing contest, details of which are to be announced later.

For updates and more details, log on to: or call Liongoren Gallery 9124319.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This March 23, 2011 in SLab, Christina Dy presents All The Wonderful Things, a show commemorative of her characteristic large charcoal drawings of seascapes and skies, such as in her work in the 2010 Busan Biennale. However this time, Dy injects light into her black and white works by drawing fireworks in the night sky.

Dy’s show was inspired by a quote by celebrated Russian poet and novelist Boris Pasternak: "As in an explosion, I would erupt with all the wonderful things I saw and understood in this world."

While talking about "life, death and everything wonderful in between" with her friend, Raya Martin, Dy was introduced to Pasternak’s quote. At that time, they had just finished coloring a film trailer where the ending scene was of fireworks. Dy explains: “I chanced upon a video of fireworks I took while on a yacht this New Year's day. And I just felt everything connect. I think fireworks are beautiful, and they are so much like us. Everything starts, and ends, nothing lasts-- but in between there's this chance for us to shine ever so brightly."

All The Wonderful Things is about that in between. Dy makes a statement in the gallery walls. She fills them with drawings of fireworks not at the point where they shine brightest, but at the point where they are just about to go out. Like fireworks, All The Wonderful Things is a celebration of life. Like fireworks, the wonderful light is but an instant.

All the Wonderful Things by Christina Dy opens simultaneously with DOMINION by Wawi Navarroza at Silverlens Gallery and A Very Short Flowering Season by Christina Dy & Corinne de San Jose at 20SQUARE, SLab. The three shows run until April 23, 2011.

Christina Dy will have an Artist Talk on All the Wonderful Things on April 16, Saturday, 3-5pm in SLab. Words by Bea Davila; Image: Christina Dy, 02, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011


DOMINION is a new installment to Wawi Navarroza's body of works which tackles topography and heterotopic spaces. It presents the artist's return to landscape where she neither treats nature as a spectacle nor confines it into a picaresque framework. Instead, she intervenes into the symmetries of volcanic landforms, the expanse of starry skies and the stretch of the sea to record certain ways of seeing.

As much it is an exercise in looking, the exhibition presents the dichotomous relationship of an artist to the landscape when she chooses to frame such an ambiguous, omnipresent subject matter. It presents to us the question of who or what is conquered-- artist or nature?

DOMINION is also Navarroza's send-off exhibition before she leaves for Spain to accomplish a year-long scholarship for a European Masters in Fine Art Photography awarded by Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid.

Words by Siddhartha Perez; Image: Wawi Navarroza, And In a Moment We're Almost Pure, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Christina Dy and Corinne De San Jose present A Very Short Flowering Season, a series of photographs of women’s bare backs, layered with embroidered patterns of flowers and trees.

A Very Short Flowering Season was inspired by Edward Steichen’s iconic 1924 photograph of Gloria Swanson. "Her powerful gaze behind a sheet of intricate black lace is an object so historically tied to all things womanly."

The collaboration is between two artists and friends who ask one question: What makes a woman beautiful?

To find the answer to their question, Dy and De San Jose asked women to pose for them. "The process of shooting was unceremonious. They come in, take their clothes off, and then leave. These are torsos of women from behind, lit neutrally, without the intimate cropping, or digital manipulation typical of nude photographs. Without faces, eyes, breasts, or the rest of the body to pose or contort, the women are reduced to forms almost generic, somewhat cold and also vulnerable. They are not given the power to present themselves the way they want to."

Each woman is like the other. No need for comparisons as to who has the prettier face or the nicer body. They are all “woman” as defined by every curve and every flower. In them, we see all at once the many layers of a woman: beauty and empowerment, vulnerability and tragedy, mystery and revelation.

A Very Short Flowering Season by Christina Dy & Corinne De San Jose opens simultaneously with DOMINION by Wawi Navarroza in Silverlens; and All The Wonderful Things by Christina Dy in SLab. The three shows run until April 23,2011.

Words by Bea Davila; Image: Corinne De San Jose & Christina Dy, 02, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011


Mindscape, an exhibit of 3 post-modern artists who are as diverse in translating art abstraction as they are in character, will be held at the Village Art Gallery, Alabang Town Center . It will open on March 19 with cocktails. Featured artists are:

Sam Penaso, the Boholano visual and performance artist, is distinct in the art he offers. He uses a technique that is reminiscent of ancient cave carvings, and Filipino alphabet found on tablets of wood and stone. Unlike the usual technique of brush strokes, Sam Penaso employs embossing in minimal, almost monochromatic hues. The effect gives visual simplicity but is rich in sense and significance.

A Fine Arts graduate of Technological University of the Philippines, Sam Penaso has exhibited worldwide. He has had 15 solo exhibitions five of which were in Austria , Germany , Japan , Thailand and Singapore . He exhibited also at the Asian International Art Exhibition in Indonesia, Fine Art Biennale in Seoul , ArTriangle in Malaysia , and Young Art Philippines in Luxenbourg. Sam is a core member of the Tupada International Action Art Events as well as the Philippine International Performance Art Festival. He was one of the Philipppine representatives in the 10th Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF) in Japan.

Maxbal is Maximino Balatbat II of Caloocan City , the son of an architect whose early creative inspiration was a popular brothel in the city’s red light district where he grew up. Maxbal thought he wanted to be his father’s professional heir. He enrolled in Architecture at FEU but after 2 years, he shifted to Fine Arts at UE Caloocan. In 2002 he completed his BFA degree with Advertising as his major. Maxbal had a string of jobs in graphic design before becoming a full-time visual artist.

In 2009, Maxbal won a silver medal at the prestigious Il Lorenzo Magnifico Award in the Florence Biennale in Italy. International artists who share with Maxbal this distinct honor are Christo, Jeanne Claude, Marina Abromavich, among others. His winning work AvenidaManila, is a poignant and imaginative terrain of Manila’s red light district with all its derelict charm, gritty realism and gentle humanity. For this feat, he also received the National Commission for Culture and the Art’s Ani ng Sining Award and the International Achiever and Outstanding Alumni of the University of the East in 2010.

Maxbal won the 2010 Grand Prize in the Non-Representational Category, GSIS Art Competition, the Juror Choice Award of Merit in Philip Morris Philippine Art Awards, the same winning piece is now part of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ collection.

Sam Galvez-Lorenzo literally grew around art. Born at the time her mother established Village Art Gallery, Sam’s childhood was made vibrant by all the colors that swathed her. Lines, shapes, textures of paintings and sculptures from emerging artists to established masters fascinated Sam even as a toddler. Art was captivating to young Sam. There was no way she would not give vent to her artistic longings. Her original course in college was far too different from her passion. She begged her parents to allow her to take up art courses in-between summer breaks. It was in London where Sam honed her budding art skills. She studied first at Hampstead School of Art, and later at Central St. Martins.

“Abstraction is mysterious,” Sam believes. Like the mind whose potential cannot be restricted nor limited, Sam’s abstract pieces conjure images whose narratives relate varied and diffused stories, each one different depending on how her viewers want to tell them. Her colors are lambent, radiant and shimmering. She colors her canvasses sometimes in strong hues but never shocking. Her lines are flowy, like wind billowing. When one looks at her works, the attraction is transmitted through a language of harmony.

Mindscape is Sam Galvez-Lorenzo’s 3rd group exhibit. Her 1st group exhibit was at the Exhibition Center for Contemporary Arts back in 2007. Also an art teacher, Sam Galvez-Lorenzo offers art workshops for children and teens on a regular basis at Village Art Gallery, Home Zone, 1st Level, Alabang Town Center. Summer classes will be offered on April 6 to May 26, 2011.

Mindscape will run until April 5, 2011. Choice pieces from the exhibit will be available for viewing at Village Art Gallery’s website (

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Armed with inspiration derived from French movie posters and a mission to denounce the paradox between artificial society and the other global reality, French artist Delphine De Lorme presents “Pacman and the Girls” as it bespeaks of the artist’s critical judgment of the society. This she articulates through her large canvases, vivid colrs, poster like images and complex compositions.

The exhibit runs from 18 March to 28 March 2011 at NOVA Gallery, Warehouse 12A, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Don Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.

For more information call 392-7797 or send an electronic mail to or visit

Delphine De Lorme
Artist Statement

Contrast is a recurring theme in Delphine de Lorme’s work. She shows interest in the paradox of life, and in striving to express that life is both magical and tragic, recklessly torn bits of paper do the trick, adding unfair and violent elements to her stylish and seductive paintings.

She criticizes glitterati society, Hollywood’s show-off tendencies and its artifices, and denounces the paradox between artificial society and this other global reality that surrounds us, dominated by power, injustice and violence.

By representing the femme fatale as an ingenuous and provocative seductress who is armed to the teeth, her paintings confront viewers with this paradox.

This is seen not only in the subjects of her paintings, but also in her technique.

Her large canvases, crisscrossed with bold strokes of shrill, vivid color, her sharp, nervous brushstrokes in which borders fade away, marked by strong mixed-media treatment, provide something of a visual shock that interrogates viewers on the nature of reality.

She works from ads, provocative titles, comics, and characters, layering vintage French cinema posters with ripped edges. Her deconstructive work diverts the matter from its initial meaning by reinterpreting it and suggesting other narratives – a critical approach intended to arouse awareness.

In 2010 she decided to honor Manny Pacquiao and did a series of ten paintings representing his major fight and his ten world titles.

Monday, March 14, 2011


LRI Artist Series 7th Anniversary

An Art & Sound Fusion Event

Concept and images by Ross Capil
deTubo + Debuho + Lumang Plaka + bagong IDeya


Opening cocktails / unveiling on March 16, 630pm

Event runs from March 17 to March 26

In cooperation with OneWorkshop & The Room Upstairs

With the special participation of
Eric David
The Analog Source
Audio Amplified
Tweak Studio
Living Space
OMO Furniture & Accessories
Triboa Bay Living
Heima Store
Noble Dream
House Gallery
The Designer's Shop by Erfe
Seasons Fabric
Cane & Hue Furniture
La Brea Living


MARCH 19 (Saturday) - 1pm to 3pm
“Appropriating Past Images for Contemporary Use" by Artist Ross Capili

MARCH 19 (Saturday) - 330pm to 530pm
“A Peek Inside The Hobbyist's Vinyl Obsession" (with open forum) by Atty Dante Pamintuan

MARCH 26 (Saturday) - 12nn to 3pm
Workshop on "Retro PhotoShoot with Models"

MARCH 26 (Saturday) - 330pm to 6pm
“Practical Turntable Set Ups" (with open forum) by Mr Rene Rivo

To reserve your slots for free talks, email at Indicate your contact address and cell number please

Friday, March 11, 2011


The visual arts can empower individuals and communities. The visual art, in the Philippines in general and in the National Capital Region in particular, is a force that can unite, uplift, teach, build communities, inspire, and heal.

The endeavor to undertake Sining Ugnayan: Creating the NCR Visual Artists’ Directory (Phase II) recognizes the contribution of the Filipino visual artist not only in arts and culture but also in nationhood. It endows the artists with prospects for leadership and professional development. It helps expand the visual arts network and opportunities. It is a vital support resource for acknowledging and endorsing Filipino visual artists for prospects/opportunities in the local, national and global art scene as it continues to advocate for equity in the arts for all.

The second phase of the NCR Visual Artists Directory project further recognizes more artists as the directory itself provides information/references about these artists for the beneficiaries, sectors and community to easily identify and locate them. The directory is a tool to communicate and disseminate information and/or announcements from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to the visual artists from the National Capital Region and vice versa.

This project and its subsequent outputs would not have been achieved if not for the competitive grant endowed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and for the trust extended to the Recipient/Grantee by the members of the National Committee on Visual Arts. (NCVA).

I express my appreciation and gratitude to the members of the Phase II research team and to all the visual artists who participated in this project Sining Ugnayan: Creating the National Capital Region Visual Artists’ Directory (Phase II).

Head Researcher / Grantee
Accreditation Number SCA87-077

National Commission for Culture and the Arts
National Capital Region - Manila, Philippines

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Museo ng Katipunan
Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine
Lungsod ng San Juan
9-31 Marso, 2011, Martes hanggang Linggo, 8 n.u.- 4 n.h.

Pansariling Silid para kay Gregoria De Jesus
Sining Instalasyon na likha ni Imelda Cajipe Endaya

Sa pagdiriwang ng 2011 Buwan ng Kasaysayan ng mga Kababaihan, buong karangalang hinahandog ng Museo ng Katipunan, kasama ang Kagawaran ng Edukasyon at ng Turismo ng Pamahalaan ng Lungsod ng San Juan, ang isang pagtanghal ng sining ni Imelda Cajipe Endaya, internasyonal na artista ng sining biswal.

Sa panahong itong tayo’y nagagapi ng mga kunwari’y bayani at mga kontrabidang binabayani, at mga bayaning huwad, mithiin ng maylikha ang ibalik sa pangkalahatang alaala ang mga tunay na bayani ng kasaysayang Pilipino, upang magbigay inspirasyon sa kasalukuyang buhay. Sa pagkakataong ito, si Gregoria “Oriang” De Jesus ang pinili niyang paksa. Si “Oriang” ay makabayang kabiyak, ina, manunulat, mananahi, punong abala sa pagsaka, kawal, kalihim, at taga-ingat ng simbolo at dokumento. Mapanganib ang naging buhay niya noong panahon ng rebolusyon laban sa mga Kastila. Bilang babae, higit na matindi ang kanyang pinagdaanan; pati na sa kamay ng mga Katipunero, kung saan siya at ang kaniya lider na asawang anak pawis ay kasapi, nguni’t binalikwasan ng naghaharing-uri.

Ang pamagat na “Pansariling Silid” ay hango sa salaysay noong 1929 ni Virginia Woolf na tapagtaguyod ng karapatan ng kabababihan. Sinabi niya na ang babae ay kailangang may sariling hanap buhay at sariling silid, kung nais niyang magsulat, magpinta ng sining, gumawa ng musika o gumanap sa serbisyong pambayan,

Ang instalasyon ng sining ay binubuo ng isang pintura sa kambas, apat na larawang tarpolin, makahulugang pag-aayos ng mga kasangkapan at bagay na napulot, mga salitaing hango sa ni Gregoria De Jesus, tulad ng tulang sinulat niya pagkamatay ng unang asawang si Andres Bonifacio. “Maypag-asa” ang lihim na bansag kay Bonifacio at ito rin ay tumutukoy sa Bayan. Kaya't masasabing ang pag-ibig na inukol niya sa asawa at sa bayan ay iisa.

“Walang Lihim” (2011) Acrylic at dikit na tela sa canvass, 48”x 26”x 2”, ay ang centerpiece ng instalasyon. Lawaran ito ng bayani ng rebolusyon pinatungan ng mapa ng Pilipinas, at ng mga salitang “Matakot sa kasaysayan...walang lihim na hindi nahahayag.” Patuloy na may kahalagan ang mga salitang ito ating panahon ngayon. Ang kambas ay nakasabit sa itaas ng naka-displey na ripleng sandata noong ika-19 na siglo. Napag-alaman nating si Oriang bilang kawal ay sanay gumamit nito.

“Larawan ng Artista bilang Gregoria de Jesus (2010)” likhang inimprenta sa tarpolin: Sa kaliwa ay isang upuan. Ito ay sagisag ng kapangyarihan at pananagutan, na isinaalang-alang sa bayaning Oriang. Ito ay patukoy na rin sa lahat ng kababaihang may paninindigan at may hangaring wagas sa buhay. Sa kanan naman ay larawang kathang isip kung saan pinaghalo ang mga katangian ng ng mukha nang maylikha at ng mukha ni Oriang.

May di tapos na itim na watawat ng Katipunan ang nakasampay sa silya. May gintong tsinelas sa ilalim nito, na nagbabadyang si Oriang ay nanatiling buhay at kasama sa silid. Si Oriang ang nagtahi ng unang pulang watawat ng Katipunan na may KKK. Nguni’t pina-itim ito ng maylikha upang ipahiwatig na ang mga importanteng ambag ng rebolusyonaryong si Oriang ay inilibing na sa limot. Pagmasdan din ang mga itim na kahon na may uling at tuyot na bulaklak – mga mahahalagang bahagi ng sining instalasyon. Ano ang kahulugan nito? Mai-uugnay mo ba ang kahalagahan ng mga simbolong ito sa buhay ni Oriang? At sa iyong buhay?

Ang Bayaning Oriang (2010) likhang inimprenta sa tarpolin: Nasa kaliwa ay larawan ni Oriang bilang nakababatang mandirigma. Ang katawan niya’y balot ng mga salawikaing hinango sa kanyang tula. Sa kanan naman ay larawan ng bulaklak at mga salitang nagbibigay dangal kay Gregoria de Jesus.

Ang 2011 instalasyon na ito hango sa orihinal na instalasyon na unang inilahad sa eksibisykong “Tutok: Ano Bayani?! na ginanap sa Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas (CCP).

Pinagbatayan ng saliksik:
Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Pinay: Autobiographical Narratives by Women Writers, 1926-1998, Ateneo University Press, 2000
Encarnacion Alzona , Julio Nakpil and the Philippine Revolution , Manila, Carmelo and Bauermann, Inc. 1964
Bahay Nakpil Bautista, Curator: Teresita Obusan, PhD.

Si Imelda Cajipe Endaya ay alagad ng sining na lumilikha ng pintura at mixed media sa kambas, limbag-kamay, at instalasyon. Ang mga likha niya ay naglalarawan ng mga isyu at tema ukol sa bayan, kasarinlang Pilipino, kasarian, pangingibang-bayan, at globalisasyon mula sa pananaw ng isang mulat na Pilipina. Pinarangalan siya ng CCP Gawad Sentenyal Para sa Sining noong 1999 mula sa Republika ng Pilipinas, at ng Gawad Araw ng Maynila noong 1998. Siya’y nakilala dahil sa mga likha niyang bumandila sa katayuan, kahalagahan, at karapatan ng mga kababaihan. Nagwagi siya ng Irwin at Florence Memorial Award, ang pinakamataas premyo mula American Society of Contemporary Artists sa New York sa taunang timpalak noong 2008, at nga Ani ng Dangal mula sa Pambansang Komisyon para sa Sining at Kultura noong 2009. Ang mga likha niya ay nasa permanenteng koleksiyon ng Metropolitan Museum ng Maynila, Pamabansang Museo ng Pilipinas, Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Okinawa Museum, at sa Singapore Art Museum.


Sining Kamalig... an art gallery presents Enrico Manlapaz: SACRUM, an anthology of paintings which liberate the sacred, at the Inner Room of Sining Kamalig, Level 4, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.

The paintings were conceptualized and composed by Enrico Manlapaz, executed and painted by the following talented emerging artists: John Rex Cabaroc, Averil Paras, Kim Mark Oliveros, and Mark Anthony Bello.

The exhibition, which was formerly restricted from general public viewing may now be viewed under controlled conditions. The show runs from March 9 till 24, 2011 only. Mature audiences are invited. Entrance is free. Gallery hours are 12 noon to 9 pm daily. For further information, please text 0920-9537426 or email

Thursday, March 3, 2011


UP Baguio Fine Arts
March 4-30, 2011
NCCA Gallery
633 Gen Luna St., Intramuros, Manila

“The 'I' is continuously shaped and reshaped, and the past, in which the identity of a person rests, is never fixed in one form but is as changeable as the mind that recalls it. In other words, ….[the] singular, relativistic subject can swiftly be turned into changeable, pluralistic personas.”

- from Lena Hammergren, “Different Personas: A History of One's Own?” in Choreographing History, Edited by Susan Leigh Foster

“And identity, like 'home,' is ever in a process, less a refuge than the site of contending, multiple meanings.”

- from Elaine Kim, in the preface to Charlie Chan is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction

Sometime in the mid- 2000s, the community of Baguio artists, along with a motley group of the city's denizens came together in a grand collaboration to repair the cracked sidewalk pavement of the city's main thoroughfare. The result of the grand collaboration was a Session road mosaic, where an assortment of bits and pieces of broken multi-colored tiles and other found materials were cobbled together into a colorful whole by a similarly motley group of people from a variety of backgrounds and persuasions.

The Session road mosaic has since been replaced by a more refined, “neater,” and “pedestrian-safe” mosaic tile finish. Nonetheless, the original project had provided a glimpse into the the narrative that pervades Baguio city, and an intimation into the challenges that face those who live in this city where individuals are provided with a gamut of experiences and influences which are at once variegated and diverse.

In Tessellated Lives, Fine Arts students of the University of the Philippines Baguio interrogate the various ways by which individuals navigate through this experience. How is community retained while allowing for a modicum of individuality? Does embracing the new necessarily entail an abandonment of the past? What must beretained; what can be be 're-invented'? What new roles have been taken on in order for the tradition to find some continuity in contemporary articulations of identity? As with the shards of broken tile used to construct the Session Road sidewalk mosaic, what fragments from times past have had to be actively made to work anew?

In the in essay “Different Personas: A History of One's Own,” Lena Hammergren notes that “... the past and present continuously and actively insinuate themselves into one another, resulting in a elusive identity both in regard to the the 'I' of the text and to the history of which it is speaking. … In accepting this elusiveness and the multiplicity of our personas, we can also get a different sense of context-oriented studies, where it becomes not only a question of which context we choose to examine, but also how we change together with the context.”

The artworks included in this exhibit echo a narrative of place. Tessellated Lives explores the re-corporealizations and reconfigurations that issue forth, as well as negotiations that individuals must inevitably undertake as they continually shape and reshape identities in these spaces of convergence, divergence and intermingling where tradition encounters modernity and the past meets with the present.

The exhibit brings together over 15 photographs, sculptures, paintings and prints by Fine Arts students of the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB). Exhibitors include Kizel Cotiw-an, Juvenile Bacolcol, Rochelle Bakisan, Vincent Toribio, Harinam Tibon, Potchie Lazaro, Jael Millan, Joy Galinato, Lyle Hilotin, Joshua Agpaoa, Kyrke Jaleco, Paolo Villacorta, Renz Ocampo, Romeo Christo Rosete IV and UP Baguio faculty Liz Rañola and Fara Manuel.

Tessellated Lives opens March 4 at 5 PM, NCCA Gallery is located at G/F NCCA Building, 633 Gen. Luna St. Intramuros Manila. For enquiries please contact Mimi Santos or Ethel Buluran at 527-2192 loc. 512 or email

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Killing box

About the Exhibition

For his latest series “bullet” portraits, Alvin Zafra wanted to focus on journalists who died while reporting on the irregularities in government and in the society as a whole. To make it happen, he sought the help of the Center for Media Responsibility and Freedom and the slain journalists’ families for reference photographs. Inspired by such bravery and dedication to uncover the truth, Zafra used a live bullet as his drawing implement on large panels of sandpaper. “Killing Box is a reminder of the dangers of the times, and my humble way of giving tribute to these modern heroes.”

While admitting that making portraits of dead people could be depressing, Zafra says he likes working with objects related to death. “I like my audience to experience my process even if it’s already past and gone. The violence behind each work is silenced by the format and systems of art. Killing Box is violence in a capsule, like bullet in a shell…I turn ammunition into art.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


While Philippine artifacts are housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Museum of Natural History, the works of Filipino modern art masters could be found collected at the Philippine Center New York.

The Center has the works of nine (9) National Artists: for example, +J.Elizalde Navarro’s NIGHT LANDSCAPE (1974 oil on canvass, 35”x35”) or +Vicente Manasala’s KALABAW (1965, casein and gouache on canvas, 28.5’ x 38’); one could also delight in the interesting works of Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, +Ang Kiukok, Benedicto ‘Bencab’ Cabrera, +Jose Joya, +Cesar Legaspi, Arturo Luz, and +H. R. Ocampo. The works are normally not for public viewing as they are hung in the offices of the Center or the official Residences of the PH Consul General to New York or the PH Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

More than a hundred works of other distinguished Filipino artists are part of the Center’s collection.

Now, they can be viewed in a special book Art At The Philippine Center New York, published by the Philippine Center New York Management Board (PCMB) New York with support from the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation.

Documentary, informative and a visual feast, the book features the rich art collection of the Philippine Center and is a valuable resource on modern and contemporary Philippine art.

In producing the book, the Philippine Center staff worked closely with the team of artists Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, author and layout artist, Lenore RS Lim, the over-all project coordinator and cover designer, Rene Ner, photographer. All three are members of the Society of Philippine American Artists (SPAA). Ms. Lenore Lim is its 2011 President.

With its 160 pages, 135 full color images, hardcover with jacket, 8.5” x 11”, the book was launched in New York on 13 January Thursday, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center.

PH Ambassador to the US Willy Gaa, Chairman of the Philippine Center Management Board (PCMB), and Consul General Cecile Rebong, Vice Chair of the Board, welcomed the guests who graced the occasion. Attending were artists, art aficionados in the community, artists featured in the book, PCMB Board Member Ambassador to the UN Libran Cabactulan and other friends of the Philippine Center.

Ambassador Willy Gaa, in his remarks to guests, noted, “ Through the years, the Philippine Center in New York has gathered works of Philippine masters as well as of new and promising artists…The works contained in this book represent the vast array of Filipino artistry and talent, the richness of Philippine culture and the beauty of the Filipino soul.” The collection was started in 1974 when the Center was formally opened. The art works were either purchased or donated.

Consul General Cecile Rebong shared, “In my years of service in New York, I have always marveled at the art treasures which have accumulated at the Philippine Center. While I have the privilege of enjoying these cultural treasures on a daily basis, they are not seen by the general public as they are in the various offices in the Center. Thus, the dream of publishing a book on the collection became compelling. And now, thirty-six years (36) after the collection started, the book is finally here!”

Consul General Rebong, who is also the Board’s Vice-Chair and who initiated the project acknowledged the dedicated work of the editorial team and all those who helped in the development and production of the book

DFA Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, in his book message, mentioned, ” For the global Filipino, whether aspiring artist or art enthusiast, the book… becomes a valuable resource for seeing the works of old masters, providing a depth of inspiration to strike out and create a great and distinctly Philippine art.”

Former Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr. was still the PHL’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and a member of the Philippine Center Board when the book was conceptualized, planned and put into implementation (2009 – 2010). He said, “…through the meticulous ordering and classification, and special notes for the layman… (the book) in a very unique way, preserves them ( the art pieces) for all to see and appreciate in one singular, artistically relaxed setting and enhance their value for the years to come.”

Also featured in the books are artists with distinct artistic achievements. In alphabetical order, they are :
+Pacita Abad, Ambie Abaño , Jess Abrera, Lee Aguinaldo, Augusto Albor, Romeo Alcantara , Angelito Antonio, Ros Arcilla, Tam Austria, Fred Baldemor, Manuel Baldemor, +Lito Ballesteros, Roberto Barbadillo, Jr., Bren Bataclan, Norma Belleza, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Benjie Cabangis , Lex Cachapero, +Anastacio T. Caedo, Orlando Castillo, Eduardo Castrillo, Fernando Catague, Roberto Chabet , Jose Datuin, Cesar De Los Santos, Tessie Dichupa, Edgar Doctor, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Carlos Esguerra, Emmanuel Garibay, Agustin Goy, Lamberto Hechanova, Lillian Hwang, +Ibarra De La Rosa , +Venancio Igarta , Toym Imao, Raul IsidroZny Laygo, Raul Lebajo, Lao Lian Ben, Lenore RS Lim, Malang, Ben Maramag, Emi Masigan Mercado, Romulo Olazo, Elmer Oliva, Julian Oteyza, Leon Pacunayen, Mario Parial, Al Perez , Rodolfo Paras Perez , Pancho Piano, +Rodolfo Ragodon , Cristina Quisumbing Ramilo, Cid Reyes, Rene Robles, Manuel Rodriguez, Sr., Rodolfo Samonte, Emil Sano II, Juvenal Sanso, Dominic Rubio, +Solomon Saprid, Lolita Valderrama Savage, Aster Tecson, Raymundo Valencia,, Atong Valenciano, Arturo Veloira II , Ronald Ventura, Francisco Verano, Francisco Villanueva, Francis Yap, +Hugo C. Yonzon II , and Jose Zulueta.

The book is now available for $40 at the Philippine Center @ 556 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10036, c/o Ms. Zeny Avila, 1-212-575-4774. In Manila, please email Ms. Endaya at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for book reservations; pick-up will be at Liongoren Gallery at 111 New York St. Street, Cubao, QC, tel (02) 912-4319. Each book costs P1,800.00








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