A seemingly innocuous list of a country’s top ten emerging artists stirs up a feverish debate among its art community.
In his 18 June 2013 article 10 New Filipino Artists You Need to Know Now on Spot.ph, Marc Chavez provides the following names of the top emerging artists in the Philippines. The list, which struck up an online debate, is noteworthy for its diversity and high representation of women artists.
- Martha Atienza is a Dutch-Filipino film and video maker who won the 2012 Ateneo Arts Award prize for her video installation Gilubong ang Akon Pusod sa Dagat (My Navel is Buried in the Sea).
- Olivia D’Aboville is a French-Filipina sculptor who studied tapestry and textile construction and weaves biological maritime creatures.
- Tengal Drilon is a multimedia art practitioner who works as a sound artist, musician, composer, art curator and filmmaker. Drilon is also founder of the Sabaw Media Art Kitchen, a non-profit stationed at the crossroads of art and technology, which promotes cultural media throughout Southeast Asia.
- Kristian Henson is a Filipino-American graphic designer whose artistic designs received an Art Directors Club Young Guns Award in 2008.
- Winner Jumalon is a painter who won the Cultural Center of the Philippines 13 Artists Award 2009 and showed work at the inaugural Art Basel Hong Kong fair. Known for his penetrating portraiture, Jumalon has said his work looks to bring out the common collective emotion in individual experience.
- Hanna Pettyjohn explores relationships between American and Filipino cultures with her portraits of family members. Probing the nostalgia for home often associated with diaspora communities, Pettyjohn unanchors objects from their original meaning to create a sense of displacement or discomfort.
- Goldie Poblador is a painter, animator, glass sculptor, and installation artist who was part of the Goethe Institut’s 2012-2013 RiverScapes IN FLUX project, which toured five countries in Southeast Asia. Bridging the divide between the fragility and violence of nature, Poblador’s works, according to the artist’s website, “explore the layered relationships between ecology, spirituality and the feminine.”
- Mark Salvatus is a multidisciplinary artist working with the urban landscape. Winner of the Ateneo Award in 2010, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Thirteen Artists Award 2013 and the Schoeni-Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2013, Salvatus nonetheless prefers to work close to his urban roots, maintaining involvement with groups such as Pilipinas Street Plan, a graffiti squad he cofounded. He believes in the value of community art and is Director of the 98B COLLABoratory, a space for creative collaboration.
- Shireen Seno is a Tokyo-born, Manila-based filmmaker who received international recognition for her Super-8 feature film Big Boy (2012). Setting the individual story of a Filipino boy against the national historical backdrop of colonial rule, Seno’s film, claims Chavez in his list, “like much of her photography, exists between the space of nostalgia and dreams.”
- Costantino Zicarelli is a Filipino-Italian artist who creates monochromatic installations that explore contemporary subcultures and feature macabre imagery.
The list stirred up some controversy with readers, as many of the comments rued the fact that most of the listed artists were raised or lived abroad. This prompted Chavez to post a response defending his choices.
The Philippines is a country with a complex history of colonization and occupation. And I also felt that to write about the Philippines, I could not ignore the Philippine diaspora and its results. Having said that, I think I came up with a balanced list that I felt represented the work and practices of contemporary Filipino artists based in Metro Manila. My two criteria for inclusion in this list was:
1. I thought their work was good and worth writing about.
2. They identify as Filipino and have recently been working and/or showing in Metro Manila.
7 of the artists were born in the Philippines. 6 were educated in the Philippines, 4 in other countries. 3 are Filipinos of mixed racial heritage.
What do you think of Chavez’s picks for the top ten Filipino artists? Who should he have included? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
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- 4 Philippine artist-run spaces profiled – Asia Art Archive – December 2011 – standing against commercial ventures, independent Manila spaces are thriving
- Hyperallergic blogger explores contemporary Philippine art with new series – December 2011 – An Xiao launches a new series based on the “contemporary art and technology scene” in the Philippines
- Art in the Philippines – a day tour of Manila galleries in pictures – October 2010 – Art Radar compiles a diary of galleries worth seeing in the Filipino capital
- What is street art: Vandalism, graffiti or public art – Part I – January 2010 – don’t know your public art from your police cautions? Art Radar is here to help with our guide to urban art
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