Philippine art triumphant in America – picture feast

“Triumph of Philippine Art” chronicles change in the Philippines.

A group exhibition of contemporary art from the Philippines, examining the road from repression to freedom, is on display at Montclair State University’s gallery in New Jersey from 21 September to 15 December 2013.

Racquel De Loyola, 'Blemish' (video documentation of a performance/installation), 2009, video monitor, found cloth, plastic hanger. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Racquel De Loyola, ‘Blemish’ (video documentation of a performance/installation), 2009, video monitor, found cloth, plastic hanger. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

“Triumph of Philippine Art,” an exhibition of contemporary Filipino and Filipino-American art, will be displayed at Montclair State University’s George Segal Gallery in Montclair, New Jersey.

The various artworks in the exhibition were created during significant social and political times in the Philippines: the Martial Law period (1972-1986), the historic People Power of 1986 and today’s climate of free expression.

Pablo Baen Santos, 'Labor and Monkey Business', 2010 oil on canvas, 72 x 84 in. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Pablo Baen Santos, ‘Labor and Monkey Business’, 2010, oil on canvas, 72 x 84 in. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Artists in the exhibition include:

Gregory Raymond Halili, 'Sorrow', 2013, mother of pearl, 9.25" x 12". Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Gregory Raymond Halili, ‘Sorrow’, 2013, mother of pearl. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

The wide temporal span of the works on display maps the changes in Filipino modern history and identity, notes Consulate General of the Philippines Mario L. De Leon, Jr. in the gallery’s press release:

The exhibit features works produced during one of the most turbulent periods in Philippine history, which led to a paradigm shift in the nation’s political, economic and socio-cultural life.

Brenda Fajardo, 'Baraha ng Buhay Pilipino', ink on paper, 20.9" x 28.7". Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Brenda Fajardo, ‘Baraha ng Buhay Pilipino’, ink on paper, 20.9″ x 28.7″. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

In recent years contemporary Filipino art has proved popular at auctions worldwide, with artists such as Fernando Zobel and Ronald Ventura selling at high prices to international collectors and institutions. The exhibition curator, Philippine-born artist and art historian M. Teresa Lapid Rodriguez, the Director of the George Segal Gallery, draws attention to this ‘triumph’:

Considering that Filipino art was categorised as folk art by the Western art world and was rarely reviewed until fifteen years ago, the highly-collectable status that Philippine Art is currently enjoying is nothing short of a national triumph.

Mark Orozco Justiniani,  'Debris', 2013, reflective media,light, 24" x 24" x 6.25". Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Mark Orozco Justiniani, ‘Debris’, 2013, reflective media, light. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Athena Santos Magcase  Lopez,  'Sumungaw Na Liwanag (A Ray of Hope)', mixed media on canvas, 15.5" x 17.75". Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Athena Santos Magcase Lopez, ‘Sumungaw Na Liwanag (A Ray of Hope)’, 1986, mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Mark Salvatus,  'Haiku', 2012, single channel projection video. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Mark Salvatus, ‘Haiku’, 2012, single channel projection video. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

The exhibition is also the focal point of a campus-wide series of events such as lectures, political discussions and talks by artists, authors and human rights activists celebrating Filipino culture, history and art.

Rodriguez, as quoted in the press release, states that her aims for the exhibition encompass more than Filipino identity and culture:

…we hope that it will serve as a point of pride for those of Filipino heritage as well as ring true for people of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Art, after all, is a universal expression, and struggle is – unfortunately – a global human condition.

 Ben Cabrera, '1081', 1975, etching,aquatint, 30 x 25 cm. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Ben Cabrera, ‘1081’, 1975, etching, aquatint, 30 x 25 cm. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, 'Dreamtime', 2010, basketball ring and fresh water pearls, 18 x 18 x 25 in. Image courtesy of George Segal Gallery.

Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, ‘Dreamtime’, 2010, basketball ring and fresh water pearls, 18 x 18 x 25 in. Image courtesy George Segal Gallery.

Mideo Cruz, untitled (A), 2012, C-print monoprint, 28 ½ x 40 in. Image courtesy of George Segal Gallery.

Mideo Cruz, ‘untitled (A)’, 2012, C-print monoprint, 28 ½ x 40 in. Image courtesy of George Segal Gallery.

Susan Kendzulak

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Related Topics: Filipino art, globalisation of art, gallery shows, picture feast

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Comments

Philippine art triumphant in America – picture feast — 3 Comments

  1. @ Arteleria Manila: Without seeing the show yet, rhetoric is part of the Filipino culture/identity — fr. Jose Rizal’s writing to contemporary ballads.. Regarding consumption–assuming you mean Filipino art being sold at auctions–how do you establish a place or gain a wider audience for marginalized art withdrawn from the Art market itself, and have it stand as a viable discourse or subject matter outside of the country itself? Unless the goal is to keep our art in isolation.. It is triumphant in that showcasing these works to the public initiates dialogue about our art (like other art) which were in the shadows before Postmodernity. This issue of consumption is not singular to this body of work — it happens with all art being shown/sold as this is the nature of the art world.

  2. See the show and read the extensive exhibition catalogue. This comment needs evidence, knowledge of the topic and present deeper analysis/arguement in order to be honored.

  3. The show’s title is already problematic with it’s heroicizing rhetoric but the triumph is mainly given to Phil. Art’s marketability in the West. So in the end It’s all about consumption. What is triumphant about that?

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