Filipino artists exploring existentialism and identity are honoured at the 10th Ateneo Art Awards.

On 8 August 2013, the Ateneo Art Awards named Charles Buenconsejo, Buen Calubayen and Raffy Napay as this year’s winners. As the 2013 theme ‘Marking Time’ suggests, the organisers selected works that explore notions of identity and existence.

Charles Buenconsejo, 'To Here Knows When 1', 2012, lambda metallic print. Image courtesy Ateneo Art Awards.

Charles Buenconsejo, ‘To Here Knows When 1’, 2012, lambda metallic print. Image courtesy Ateneo Art Awards.

The Ateneo Art Awards, now in their tenth year, picked Buenconsejo, Calubayen and Napay from a shortlisted field of twelve emerging Filipino artists, based on their solo shows from 2012 and 2013. Portions of the previous exhibitions were recreated and displayed in Manila until 12 August to mark the award announcement.

The three winners will be given the chance to take up international residencies organised by Ateneo Art Gallery, during which they will produce works that will be displayed in Manila in 2014.

Buen Calubayan

Buen Calubayan, ‘Fressie Calupong 1’, 2012, oil on canvas. Image courtesy Ateneo Art Awards.

In accordance with the 2013 award theme of ‘Marking Time’, the winning works all explore notions of existence and personal change.

  • Photographer Charles Buenconsejo’s exhibition “Reality is a Hologram” presents viewers with “existential musings” and “great epiphanies”, in the words of the Ateneo press release, replacing real-life intimacy with virtual interactions.
  • Buen Calubayan’s “Fressie Calupong”, named after the artist’s mother, sees Calubayan using assembled portraits to create, says the press release, an “artistic autobiography”.
  • In “Thread Experience” Raffy Napay expands the “creative possibilities of thread”, also in homage to his mother, a seamstress. Napay’s exhibition nodded to “sources of emotion, memory, nostalgia and creativity,” according to The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Raffy Napay, 'The Factory and Colorful Tree', 2013, thread and textile on canvas. Image courtesy Ateneo Awards.

Raffy Napay, ‘The Factory and Colorful Tree’, 2013, thread and textile on canvas. Image courtesy Ateneo Awards.

2013 marks the tenth annual presentation of the Ateneo Art Awards, which was established to honour promising Filipino visual artists under the age of 36. Contributing to the development of Philippine contemporary art, the awards have consolidated the careers of previous winners such as Mark Salvatus and Maria Taniguchi, among others, who have gone on to international acclaim.

Cassandra Naji


Related Topics: Filipino artists, prizes, events in Manila, emerging artists

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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