Reimagining the Urna: A Review of Urna 2.0 | Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr.

Christianity is a religion filled with, and built on significations. The Bible and the Eucharist—for instance—two among the religion’s most central traditions, hold and employ narratives and rituals, which resist from being understood at a superficial level. They demand an examination and interpretation of a critical eye to reveal the deeper and sublime meanings they […]

Negotiating the Postcolonial: Land of the Morning – The Philippines and Its People

In contrast with the antecedent international exhibitions which attempted—or at least, claimed to attempt—to present the image of the Philippines and its peoples to the world, Asian Civilisations Museum’s Land of the Morning: The Philippines and Its People, and its accompanying publication have reached great lengths in terms of portraying an inclusive image of the […]

Polyphony: A Review of Attitude of the Mind | Jose Maceda

An interlay of crackling wood, beating brass, and high-pitched whistle—all in diverse rhythm—interspersed with flooding male voices chanting, and a consistently soft electronic buzz greet one as s/he enters the midst of the exhibition. The polyphony resembles that of cafeteria noise, comprised of the chatter of different circles of students breaking free from the monotony […]

Gender in Justiniano Asuncion’s Portraitures

Entitled Art & Family: The Asuncion Legacy, Ayala Museum’s latest exhibition features the paintings, illustrations and sculptures of the three artists in the Asuncion family–Mariano, Leoncio, and Justiniano. The exhibition is seemingly poised as an attempt to accentuate the contributions of the brothers to Philippine art history, especially in the so-called academia period–the era upon the […]

Reminiscing Purita Kalaw-Ledesma: The Triumphs and Struggles of a Filipina Art Servant

The name Purita Kalaw-Ledesma resists from merely couching, rather comfortably, on the name and achievements of her government-official-turned-writer-and-historian father, Teodoro M. Kalaw. Hers strides alongside a story of a woman art servant without whom would have greatly changed the narrative of the rise and development of modern art in the country. In fact, according to the editor […]

Resuscitating Philippine Cinema: Digital Cinema in the Philippines 1999-2009

The steady multi-causal decline of film production in the country during the early 1990’s, and the seemingly formulaic, thus degrading, quality of these films, pointed out by filmmaker Pepe Diokno, are symptomatic of the consequent death of Philippine cinema. Playing a hero(ine) figure, advancements in cinematic apparatuses, specifically the emergence of digital filmmaking in the […]

Reimagining the Retablo: A Review of Retablo 2.0 | Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr.

Considered by Jesuit art historian Rene Javellana, S.J. as the “centerpiece of any baroque church interior,” the retablo, commonly known as the altarpiece in Western cultures, houses paintings and sculptures of divine personages in its multi-tiered, oftentimes multileveled, carved wooden panels. Derived from the Latin word retaulus, formed by the merging of the words retro, […]