Preparing the artscape...

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 […]

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, […]

Remember and Forget: A Review of To Bind and Unbind | Ninel Constantino

Studying the process of weaving, Ninel Constantino, daughter of renowned historian Renato Constanino, realizes that it resembles how memory works. Weavings are made by the intertwining of threads in two directions – the warp and the weft – metaphorically symbolizing the dynamics of remembering and forgetting. To cope with the limitations of our memory, or […]

Implanting Feminism: A Review of Violence Need Not Be Bloody For It To Be Validated As Such | Nikki Luna

In the three-work exhibition “Violence Need Not Be Bloody For It To Be Validated As Such” at the Finale Art File, artist Nikki Luna attempts to find another layer of discussion on feminism — a topic she has special eye and heart on — in juxtaposition to the political backdrop the country is currently running in. Nikki […]

Articulator of Culture: A Review of Abdulmari Asia Imao | National Artist

Among the descriptions used to describe Sulu-native Abdulmari Asia Imao during the conferment of his National Artist for Visual Arts award, it is ‘articulator of Philippine Muslim art and culture’ which resonates the embodiment of his lifeworks. He is a sculptor, painter, photographer, ceramist, documentary filmmaker, cultural researcher and writer, whose focus is to bring Philippine Muslim heritage […]