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 […]

Towards Paradise: A Review of For She Loved Fiercely, and She is Well-Loved (2010) by Geraldine Javier

Although a painter by training, Geraldine Javier, a prolific Filipina artist and awardee of the Thirteen Artist Awards of the Cultural Center of the Philippines on 2003, is known for her works making use of a variety of materials — largely organic ones, such as threads, feathers, twigs, and other dead natural specimen. Through the use of […]

‘No Chaos No Party’: Glimpse into the Manila Contemporary Art Scene

It has been almost three decades since the book ‘Conversations on Philippine Art’ by art critic and writer Cid Reyes has been published. It is timely now, given the massive developments in the art practice since the 80’s, to release such book that features interviews and inside correspondences with the artists of the time. This is where the contemporary art book […]

Life as Perpetual Tentativeness: A Short Analysis of Madadayo (2013) by Ringo Bunoan

Filipina artist Ringo Bunoan’s Madadayo (2013), which was previously exhibited at the Manila Contemporary last 2013, is an installation composed of a series of grayscale photographs, and a reconstructed boat. At its core, it is an artwork that is influenced by Japanese notions of beauty, reflecting the philosophies of wabi (侘, understated beauty) and mono […]

A Context Both Distant and Close: A Review of A Matter of Contemplation and Discontent

An exhibition of contemporary Romanian artists situated in a Philippine art space is not an idea carried out just-so. The exhibition contributes in the local art scene through the artistic discourse on a new context, both distant and close, it encourages — distant, given the lack of interaction between Filipino and Romanian historicity; and close, given the […]

Navigating through Troubled Water: A Review of Through Troubled Water, for High Times and Love (2016) by Abigail Dionisio

In the recently concluded 2015 – 2016 Philippine Art Awards (PAA), the premiere biennial visual arts competition aspired for by both established and emerging individuals, twenty artists among a total of around 500 participants from different regions of the country stood out with the judges. One of these artists is Bulakenyo Abigail Dionisio, with her piece that won […]

On Things To Not Forget: A Review of Stirring the Ashes | Leslie De Chavez

It is in the fragile moment right before the ashes from a fire would disintegrate, be blown away and be one with nature that artist Leslie De Chavez would like to bring the viewers in his recently concluded exhibition at the Ateneo Art Gallery. With this metaphor that operates through his pieces, the artist discloses the trend within Filipino society: big, controversial […]

Composites in Protest: A Review of Yee I-Lann: 2005 – 2016

Through her works, highly-contextualized composites made from various fragments of images carefully stitched together, Sabahan artist Yee I-Lann expresses her views on the socio-political issues that surround her — whether it be on Sabahan politics, feminism, or the general colonial historicity. After being exhibited around our Southeast Asian and Asian neighbors, it is a pleasure to have her here in […]

The Ecstasy of Departure: A Review of Leaves Fall After Fall Leaves | Nona Garcia

Probably relevant to the departure and movement of the Silverlens Gallery to its new home at the Lapanday Center, the last exhibition in the Pasong Tamo Extension gallery, which fully occupies all of its exhibition spaces, dwells in the reflection of artist Nona Garcia on the experience of ‘leaving’. This human experience, which is part of a natural cycle every being […]

Layer Upon Layer: A Review of Arin Sunaryo, Maria Taniguchi, Patricia Perez Eustaquio

Although employing different styles and formats, the works of the featured two Filipino artists — Maria Taniguchi and Patricia Perez Eustacio, joined by the works of Indonesian artist Arin Sunaryo, seem to converge at a singular theme: that the repeated process of placing layers upon the existing layers in their works operates as a metaphor, depicting their continuous accumulation of […]

Unsteady Homes: A Review of Passage III | Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan

This quarter’s exhibition at the Singapore Art Museum, entitled Odyssey: Navigating Nameless Seas, is dedicated to the selected artists’ explorations of the elements of water bodies, and their historical and contemporary connotations. From being the motherly space where all lifeforms originated to being the ravenous space whose waves consume ships that attempt to cross over, the ocean had always been the […]