Should we ever compile a Philippine version of Art Review’s annual Power List, these ladies will surely make the cut. Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, and Yasmin Sison first burst into the Southeast Asian art scene via their show Silent Declarations at Valentine Willie Fine Art in KL nine years ago. They helped pave the way for Filipino emerging artists to seep into the consciousness of audiences outside Manila’s cocoon. A few years later came the auctions, and with a little help from Sotheby’s and Christies, the three ladies firmly established their reputations as art superstars. Together with Elaine Navas, a Singapore-based Filipina painter (who the three have all professed boundless admiration for) they headline West Gallery’s offerings for this month: Continue reading
Yasmin Sison revisits familiar elements in this solo exhibit, her first in Manila since her 2009 show, Into The Woods, at SM Art Center. She returns to her portrayals of children. This set brings them indoors, away from the forest and the shore that have served as settings for her more recent depictions of kids at play. These hark back to 2007’s Gingerbread Girls, with the kids seated against a plain backdrop, looking squarely at the viewer. Continue reading
In 1893, when Paul Delaroche first encountered the then new-fangled art of photography, he famously declared painting’s demise. The death of painting has since triggered numerous debates in the annals of art history. While developments in contemporary art have made this a non-issue, viewers of Strip 2011 Painters As Photographers may find themselves in agreement with M. Delaroche. For this exhibit, Patricia Eustaquio, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier, and Yasmin Sison, four artists known primarily for their paintings, essay into photography. Their works
prove that, should they choose to, they can very well leave painting behind. Continue reading
Just call it family bonding, Ching-style. To most parents, especially those with busy careers and young children, spending time with their families means doing things together, mostly on weekends: eating out, catching a movie, indulging in sports, visiting grandparents. To artists Yasmin Sison and Mariano Ching, it is inevitable that in addition to these, art plays a large part in their interaction with their five-year-old son, Haraya. They have both just come off from doing work for shows out of Manila (Yasmin’s solo, Spaces In Between, was at Artesan in Singapore in June, while Nano participates in Japan’s Aichi Triennale this month). In this exhibit, Games For Growing, at Blanc Peninsula, they come together as a couple and as a family, showing individual and collaborative work borne out of their role as parents to a precocious child. To quote from Yasmin’s exhibit statement,”…the exhibition Continue reading
Blink and you discover that you’ve missed around five good exhibits. At least that’s how I feel after returning from a short trip and finding myself swamped with so much work that art had to take a back seat for a few days. It seems I have so much to catch up on. I decided to make my first foray back into the art scene with the most high profile of shows, Yasmin Sison Ching’s Into The Woods at the SM Art Center.
I get wary when an exhibit’s list of artists reads like your Friends on Facebook (well, not mine). All too often, these mega-group shows have walls merely carpeted with paintings.
Galleries end up like your third grade art classroom, everybody’s works just hang there with no rhyme or reason.
So to be honest, I hesitated to see this. But I suppose when you have Ronald Achacoso and Nilo Ilarde working to put together an exhibit, they manage to steer it from the usual mishmash. The show’s title, Here Be Dragons, comes from the tradition of medieval map makers to mark the unexplored and the unknown with serpents and other such creatures. Frankly, I had to ask about the
concept that tied things together. As the way of group shows of this size, works came out uneven. And maybe, it isn’t such a good thing when pieces we’ve seen before get rehashed to fit into another
idea. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t find gems. This show has its share. Nilo’s installation makes it easy to appreciate each of the artists’ pieces. It must have been difficult figuring out which works to group together. That you do not feel stifled and overwhelmed must be credited to his use of the gallery’s wonderful space. And the natural light streaming in from the floor to ceiling windows helps make for very agreeable viewing.
I loved Mariano Ching’s Stigmatas, wooden hands embellished with pyrographs and acrylic images of serpents, lions, crusading ships, and Catholic missionaries. Felix Bacolor’s installation has a great story behind it. He
trekked to the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority to seek discards. Instead they gave him the run of closets full of pre-war Philippine maps.
He shows just a fraction here, the others to be used for future projects.
Funny that I mentioned a grade school classroom project earlier. Yasmin Sison actually brought one with her in After Chabet’s Boat where she uses paintings of Philippine maps by students of the Cavite Institute.
Whether or not they fit into the show’s concept, Johnny Alcazaren, Bernie Pacquing, Gerardo Tan, and Trek Valdizno always deliver quality. Nilo and Chabet as usual, make us think.
Next to Nano Ching’s piece, I would love to take home Alwin Reamillo and Juliet Lea’s Kakainin Ba Nila Ang Mga Saging. Unfortunately, unlike the President, I can’t afford the cost of a dinner at Le Cirque. Come to think of it, that money would have been better spent on this.
Here Be Dragons with Ronald Achacoso, Alex Aguilar, Johnny Alcazaren, Poklong Anading, Felix Bacolor, Ringo Bunoan, Bea
Camacho, Roberto Chabet, Mariano Ching, Lena Cobanbang, Louie Cordero, Bembol dela Cruz, Dodo Dayao, Nilo Ilarde, Manuel Ocampo, Jonathan Olazo, Jayson Oliveria, Bernardo Pacquing, Gary Ross Pastrana, Alwin Reamillo, Raul Rodriguez, Juni Salvador, Gerardo Tan, Jay Ticar, Trek Valdizno, Cris Villanueva, Reg Yuson runs from 15 August to 6 September 2009 at the Manila Contemporary Gallery, Whitespace, 2314 Chino Roces Ave, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati. Phone (632) 844-7228 or visit http://www.manilacontemporary.com
AMERICAN SWEET BY HANNAH PETTYJOHN
A little more than two years ago, half- American Hannah Pettyjohn spent time in Texas to reconnect with her roots. While there, she worked at a geotechnical engineering lab, lived in a white house that looked exactly like all the other houses in the neighborhood, got to know her father’s family, and read David Foster Wallace. Continue reading
Three years ago, Ambeth Ocampo arranged for the
Board of Trustees of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines to view Paulino and Hetty Que’s collection of Philippine art and historical objets. Ambeth, perhaps only half-kidding, dubbed the occasion the tour of the”… real National Gallery”. As he took us through the assembly of works, from Juan Luna’s canvases, to Fabian dela Rosa’s landscapes, then onto the Amorsolos, and the Thirteen Moderns, from the Ben Cabs to the Ang Kiukoks, we realized what Ambeth meant. The staggering display covered the whole gamut of Philippine art history from Damian Domingo’s Academia de Dibujo to the 1980s. Continue reading