Met Gala 2013 and the Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Met Gala 2013 at the Metropolitan Museum

As a kid I loved visiting museums during field trips. They were an occasional treat to feed our creativity and our minds.

One of my school’s favorite haunts was the old Ayala Museum, which had a permanent exhibit about Philippine history (loved the dioramas!). During my university Spanish class our professor required us to visit the Metropolitan Museum, which had an exhibit on Spanish artifacts found in the Philippines.

At the Met Gala 2013, I encountered a different Metropolitan Museum. It was the launch of their new exhibit on contemporary Filipino art. Thanks to Nuffnang for extending Cristalle Belo’s invitation to us bloggers.

I arrived and was greeted by mimes at the door. A few minutes later, a performance art showcase commenced with costumed men and women prowling the halls dancing and showing different emotions. Against a wall several canvases leaned awaiting the expert hand of an artist who would execute a painting on the spot.

And that was all just on the ground floor. As I entered the exhibit proper on the second floor, down below self-proclaimed party meistervTim Yap enjoined the gala attendees to gather for cocktails. I continued to walk through the sections of the exhibit.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art exhibit

Vicente Manansala — “Two Beggars”

I don’t particularly consider myself art literate, so I enjoy artwork for the emotions and thoughts they provoke, and the craftsmanship shown.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

performance art archival footage

What surprised me is that had no clue Pinoys had been delivering performance art set pieces since the era of the film camera and even earlier, as shown by the archival clips played on several TV’s in the exhibit area.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit
artwork on old newspaper

I loved being able to come close to a painting and examine the brushstrokes or the medium used. Some pieces re-purposed and transformed old mundane artifacts, like the newspaper pages above.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Ian Carlo Jaucian — “On Focusing, Spacetime, and Parallax”

This piece was one of the largest, and told a story both literally and figuratively. Literally it tells the history and future of the world. Figuratively it shows how we only see the world within the eras we live. (Well, that’s how I saw it.)

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Agnes Arellano — “Triple Goddess”

Art being more than just paintings and scribbles on the wall, the exhibit had its share of sculpture. This one by Agnes Arellano was my favorite.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Lyra Garcellano — “Yearbook 3”

Photographic prints were also displayed — but they weren’t your ordinary photos. Lyra Garcellano’s Yearbook series playfully showed the artist as different people in class photos.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Francisco Coching — “Cover of Pilipino Komiks”

Pop art also features in the exhibit. Hooray for Pilipino Komiks, which was the predecessor of our current homegrown graphic novel crop.

Metropolitan Museum: Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

Mark Justiniani — “Okupado”

This piece by Mark Justiniani celebrates our jeepneys’ bold and colorful artwork. I’m not sure there’s anything else quite like that in the world.

Overall it was a visual feast w/ various “flavors” to try. I sped through the exhibit because of limited time but it might be much nicer to walk through it slower (and with a companion), discussing and savoring every bit.

One thought on “Met Gala 2013 and the Contemporary Filipino Art Exhibit

  • February 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Nice post….I came across this article from the archive of your blog site while resting (just finished the 10k race ‘pse bullrun’ 2nd place 🙂 nakatsamba hehe). This article really awaken the artist in me….I still remember visiting museums specially when there is a contemporary art exhibit coz am a fan of modern art…it expresses more beyond what you see…it captures my imagination as a fine art student then…inspired to create something new…an innovation to express myself as an artist…the past is rekindled by this article…thanks…somehow life is not just about running….life is about art sometimes…


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