by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Junio 24th, 2011


“Absence” ang pamagat ng isang exhibition (hanggang ngayong Linggo na lang!) sa Manila Contemporary sa White Space, Pasong Tamo Extension. Kinatatampokan ito nina Mella Jaarsma, Melati Suryodarmo, Bea Camacho at Racquel de Loyola, mga artist na nakabase sa Pilipinas at Indonesia.



Ang pamagat nitong performance art piece ni Mella Jaarsma ay “Animals Have No Religion”. Sa unang tingin, mala-gubat ang eksena: may dalawang nakapulang tao na may hawak na tigalawang paa. Para silang hayop. At may dalawa pang tao si likod, sa may dingding ng mga anino, na animo’y mga punong may maninipis na sanga.



Kulang na lang tapikin sila ng audience sa balikat o kamayan … sa “kamay” o sa “paa”?



Dramatiko ang shadow play sa dingding.



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 Maligayang kaarawan, Jose Rizal

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Junio 16th, 2011


Sa darating na June 19 ang ika-150 na kaarawan ni Jose Rizal, ang pambansang bayani ng Filipinas. Parang hindi basta tsamba na ang ating Araw ng Kalayaan ay June 12, ilang araw lamang mula sa kanyang kaarawan.



Bilang pagdiriwang, nagdaos ang Ayala Land ng art exhibit sa tatlong underpass sa Makati at nagkaroon ng concert sa Ayala Triangle Gardens. (Kaliwa: “Juventud” ni Jef Carnay, kanan: “Studies on Rizal” ni Ben Cabrera)



Nung napadaan ako sa dalawa sa tatlong underpass, tumigil ako para matingnan ng mas mabuti ang mga larawang nakapaskil sa dingding: iba’t ibang hitsura ni Rizal ang makikita. (Kaliwa: “Spell ‘Rizal'” ni Farley del Rosario, kanan: “Your Honors” ni Raymond Legaspi)



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 Ang sining ng nawawala

by Be-Blogger Pilipinas on: Junio 4th, 2011
‘Joker’ (kanan) ni Robert Olazo


Di ko akalaing magtatagal ako sa isang art exhibit sa mall. Buti na lang at tumigil ako sandali sa pag-shopping at sumilip sa mga larawang nakapaskil sa Power Plant Mall nitong huling Linggo.


‘Voo Doo Child’ ni Robert Olazo


Pinamagatang “Lost” ang group exhibit. Patungkol ito sa iba’t ibang uri ng kalungkutan at pag-iisa ayon sa iba’t-ibang pintor.


‘OMFG’ (kaliwa) at ‘Andromeda’ (kanan) ni Patrick Astilla


Tinatanong ng exhibit kung tunay nga bang malas kung sakaling mawala ka o maligaw, o kung, sa kantunayan, kailangang mawala bago tunay na matagpuan ang sarili.



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 When Art gets a Fashion translation

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Junio 20th, 2010

An unlikely pair indeed: punk-inspired fashion designer Tina Daniac and national artist Ben Cabrera, known simply as Bencab.

For the recently concluded Philippine Fashion Week Holiday 2010, Tina collaborated with the popular painter for the second half of her collection. She focused on Bencab’s most famous muse, “Sabel”, whom he has portrayed and reinterpreted in his works across the decades.

“Sabel” is a name the artist has a real-life scavenger he photographed and sketched way back in 1965. Her image has been a medium for the expression of various moods, always with the flow and volume of fabrics signaling different emotions.

So it may only seem natural that Tina Daniac picked Bencab for her latest artist collaboration. But this may be true for other designers, and not for Tina, whose edgy creations appear in sharp contrast to Bencab’s untamed representations. What she has done in adopting a different design language is pay homage to both the muse and the artist.

Whatever one may say of the effectivity or creativity of Tina’s translation, this collaboration appears as a welcome direction towards more partnerships between designers and artists.

Who knows what kind of clothes can be produced using the imagery of the works of fellow national artist Ang Kiukok?



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 Smells from a kid memories

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Mayo 11th, 2010

When I was a kid and we would travel to my father’s province of Cavite for the town fiesta, we would always pay my grandmother’s ancestral house a visit.

I would marvel at its thick and high entrance doors and would wonder why the ground floor was almost all in concrete and the piano was located upstairs, which was the part of the house almost all in wood.

My fantasies of the family’s history and how it unfolded in their century-old residence would become even more vivid and embellished when I was told that the reason the doors were so high was that the first floor was used to hold horses and carriages.

Two of my grandmotherís sisters still live in that house, which up to now contains many old relics of the family’s past. For those years that we would go there on a pilgrimage for the fiesta, my memories include climbing up to the balcony to watch the gilded procession; trying to stay still in my seat in the conjoined living and dining room while listening to the multitude of relatives talking to each other on the seats, the sofas, and the benches by the door; and I would especially remember trying out and sharing with my siblings and cousins the sweet cakes that my grandmothers prepared. These are already distant images because it must have been more than a decade since our last visit.

At home in the city, recalling those times, makes me realize how similar and different my own house is from my grandmother’s. In Cavite, it seemed that even with the presence of doors and curtains, there were no barriers between family members – in contrast to the compartmentalized rooms we have in Manila. There is that soothing and relaxing mood of space and airiness in the ancestral residence that must have inspired greater openness between people. I myself admit that it is much easier to escape from my parents or from my siblings in the city since locked doors are more binding signals privacy. In the province, I feel less compelled to protect it.

The design of the Bahay na bato (Stone house) is not accidental. It reflects the culture of Filipinos. It shows how people value the company of family, where (almost) every activity is done together, if not beside each other, in a wide and spacious, common room. This is in contrast to the city (or at least in more westernized homes), where it is more common for family members to have their own television sets inside their rooms, where areas are separated into the den, the library, the living, and dining rooms.

Of course, many architects and interior designers encourage their clients to build uniquely Filipino homes – not just to suit the climate (with the use of wood and slats) – but also to promote and preserve a cultural legacy that is uniquely our own: one that has been influenced by the native rural house (the nipa hut), Spanish colonial architecture, and more importantly, by traditional values. If not for any of these reasons, I myself would live in such a house if only to always return to the feeling of home.

El Bosquejo


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 Art, Artifacts, Aperitif and Apparel in Manila

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Abril 12th, 2010

Cubao Expo is a multitude of things in one. Originally meant as a collective of stores by local shoemakers (formerly known as Marikina Shoe Expo), it is now a vibrant community of artists, designers, art galleries, students, musicians, collectors, comics and cinema enthusiasts – and more.

It has become the venue for music gigs, art exhibits, fashion shows, film viewings, and even live graffiti spraying events. Students, artists, and writers have made it their beer haunt. The high level of creative energy palpable in the place is a direct effect of the assembly of very unique establishments – each with their own personality – put together in one short horseshoe drive.

Heritage, the soul of Cubao Expo, is a good place to start. It is an art gallery displaying both local masters and current contemporary artists. It is likewise an antique and curio shop that sells furniture, tribal sculpture, stained glass windows, lamps, weavings, jewelry, old books, records, and magazines, and an endless array of things you are likely to spend an entire afternoon just exploring.

The Grand Thrift Store is exactly what it says – but with more character than you’d expect. The place is literally covered from wall to wall with plaques, posters, glassware and crystal, handbags, different models of telephones and radios, and all sorts of knickknacks – many of which (especially the clocks) will bring you back down memory lane, to the bygone eras of 50 actresses, Imelda Marcos, and most probably to the time of your own grandmother. It is an unforgettable exercise in nostalgia all packed in a quaint little room.

With racks that are literally cabinets, The I Love You Store has a similar overwhelming feel as The Grand Thrift Store, only translated into the language of fashion. What adds more endearment to the eclectic mix of clothes, shoes, and accessories are the store’s painted walls, mini chandeliers, printed seats and couches, and cotton-candied ceiling.

Speaking of furniture and chandeliers, Karma boasts its own multi decade collection of retro interiors, which started as a private collection of its owners.

If gifts are what you’re looking for, MBS will surely have something that can be treasured. This can of course include comics, which Sputnik specializes in, together with graphic novels and figurines. You can also give an artwork from one of Cubao Expo’s art galleries is Pablo, which, with its white walls, pares down distractions for quiet appreciation.

After your sojourn for shoes – which Soliman can create for you made-to-measure – clothes, art, and whatnot, you can call it a day and call the waiters at Mogwai for a bucket of cheap beer, while catching up with ubiquitous faces from the local underground and indie scene.

Or if all that ogling and oohing got you hungry, proceed directly to Bellini’s Italian restaurant, and perhaps chat up the owner, who used to be part of the Italian paparazzi, between your pizza and pappardelle.



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 The Raw Emotions of Ang Kiukok

by United Blogs of Benetton on: Abril 10th, 2010

(Angry Figure)

Tangled nets with fish like swords that are as sharp as the fishermen’s hungry and contorted shoulders. Vicious dogs that gnaw at each other’s necks, cantankerous chickens brandishing their claws.

(Fishermen with Catch – The Lovers – Fighting Figures)

These are just some of the violent images that are part of the aesthetic language of Filipino-Chinese painter and national artist Ang Kiukok.

They go beyond mere angst and repressed emotion; they dig holes deeper than the source. I believe that Ang Kiukok is foremost a Filipino painter, and his art a Filipino medium, because his paintings uncover common feelings borne from the same experiences.

(Fish – Fisherman)

He has expressed, even in the originally foreign tools of cubism and expressionism, the collective anger, alienation, and suffering unique to the history of the Philippines-such as the specific event of Martial Law under President Marcos
and the general predicament of poverty caused by centuries of backwardness.

(Crucifixion – Clowns – Mother and Son)

Of course, his works also express the universal, if only seen through the eyes of a nation: a man on fire, limbs entangled in fatal combat or twisted and broken into each other in the embrace of love.

(The Last Supper)

There are angles and edges to the righteous faces of apostles, to the bond and burden between mother and child, the bones and maws of fish, the limbs of desert horses. Finally, Kiukok expresses the machination of what is human by showing the industrially hammered, nailed, cut, welded, sliced, and broken body of the man on the crucifix. We all share in that silent and anguished cry, in tears that run from empty sockets.

El Bosquejo


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