On the 13th of October, my blockmates and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Manila which was located at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. In this museum, you’ll be introduced to the print collection of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which also features artists and their artworks that truly impressed me. There was another exhibition which is called “The Philippine Contemporary: To scale the Past and Present” which displays most of the paintings, sculptures, and even videos that astounded me.
The first exhibit that we visited is called Configuring Philippine Print which is where I saw the print on paper called “Two Women” by Celeste Gordon that fascinated me for it depicts a woman with two souls. This print represents the idea of a woman feeling as if a part of her is drifting away. The woman also shows an expression of sadness because of her identity that seems distorted. She is confused of who she is and who she wants to be which made her feel dull and empty. Not knowing your purpose in life could make you lose track of your life and understand the things around you.
The next print I saw was by Marcelino Rodriguez entitled as “Man and Woman” that shows the bodies of men and women. The print manifests the beauty of our bodies and reproduction. We are blessed and gifted with bodies which nowadays, have a different meaning to the society. Some people think that there is an ideal type of body weight and shape which is completely unfair and wrong. Some people now interprets sexual intervourse as lust and pleasure instead of love and conception. This print conveys a message that society should have appreciation and love for all of our bodies. Also, we should understand the true meaning and beauty of sexual intercourse for it may bring a blessing to the couples.
The etching of Jess Flores is called “Ang Matanda sa Bintana” that displays an old woman in her house, waiting. The old lady looked outside the window with a gaze of longingness. She is waiting and waiting for someone who won’t show up yet she continues to wait patiently for that person. The old woman still expects that the person will show up but at the same time she is starting to lose hope. You could see the pain in her eyes starting to engulf her into darkness. This etching displays the raw emotion of the old woman and how loneliness is seeping into her mind slowly letting sadness take over her heart and mind.
The last print that captivated me is by Manuel Baldemor which is called “Tahanan” and this print shows the culture and life of the Filipinos. The house shows a similar design as the bahay kubo which is indigenous in Philippines. The print has a different and more abstract way of how it was drawn or created which fascinated me for it also shows the styles of Filipino artists. The print may be in black and white but for Filipinos it is already colorful for it represents home. Home that is filled with love and home that we look forward to at the end of the day. In addition, this print also depicts another trait of Filipinos which is family centeredness. The love and care that you receive from your family is truly a blessing and this print reminds us of that. It reminds us that we should never forget our families and continue to appreciate them for they are the foundation and inspiration in our lives.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas owns a collection of artworks made by the talented Filipino artists and this collection is a great way to raise awareness for the Art Industry. Their collection is for the purpose of introducing and promoting the culture and artworks in the Philippines so that we may appreciate art more and gain knowledge from it. Their collection aims to feature the Filipino artists and how they put creativity into work. This collection may contribute to the culture in the Philippines by representing artworks that illustrates the beliefs, morals, law, behaviors, etc.
The other exhibition that we visited is called The Philippine Contemporary Art that displays the artwork of Arturo Sanchez. “Heaven Sent” is a collage in mirror that manifests people that may not seem to be familiar to me yet all of them have a connection that reflects each other. The artwork conveys a message about people and how their talents changed their lives which concludes the idea that they’re all very blessed for they’re sent from heaven. This artwork was astonishing for me because of how this creative idea was put into an art form.
The second painting by Annie Cabigting is titled as “Conversation with Bacon” which displays a three-dimensional kind of art for how real it seems to be. The artwork shows a man looking into an artwork of a dead pig which concludes the title of the painting. The painting conveys a message about people staring and analyzing an art and the art communicating to the people. People nowadays don’t appreciate art anymore and they only see it as something that’s pretty to hang up on their walls but they don’t actually know or understand the art. This painting is a reminder for society to actually look into an art and try to analyze its message for it may open our minds to the social issues that the world is facing.
The next painting that captivated me is called “Still” by Lani Maestro is a sticker print-out that conveys a message about oblivion. How oblivion can engulf us into this world where we are unaware or unconscious of what is happening around us. The artwork conveys a message of forgetting as well. Forgetting the things around us and just being focused on one thing. This also represents the idea that we become vulnerable to everything when it comes to oblivion. In the end of the statement, it says “What is the colour of forgetting? and for me it is nothing but like staring into a blank space, a space that is somewhat hypnotizing that makes us unconscious of everything around us. Oblivion is the idea that most people wants when they want to forget but oblivion is also an idea for people to focus on one thing, appreciate, reflect, and be drowned in it.
The fourth artwork is by Ronald Ventura titled as “Insecured” which shows a man with a mask and posture of a dog. The man is like inside a cage or someplace where it’s dull as if living in a world with nothing but black and white. This artwork conveys a message about confidence or self-esteem and how it affects us. This artwork depicts how a person can be so insecure to the point wherein we have thought of ourselves as similar to dogs. We think so low of ourselves that it starts to mess with our minds and we start to lose motivation in the things we do. We start to lose sense of reality because we doubt everything even ourselves.
The last artwork is “Nothing ever happens here” by Nona Garcia which illustrates a silhouette of a man looking out his window that doesn’t seem to be visible at first unless you examine the painting deeply. I was mesmerized by this painting for how brilliant it was interpreted into art with the representation of the idea that loneliness makes us lose happiness in our lives. The painting conveys a message about the man constantly hoping for someone to come or something to happen because of how lonely he is. This also shows that he misses his loved ones in his life yet those people never seem to come which makes him feel invisible.
All of these artworks illustrates The Philippine Contemporary Art and I appreciated this genre of art better for the reason that most of it relates to the present. Modern Art conveys messages mostly about the social issues we’re currently facing. I understood and appreciated contemporary art more because I could relate to it and it’s something new or different from what art used to be. The Ancient Art was brilliant and creative as well but I didn’t understand most of it for I wasn’t born back then. The Modern Art is what I could appreciate more because I know most of what happened in the present and I see most of those social issues in everyday life.
The Met Museum was different from the National Museum because less artworks or paintings were displayed compared to the National Museum which had about two to three floors of artworks. The National Museum had a lot more visitors compared to the Met Museum and most of them were students and teachers. The National Museum had more visitors since it houses a lot more of educational and historical artworks. Although there was no one else except us who were roaming around the Met Museum, it was still the museum that I enjoyed more. The Met Museum may have had a few artworks displayed but it was the museum that I enjoyed and appreciated more. The National Museum was great as well but most of it were paintings and sculptures that were ancient or historical. In addition, most of the artworks in the National Museum were basic or simple. The paintings were creative and had a deeper meaning, it’s just that it wasn’t as enthralling as the artworks in the Met Museum. Met Museum had brilliant ways to show art just like the collage in mirror, repetitive videos, bubble machines, and the three-dimensional art such as the “Wood Things” by Junyee Lee and “Conversation with Bacon” by Annie Cabigting. The Met Museum was much more interesting and amusing compared to the National Museum for it houses the new, exciting and brilliant artworks made by the talented Filipino Artists.