Midterm Project: MET Museum

Last October 14, I visited the MET Museum. Inside are two exhibits: the Configuring Philippine Print and Philippine Contemporary: To Scale the Past and Present. In these exhibits, I selected artworks that captured my attention the most.

Configuring Philippine Print displays the print collection of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

This is “Trapped Figures” by Mario Parial. The artwork shows figures and symbols being trapped inside a box. For me, the picture conveys that people who are trapped in their insecurities and darkness can’t perceive the feeling of freedom and happiness in life.
Next artwork is “Strangers” by Josefina Escudero. The two symbols are facing in different directions. I think the painting tells us that we may interact and get help through a stranger, but at the end of the day, we separate ways and go on in our journey.
The third artwork is called “South of Abacus” by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. On the top frame, it shows a design of abacus, meanwhile, on the bottom frame shows a maze-like figure. For me, it conveys that some live in an organized, peaceful and worry-free way. However, the others live in a problematic, confusing and challening way.
Fourthly is the “Bakas ng Nakaraan” by Orlando Castillo. People and animal with angelic wings, and statues with broken arms can be seen in this painting. I think it’s trying to convey that the past is simple, and people can live in imperfection, compared today.
Lastly, the “Tahanan” by Manuel Baldemor. It shows a bahay-kubo with a modern style house. For me, the picture is trying to tell us that home is where people should feel safe and loved the most. Also, there can be a mix design of the past and present houses.

For me, the purpose of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for having its own art collection is for people in different generations experience and see the Philippines’ history. The various artworks, sculptures, and masterpieces help deepen their understanding, awareness and knowledge of the events that happened in the history of their country. Through their art collection, the people can also realize how much the Philippines’ evolved throughout the years in terms of economy, political and socio-cultural aspects.

On the other hand, the second exhibit shows more of the contemporary art of the Philippines. It displays the timeline and evolution of Philippine Contemporary Art. Sadly, I couldn’t take pictures because it was not allowed. This exhibit contains so many excellent, breathtaking and beautiful artworks. It made me conscious of the fact that Filipinos are really talented, gifted and creative.

“Last Supper” by Norma Belleza

This artwork is very important because it depicts the last meal of Jesus’ with his apostles before he was captured and crucified. This is one of the significant events on the Bible and it can be said that this played a part in Filipino’s lives.

“Epilogo” by Sanggawa

Our history is very much the subject in this artwork. Different events during the times when Philippines was colonized was included. Also, the heroes who sacrificed themselves out of love for the country can be identified. This masterpiece clearly shows the history of the Philippines in the most creative and significant way possible.

“Afterglow” by Romero Tabuena

This painting shows the livelihood of early Filipinos. The women are wearing traditional clothes. It made me think of how simple life was before the technology was invented. Also, the artwork conveys how striving Filipinos are.

“Nativity” by Ramon Estrella

In this artwork, the birth of Jesus is being emphasized. With the newborn Jesus is Mary, Joseph and the three wise men. This is also one of the significant events in the Bible and has a deep connection with the lives of the Filipinos.

“Enero Nuebe” by Danilo Dalena

The moment I saw this artwork, the word ‘survival’ popped out in my mind. Lots of people are trying to climb up on one another, aiming for the top. This can also be related to how Filipinos are fighting for their freedom against the colonists.

The Met Museum is different from the National Museum in a way that both have their own unique styles. The former leans more on the contemporary art. It portrays the life of Filipinos before in the most creative way. During my visit here, I was really entertained and amazed by the different creative outputs of the talented artists. Meanwhile, on the latter, all artworks and masterpieces are contributed to the History of the Philippines. I can’t help but feel awed by how these masterpieces represents the history of the Philippines and how those artworks were from the national artists. Overall, I enjoyed my visits in both museum. I appreciated not only the art itself, but also the efforts of the artists who made beautiful and meaningful masterpieces about the history of our country. Also, I noticed that the National Museum had more variety of visitors compared to the Met Museum. In the National Museum, people in different age-range were present. While in the Met Museum, only a few students like me were there. I think it was also because of how strict the security and confidential the artworks were in that exhibit.

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