I am so going to this exhibition. Contemporary art in the Walled City. Awesomeness. It’s exactly what Intramuros needs. And it opens on my birthday too. Go. Go. Go. Opens November 10.
Join us Friday November 4th to view the work of eight contemporary Filipino-American Bay Area artists. The show will include performance, painting, book art, video, sculpture, and installation.
At the Hologram 6-9pm. 2633 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA (27th and Telegraph)
The artists on display:
Elizabeth de Leon Travelslight
Mel Vera Cruz
About the exhibit:
“All of the Above” is challenging the assumption of identity in America while expanding the concept what it means to be “Filipino.” This exhibit champions the idea that our nationalism is more of an extension of a global nation where no one need fit neatly into one checked off box, but be comfortable with all the loose pieces that do in fact fit together. It is an exhibition of dreams and reality, limitations and expansions, traditions and contemporary life.
(vía BAY AREA ARTS CALENDAR - Fecal Face)
‘I fly like paper get high like planes’ by dawn ng, 2009
‘I fly like paper get high like planes’ is a sculptural installation by artist dawn ng that is composed of hundreds of paper airplanes. the project is based on ng’s interest in the concept of home and the associated feelings of nostalgia and the desire to leave.
This is Guernica, my favorite painting of Pablo Picasso. Guernica is one of the most influential and powerful anti-war paintings ever created; a cacophony of sights that invoked the almost inhuman bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the height of the Spanish Civil War.
In Basque culture the town of Guernica is one of the central cultural and historical centers. While it was the center of Basque culture it was far from a key military target. Instead it was a symbolic symbol of resistance; the only military installation was on the outskirts of the town. The only reason, the sole reason, for bombing Guernica was to intimidate the Basques; to cut out their heart in other words. It was shock, awe, and destroy. The bombing of Guernica was militarily meaningless except as a form of intimidation, a warning to all who dare stand up against the aspirations of Generalissimo Franco.
Rudolf Anheim wrote: “The women and children make Guernica the image of innocent, defenseless humanity victimized. Also, women and children have often been presented by Picasso as the very perfection of mankind. An assault on women and children is, in Picasso’s view, directed at the core of mankind.”
While George Steer, a journalist, described the devastation: “Guernica, the most ancient town of the Basques and the centre of their cultural tradition, was completely destroyed yesterday afternoon by insurgent air raiders. The bombardment of this open town far behind the lines occupied precisely three hours and a quarter, during which a powerful fleet of aeroplanes consisting of three types of German types, Junkers and Heinkel bombers, did not cease unloading on the town bombs weighing from 1,000 lbs. downwards and, it is calculated, more than 3,000 two-pounder aluminium incendiary projectiles. The fighters, meanwhile, plunged low from above the centre of the town to machinegun those of the civilian population who had taken refuge in the fields.”
Picasso was a Basque, at least he was on his mother’s side. So while he had been commissioned by the Spanish government to create a mural, instead he created the single most significant anti-war piece of his generation. A testament to the horror and devastation wrought by indiscriminate warmongering.
Picasso was a man of infinite creative vision. But what makes an artist endure is the timelessness of his work. Today, Guernica remains as potent as it was in 1937. Not only worldwide, but here today, right now in the Philippines we have elements in our government and civil society advocating for Filipinos to wage war on Filipinos. For no other reason other than it is the simplest solution to a complex problem. A shortsighted solution that will do nothing more than breed further anger, fuel more anti-Filipino sentiments, and ultimately result in further damaging the fabric of our nationhood.
Women and children will bear the brunt of such rash action, they always do. It is the civilians, the innocents and the powerless, that testify to the utter brutality of ‘all out’ war. In the act of trying to carve out a life of some means, they inevitably end up the cannon fodder for warmongers. Families torn apart, children driven by ‘revenge’ and hopelessness into insurgent groups, only then to end up bullet riddled fertilizer in some distant jungle.
Today is Pablo Picasso’s birthday. In 1937 the destruction of Guernica in his homeland drove him to craft one of the world’s most powerful paintings. He was railing against the horrors of war; he was drawing attention to the incalculable damage done. Amidst all the beauty he created, he also left a challenging and timeless warning.
The impact of any war is writ large in Guernica.
Kaya ba yan sa Ingles?
It’s such a trip that Pinoys are able to have this elevator conversation using only one syllable :)
Pinoytumblr’s second Christmas Toy drive for Museo Pambata
Make a child happy this Christmas by sharing and giving old (usable/still playable) or, better yet - new toys! You can drop your toy donations in the Museo Pambata office or museum lobby. :)
For groups who may wish to do a toy drive for Museo Pambata, you may get in touch with Museo Pambata’s Programs Department.
Share the ♥ love ♥ this Christmas! :)
Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive
Manila, Philippines 1000
Telephone: (632) 523.1797 to 98, 536-0595 local 103, look for Alex or Ely or Cha
Facsimile: (632) 522.1246
TEDxDiliman: How Art and Culture Can Save Our World
A Historian’s TEDxperience
It was a great privilege to be there, to mingle with like-minds about the issues that grapple the Philippines when it comes to culture and the arts. If not for a post in facebook 2 months ago, and the screening team in charge of screening worthy applicants to attend the event, I would not be there to share this via my blog. Aside from the fact that this was the first TEDx event in the Philippines, many speakers were invited, following the tradition of TED’s 20-minute presentation of each speaker to share their unique ideas.
For those of you not familiar with TED, it’s an acronym: Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED events are special events where prominent figures that made a mark in their respective fields (film directors, writers, CEOs, artists, inventors, scientists, musicians, historians, philanthropists, celebrities, etc). TED is now well-known in the web since they post the 20-min lectures on their website, free for everyone’s intellectual consumption. The thing about TED I like about is how they present these speakers in such a way that audiences will be captivated by the unique ideas these speakers share.
The TEDxDiliman was speaheaded by Gigo Alampay, president of CANVAS.ph, and is also a component of their project Looking for Juan, in celebration of Rizal’s 150th birthday.
The line-up of speakers as it happened were as follows:
THINK TV: Empowering the Filipino Viewer
Rico Gutierrez was a good salvo for the TED event as he showed that even in a noontime TV show, one can feature Shakespeare, creative content short films and theatrical performances. He proved that the masses can and want digest and absorb art, popularly perceived today as the luxury of the upper class. He closed his talk by saying “TV is pop culture, it is your life that tv imitates…The way to empower our audience is by giving them a choice and a voice.” SO TRUE.
My take: TV can dumbify, but it only does so when producers and directors make films/tv shows/variety shows to earn profit instead of making it a bridge for education and upliftment of our dangal.
Glecy Cruz Atienza
Buhay - Theater for Life
Glecy Cruz Atienza shared about her experience in the dramatic arts.
My take: Didn’t absorb much since it was here that technical difficulty of the keynote ensued. Although to be honest, I was turned-off when she started to reiterate green-jokes just to entertain people while the tech booth was fixing things. It’s miles away from the other speakers who shared lofty ideals. Kinda disappointing.
Why We Tell Stories
Patricia Evangelista, with her verve in sharing stories through her columns in Inquirer, did it again as she shared to the audience why she got into Human Rights. Evangelista reiterated that people believe fairy tales about our country, so much so, that a tragic massacre as it happened in Mindanao became a tremendous shock to Filipinos. She featured some heartwrenching clips about the Maguindanao massacre, a part of her documentary entitled “58”. I was teary-eyed when she said, “I continue to tell the story because I cannot forget…and I’m afraid I will.” Indeed.
My take: There is so much to do in our country. To break the feudal mindset of our people and to break the feudal ties in our regions. Democracy is still a vague concept for the Filipino. Truth, however painful, sets us free.
My Search for Magic
Auraeus Solito, a well-known director, shared his rediscovery of his own roots when he visited his relatives who are Palaw-an, an indigenous people in Palawan island. He said, we have been too much enslaved by words and that we need to go back to our roots to create new ways of story-telling.
My take: It’s admirable that Solito encourages going back to our roots. But his promotion of surrealism (as it was done in Latin American countries) is not a Filipino way. True art should not end in itself. Going back to our roots should also not be an end in itself. We do these because we have a greater purpose for doing so.
Learning by Living: A Museo Pambata Story
After a short break, Ms Yuson, began talking about how our very own Children’s museum in the Philippines began. She mentioned Christian Belmoros, a kid who made a penpal in Singapore through the inter-cultural projects of Museo Pambata. What’s so ennobling about the story was when he was funded by the museum to visit Singapore, share about Filipino culture in a Singaporean museum, and finally meet his penpal. These giant steps of a small under-funded museum is ennobling and touching. (Thank you Ms Yuson!)
My take: When Ms. Yuson showed to the audience the pictures of Christian Belmoros, I cannot help but notice the brightness of his eyes. I remembered Rizal’s quote, “There are no tyrants where there are no slaves.” Bravo to our Museong Pambata!
How to Draw an Eye
It was so entertaining to see Mr. Sena teach the audience how to draw a face. He broke that notion that only the talented can draw. He demonstrated that anyone can draw if one knows how to draw lines and shapes.
My take: Aside from his side-jokes that kept the audience laughing, his efforts to democratize art is amazing.
Payatas FC: Changing Children’s Lives Through Football
Roy Moore, an young Brit who decided to study Political Science in the University of the Philippines (I wonder, does he know that our politics is so similar to the Roman politics of the 1st-3rd century A.D.?) shared his vision of how football can be used to redirect the future of Filipino kids in the slums. Payatas Football Club pictures were shown to the audience, as Moore mentions the names of two kids changed forever by football.
My take: It’s very inspiring to hear that these kids by becoming part of his program will have a bright future ahead since they won’t waste their life away but focus on things that matter.
Lourd de Veyra
Art-Art Ka Diyan
While de Veyra was not there in the event itself, a video of him was featured in the line up of his popular vignette on TV, “Word of the Lourd.” He mentions that art cannot be popular in the Philippines since the Filipino needs to feed his stomach first. He also mentioned that art is dominated by the elite, implicitly telling the audience that art in the Philippines is quite useless since it doesn’t bring food on the table.
My take: It was good that right after that, TEDxDiliman showed a video clip of JR, a French artist as featured in TED.com wherein he showed how art can change the status quo. It clearly debunked Lourd de Veyra’s position. Another thing though, yes, a Filipino needs to put food on the table but can’t he not also think of deeper things and achieve higher things? Will he forever be a slave of his immediate needs?
Freedom is Our Competitive Advantage
Roby Alampay was a breathe of fresh air, as he shared his temporary stint in Thailand, and how we as a country are so fortunate to have freedom of expression. He compared our situation in Thailand, Malaysia, Burma and Singapore, where expression is censured thereby producing an art that is stifled. Alampay also shares stories of Asian journalists and artists unjustly imprisoned for simply standing for the truth. He tells the audience that our freedom here in the Philippines is our edge, and we must capitalize on this.
My take: Indeed, our freedom is our competitive advantage, but at the same time we need to realize that with freedom comes responsibility and maturity. Reckless freedom will not do us any good. Sometimes freedom is a license for offending and disrespecting the views of others. Another issue is, do we really have freedom in this country? Feudalism runs in our politics, even in the way we think. In this respect, freedom is an advantage, but it is also our demise. It is true what Rizal said, we will have true freedom if we deserve it…if we are willing to lay down our lives for it. By that cost, we will learn to treasure it and to be responsible for it.
Accountability / Countability
Bogie Ruiz started off with mentioning Stephen Hawking’s view of the universe and Ruiz’s realization that nothing matters. With this he suddenly springboards his talk to internal accountability.
My take: Ruiz fails to bridge his initial “nothing matters” into accountability. While hearing him speak, I was asking myself, “for what?” Why do we need to be accountable if nothing matters? Internal? By what standard of internal? All of us are subjective in our thinking. If our basis for accountability is internal then accountability doesn’t matter. This is where worldview comes in. Logically speaking, if nothing matters, accountability and even ‘countability’ does not follow. He needs to reformat his worldview.
O Juan / Simpleng Pilipino
The event ended with the music of Noel Cabangon while a group of unidentified artists uncovered the projector platform that turned out to be a large canvas where these artists painted the situation of the Philippines. By the time of Cabangon’s third song, the painting was finished.
All in all, the TED experience was a blast. A listener or an attendee will get a bigger picture of what’s happening in the culture and arts scene just by listening to the speakers featured. But can Art and Culture change the world? I’ll leave that to my next post.
Homage to the greatest female tattooer that has ever lived and one of my personal heroes:
Whang Od (Buscalan, Philippines)
When Whang Od was twenty-five, the man she was in love with died in a logging accident. Instead of looking for a new husband, she dedicated her life to tattooing and now sixty odd years later she is the last practitioner of an art form that many scholars believe is nearly one thousand years old. Whang Od is still tattooing in her nineties.
For all educators.