Thursday, August 27, 2009
Philippines making interesting debut as country represented at ongoing "Art Taipei 2009"
By Nancy T. Lu
The Philippine contemporary art scene is largely unfamiliar to art aficionados in Taiwan. Yet there are many Filipino talents of different generations waiting to be discovered.
Galerie Joaquin’s first-time participation in Art Taipei 2009 — likewise the Philippines’ first exposure at the major art event — promises to be truly an eye opener for local art collectors.
But only a handful of the gifted and appreciated Filipino artists are being introduced through sample works at the booth of Galerie Joaquin at the Taipei World Trade Center. They include Ramon Orlina, Eufemio Rasco IV, Jaspher Penuliar, Jerry Morada, Lydia Velasco, Dominic Rubio, Anthony Palo, PJ Jalandoni and Daniel de la Cruz. Rasco, Rubio and Orlina have made impacts at a number of international art auctions and art trade shows in the last few years.
Opening night of Art Taipei 2009 on August 27 attracted a lot of inquiries at the booth of Galerie Joaquin.
Jack Teotico, editor of Contemporary Art Philippines, will speak on “Trends of Philippine Contemporary Art” at 10:40 a.m. on August 30 at the Taipei International Convention Center.
The developments in the Philippine contemporary art scene have been pretty blurred in the last decade or two for me due to my long absence. Yet in my early years as a journalist, I had the privilege to work for a newspaper magazine where exceptional Filipino artists like the late Rodolfo Ragodon, the late Nonoy Marcelo, Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, and Pablo Baens Santos were my colleagues.
I moved to another magazine a few years later. The famous Mauro Malang Santos had his office just one floor above mine in Intramuros, Manila, at that time. Manuel Baldemor, one of the most collected Filipino artists today, was working then for Malang. Together with two French artists, Baldemor is presently busy making a big mosaic mural for the Basilica of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Lisieux, Normandy, France. This masterpiece will be inaugurated in October 2009.
Bencab, one of the top Filipino painters today, made a surprise visit to Taipei years ago to participate in a group exhibition of prints at the National Museum of History on Nanhai Road. In recent days he has been one of the active leaders of the big protest lodged against Philippine President Gloria Arroyo’s controversial declaration of architect Francisco “Gabby” Manosa, fashion designer Jose Pitoy Moreno, stage luminary Cecile Guidote-Alvarez and cartoonist filmmaker Carlo J. Caparas as awardees of the National Artist honor. He even offered to return his own award to raise his full objection to the violation of the selection process this year. The case has reached the Philippine Supreme Court. Alvarez and Caparas have been the main targets of the protest initiated by a group of prominent Filipino artists.