Leonardo Locsin + Ildefonso P. Santos

A Legacy of Popular Filipino Modernism

May 23 – July 20, 2019

Galeriya Banko Central ng Pilipinas

Architecture and landscapes are central to the formation of identity and nationhood. In the 1950s and 1960s, Filipino architects were fascinated with modernism as they sought to rebuild a brave new world in the aftermath of World War II and chart the future of a new nation. Denouncing historicism and ornamentation of the colonial past, the modern spaces crafted by National Artists Leandro V. Locsin (1928-1994) and Ildefonso P. Santos, Jr. (1929-2014), during this period provided the appropriate architectural image that represented decolonization, growth, and advancement for the Filipino nation.  Modernism possessed a symbolic allure of a new architecture that would promote national identity.  Landscapes would function as urban and ecological armatures that enable the people to flourish, both socially and physically.

The modernist edifices and landscapes featured in this exhibition were designed not only as avant-garde modes to radically digress from tradition but as ways to transform the everyday life of the Filipino—palpably weaving a civic narrative and popular culture that consolidates a collective consciousness and public memory to inculcate ties of loyalty to an imagined Filipino nation.

Ang arkitektura at mga paysahe ay pangunahin sa pagbuo ng pagkakakilanlan at pagkabansa. Noong 1950s at 1960s, nahumaling ang mga Filipinong arkitekto sa modernismo habang pinagpupunyagian nilang itindig ang isang bagong mundo mula sa guho ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig at balangkasin ang kinabukasan  ng isang bagong nasyon.  Tumutuligsa sa historisisimo at pagpaparikit ng kolonyal na nakaraan, ang mga modernong espasyong nilinang nina Leandro V. Locsin (1928-1994) aat Ildefonso P. Santos, Jr. (1929-2014) noong mga panahong ito ay nagdulot ng angkop na imaheng pang-arkitektura na kumatawan sa dekolonisasyon, paglago, at pag-unlad ng bansang Pilipinas. Ang modernismo ay nagtataglay ng pagiging lubhang kabigha-bighani ng makabagong arkitektura na magsusulong ng pambansang pagkakakilanlan. Ang mga paysahe ay magsisilbing mga urban at ekolohikal na balangkas na magbibigay-daan sa pag-unlad ng mamamayan, sa kapuwa panlipunan at pisikal na paraan.

Ang makamodernong mga gusali at paysahe sa eksibisyong ito ay dinisenyo hindi lamang bilang isang daluyan ng makabagong ideya upang talikdan ang tradisyon kung hindi paraan upang mabanyuhay ang pang-araw-araw na buhay ng mga Pilipino – madiing hinahabi ang isang lokal na sanaysay at kulturang popular na bubuo ng kolektibong kamalayan at ala-ala upang mapalalim ang katapatan sa isang bansang Pilipinas na ating pinapangarap.

Art by Design

the Filipino Modern

April 13 – May 11, 2019

“Art by Design: The Filipino Modern” is a counterpart exhibition to “100 Years of German Werkbund”, which features the turn of Philippine modernism influenced by government-sponsored projects in culture and the arts in the 1970s. One of the components that developed from this atmosphere of modernism is design, merging the notion of national identity with the international turning point. Rearticulations of western influenced designs are tempered in the sculptural format by artists and architects, and is further stimulated by institutions like the Design Center of the Philippines. 

The exhibition examines the trajectory of modernist design two-fold: the impact of Arturo Luz’s body of work and appointment as director of both the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and the Design Center of the Philippines by former first lady Imelda Marcos; and a corresponding response through the MET’s sculpture collection—works by artists and architects similarly conscious of both locality and worldliness

Arturo Luz worked with an elegant sensibility of Zen aesthetics meets Bauhaus functionality in linearity and minimalism, taking advantage of various mediums to play with abstraction, geometric figures and forms. The clarity of form is scaled from small angular figures to massive outdoor stabiles. His artistic practice further extends to his administrative leadership at the DCP and MET, establishing set principles for industrial design and museum work.

The sculptural form found in the MET Collection evokes modernist sensibilities from art to architecture and furniture, with planar and sloped configurations that stylizes the natural shape. Cast metal, found objects, processed glass, and tropical hardwood express the progression of modernist sculpture from the works of Napoleon Abueva, Lor Calma, Eduardo Castrillo, Honrado Fernandez, J. Elizalde Navarro, Ramon Orlina, Imelda Pilapil, Solomon Saprid, and Claude Tayag.

100 years of Deutecher Werkbund

Architecture and Design of Germany 1907|2007

April 04 – May 25, 2019

In 1907, twelve artists and architects along with twelve Munich firms joined to form Deutscher Werkbund. The aim to refine the entire industrialized world “from the sofa cushion to urban development” to an artistic point of view and to “educate” the populace with “well”-formed objects defined the Deutscher Werkbund’s work until the last third of the 20th century.

The exhibition is designed to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Deutscher Werkbund (DWB), a German association of artists, architects, designers, and industrialists, born out of a desire for greater efficiency in the crafts industry, better design for industry, and a more modern approach to architecture. Through the exhibition of posters, models, furniture, design, drawings and photos, it describes the efforts, successes and achievements of DWB – an institution  that helped to shape cultural life in Germany and in other European countries as well.

Fashion Revolution

the Future of Textiles

Upper Galeries

January 29- April 30, 2019

An exhibit on conscious and sustainable fashion Fashion is, perhaps, one of the top polluting industries in the world. Clearly, we must start producing and consuming clothing with an increased consideration for its environmental and social footprint. In Sweden, the challenges to find hew solutions is met by conglomerates, start-ups, consumers and research centres working together. The goal is to stay “fashionably sustainable.” In partnership with Swedish fashion brands H&M Philippines and BabyBjörn, the Fashion Revolution exhibition showcases the progress done in making the Swedish fashion industry more circular in both production and consumption.

Gendered Bodies 

in Southeast Asia

Friday, January 25, 2019

Gendered Bodies in Southeast Asia is a collaborative curatorial initiative between the Filipino curator Tessa Maria Guazon and Taiwanese curator Fang-Tze Hsu. This research-oriented exhibition project is a homage to female artists who are both frontiers of transforming arts’ roles in contemporary societies and the educators of artistic communities. Gendered Bodies in Southeast Asia is also a study of aesthetic operations addresses contemporary precarity through a trans-generational effort represented by artists from the region of Southeast Asia. Taking the comparative path as exhibition-making process, we hope to bring forth the historical legacies established by artists such as Brenda Fajardo (B. 1940, the Philippines), Amanda Heng (B. 1951, Singapore), Wu Mali (B. 1957, Taiwan) as our point of departure and to formulate a dialogue with the younger generation of artists who continue their critical endeavors with new aesthetic languages.