Hat of the Matter

Curated by Bambina Olivares
October 26 - December 22, 2022

Signifier of status, barometer of style, the hat is never just a hat. Whether worn as protective headgear or elegant accessory, a hat carries on its brim multiple meanings that interweave art and craft, form and function, heritage and fashion, society, and sustainability.

Today, hats are as much expressions of personal style as they are vessels of creativity, experimental canvases for artists to explore the intersection of art, fashion, and utility. As headpieces, they encompass the functional to the theatrical, the fantastical to the conceptual, showcasing unfettered creativity whilst embodying a multitude of issues and attitudes that invite closer consideration, such as climate change, power structures, colonialism, and collective memory, income inequality, global supply chains, gender roles, and female empowerment.

Conceived as a complement to Korea: A Land of Hats, an international traveling exhibition, The Hat of the Matter examines hats and headwear as wearable and conceptual art through a uniquely Filipino prism.