A Harvest of Arts in Boracay
Ani ng Sining Shines at Shangri-La Plaza HARVESTING ART IN A WARM PLACE: The Philippine International Visual Arts Festival 2010 Reuben Ramas Ca単ete, PhD
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Philippines is the overall policymaking body, coordinating, and grants giving agency that systematizes and streamlines national efforts in promoting culture and the arts. The NCCA promotes cultural and artistic development; conserves and promotes the nation’s historical and cultural heritage; ensures the widest dissemination of artistic and cultural products among the greatest number across the country; preserves and integrates traditional culture and its various creative expressions as a dynamic part of the national cultural mainstream; and ensures that standards of excellence are pursued in its programs and activities. The NCCA administers the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts (NEFCA).
Ani ng Sining Philippine International Visual Arts Fest ‘10 National Committee on Visual Arts Copyright © 2010
National Committee on Visual Arts Edgar “Egai” Talusan Fernandez Head - NCR
PIVAF ’10 Project Director Catalogue and Event Designer Photography Editor
Edgar “Egai” Talusan Fernandez
Co-Project Director Head - National Committee on Visual Arts
Reuben Ramas Cañete Exhibition Notes
Over-all PIVAF ’10 Project Manager
Vice-Head - Central Visayas, Region VII
Mary Ann Uy Secretary - NCR
Assistant Secretary - Northern Mindanao
Member - Western Visayas
Member - Central Luzon
Catalogue Final Art
Carlo Claudio Darell Tanhuan
Support Photography and Documentation
Catalogue Production Supervision
Member - Western Mindanao
Member - Southern Luzon
Norman “Nonoy” Narciso Member - Southern Mindanao
Member - NCR
Yuan Mor’O Ocampo Member - Northern Luzon
Member - Eastern Visayas
o be enamored by the beauty of one’s country is one thing, but to make such interpretations with the purpose of showcasing its beauty is another. In an archipelago blessed not only with lush coastlines and virgin flora, one wonders, where are we headed? Locally, the Filipino is known to be more than just part of a smiling populace. To our fellow men, we are a nation of promise – of talents recognized in countries other than our own. This is a trace of excellence perhaps set by our forefathers that has already set the bar for the future generations. As a diversified race, we have the ability to transcend time and space, adapt to cultures and make them truly ours. In the age of the digital revolution, one might think that the power of the tablet is greater that the palette, and sometimes deny that only a true artist can recognize the truth that lies in a single conscientious stroke or a flicker of a gas lamp at dusk. This is the force that drives the National Commission for Culture and the Arts to keep the annual Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF) afloat. The festival serves as a reminder to all of us that in every individual are the passion and determination to see art the way the artist does, regardless of generation, location and situation. Now, we represent the heart and mind of the Filipino – brave, ingenious, industrious and free – with the belief that the entire world might realize that our beauty lies not only in the beautiful landscapes we are so privileged to live in, but in the masterpiece our children will be born into. May the Lord continue to bless us that we may make that happen today. Mabuhay!
Executive Director National Commission for Culture and the Arts Office of the President
ow on its 20th year of honoring fine art in the Philippines, the NCCA launched the National Arts Month in the heart of the Filipino culture, Intramuros.
Every year, the NCCA hopes to admonish the notion that fine art is niche, that in the period where we write, create and talk on man-made technologies there is still that spark of genius in the weaves of canvas and pieces of clay. This year, we found ourselves on the pristine sands of Boracay, with the same effort to attract more artists and art lovers to join the celebration. Our local governments have been very supportive of our efforts to enjoin artists from the urban and rural corners of the country. The second leg of this year’s festival also welcomed new faces as an exhibition in the middle of Shangri-La Mall took place. Artists were also duly recognized for their contribution to the National Arts Month. We have seen a noticeable increase in our participants this year, as well as those who have shown their appreciation for our artists. This marks a good beginning for the next decade of the NCCA. It is with high hopes that we go on another year of promoting the inherent talent of our fellow men. May art flourish in our everyday endeavors that others will strive to uphold the influence we ourselves have nurtured through the years. More than anything, may the PIVAF and National Arts Month inspire all of us and encourage us to celebrate art on any day of the year.
EDGAR “EGAI” TALUSAN FERNANDEZ
Head – National Committee on Visual Arts Vice Head – Sub-Commission on the Arts National Commission for Culture and the Arts
n all my visits to Boracay Island through the years, I always found myself asking, “How come artists are not inspired to transform this white sandy beach into a white canvas?”
After years of questioning, I finally said, “Let’s do it.” This thought began the preparation for PIVAF 2010. After culminating last year’s PIVAF, which was successfully held in Robinsons Midtown in Malate, the PIVAF in Boracay Island was well on its way. To plant an artistic seed in an island such as this requires a lot of volunteerism from other artists. With this, NCVA head Egai Talusan Fernandez started to cultivate the work that was likened to a canvas with white gesso staring us in the face. Pressed for time and resources, the PIVAF 2010 resounded and was successfully held with festive spirits that left a mark on the art scene. It is also fitting to note that the second half of PIVAF held in Shangri-La Plaza has established the same success through daily workshops and lectures conducted by noted artists who are experts in their mastered medium. It was a collective effort that saw everyone through. Inspired by the vibrant colors and radiant smiles that filled the sands of PIVAF 2010, I would like to congratulate all the hard-working NCVA regional heads. Without your passion and faith to dream in the name of art, we wouldn’t be able to plant the seed together in Boracay. To all participating artists, let us all watch the seed we planted grow. Mabuhay ang PIVAF 2010!
Project Director PIVAF2010 Member Executive Council - the National Committee on Visual Arts National Commission for Culture and the ArtS
HARVESTING ART IN A WARM PLACE: The Philippine International Visual Arts Festival 2010 Reuben Ramas Cañete, PhD
While I complain of being able to glimpse no more than the shadow of the past, I may be insensitive to reality as it is taking shape at this very moment, since I have not reached the stage of development at which I would be capable of perceiving it. – Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques
The tropics as a space for intuiting, and then producing, art is fraught with memories of colonial subjugation or oriental exoticization, and the fetish for idyll pleasure. For those, like Filipinos, who historically underwent the first, and whose economy now relies on the second, the nature of the arts that arises speaks of the natives’ wish for equanimity with the races that it so ambivalently relates to, while projecting its own nativity as simultaneously different enough to merit visiting and spending on, and equipped with the global ciphers of consumptive leisure. In a sense, the art that grew in the Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF) 2010, harvested in the hot white sands of internationally-renowned Boracay Island, partakes of this doubled and split logic of fomenting visual representations of nation while refunctioning them within the mediagenic metalanguage of international tropical tourism. Suitably titled as “Harvest of the Arts”, the sights, sounds, and performances of PIVAF 2010 alludes to this reality of “white beach economics” as the hybrid space upon which the Filipino artist’s internationality is reconfirmed by foreign visitors and partygoers. On OneMGM Resort at Boracay’s White Beach, Filipino visual representations of the seven arts, painted by Audie Estrellada, Javy Villacin, Mercy Garcia, PG Zoluaga, Michelle Lua, Lorna Fernandez, and Jefferson Bangot, competed for attention with the body painting and display of Filipino and foreign bodies to both Filipino and foreign viewers, the former a stylized if anthemic restatement of native cultural difference; the latter the meshing of this cultural difference with the exoticization of the body as canvas of idyll global tropical pleasure.
In this exercise of searching not only for the International in the Philippines, but also the Philippine in the International, it is perhaps cogent to reflect on Javy Villacin’s Cross Connection (Red Series) as an apt metaphor for cross-cultural exchange and intersection: a Modernist adaptation of classical geometry done by a Filipino with both local (UP) and international (London) art training, and suffused with the multicultural associations of red as courage, as fortune, and as life. In another vein, Lorna Fernandez’s Home is Where the Heart Is not only fetishizes the placeness of domesticity from the vantage point of a woman artist, but also galvanizes this felt association of elsewhere-ness with postcolonial yearning, as it also points to Carlos Bulosan’s critically-acclaimed work of being an invisible and ignored nomad in America—an alienated exile whose home cannot be seen, only felt. The distancing and bracketing off of modernity and tropical idyll is also exemplified by the splitting of the PIVAF 2010 events into Shangri-La Plaza (urban as modern) and Boracay (rural as postmodern). In hindsight, the harvesting of art from such disparate locations, each with their own aesthetically problematic interstices of space, gesture, and economy, can only be unified by the statement of emergent equanimity by its producers as artists continue to grapple with issues of disjunctive national policy-making and global economic interpenetration on Philippine culture and the arts. The tentativeness of this statement, necessarily tempered by the continuing lack of access to proper pedagogic and transformative spaces for both production and critique of artistic practice, can be gauged by the necessity of including art workshops by local art organizations (AAP, SPS, and PAP) that operate as a parallax to the normative static mall exhibition. Internationalicity in this sense points to the level of cosmopolitan mimicry that Filipino artists have managed to foist in approximation to the global. Ferdinand Cacnio’s Odette points to this appropriated sense of the global, a dainty ballerina’s pirouette with its feather-like tutu flaring in eternal suspension. More trenchantly, Benjamin Cabrera’s multi-media print of ink, paper, and Plexiglass repeats a ghostlike pattern of lines that build up into a black terno animated by a spirit, which seems to comment on the virtuality of the art around it, its ineffable lightness contrasted by a black soul. Ultimately, a poignant symbol of the exhibition’s global carnivalization is Roel Obemio’s portly portrayal of a card player, in whose surreal background aspirations of flight and fantasy drift by on ghostly flying ships. Operating on the level of the semiotic, this gambler’s voyage, juxtaposed with the flash of painted bodies on a hot white beach, speaks volumes about the paucity of this year’s harvest, and how art, harvested in an overly warm place, can hang as listlessly as a ship’s sails in the doldrums—or bloom as wildflowers in a weed-choked wasteland.
Reuben Ramas Cañete is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Art Studies, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines at Diliman. An artist by profession, he has written for numerous publications such as Manila Times, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Kyoto Journal, dealing primarily with art studies. Aside from scrutinizing arts, his academic concerns also embraces topics covered by culture and society. In 1996,he won the Leo Benesa Award for Art Criticism, and served as president of the Art Association of the Philippines from 2000 – 2001.
A Harvest of Arts in Boracay
he National Committee for Visual Arts (NCVA) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) mounted a two-day Ani ng Sining (Harvest of the Arts) in Boracay, Aklan as part of its annual Philippine International Visual Arts Fest (PIVAF). Last February 18 and 19, 2010, each of the seven fields of art was represented at Boracayâ€™s beach front in an on-the-spot, open-to-the-public banner-making event. Creating these banners to represent the seven art fields are seven visual artists from the Visayas and Mindanao: Audie Estrellada for Architecture, Javy Villacin for Music, Mercy Garcia for Literature, PG Zoluaga for Dramatic Arts, Michelle Lua for Visual Art, Lorna Fernandez for Film, and Jefferson Bangot for Dance.
The seven artists was joined by all 13 members of the NCVA, led by NCVA head Egai Talusan Fernandez, in a body painting event followed by a runway show featuring a model for each of the seven art fields. PIVAF `10 is the flagship project of NCVA, and features as one of the highlights of this yearâ€™s Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF), which the NCCA has held since the inception of the National Arts Month in 1991. PIAF aims to showcase and celebrate the achievements of the various artists in the seven fields of art, whose work has been supported by the NCCA in the past year. The two-day Ani ng Sining in Boracay was held in conjunction with Radio Boracay, Boracay Foundation, Inc. and the OneMGM Resort and Convention Center.
...the art that grew in the Philippine International Visual Arts Festival (PIVAF) 2010, harvested in the hot white sands of internationallyrenowned Boracay Island, partakes of this doubled and split logic of fomenting visual representations of nation while refunctioning them within the mediagenic metalanguage of international tropical tourism...
Ani ng Sining Shines at Shangri-La Plaza
he National Committee for Visual Arts (NCVA) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) celebrated its annual Philippine International Visual Arts Fest (PIVAF) last February 24 to 28, 2010 at the Atrium of Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong. Highlighting the arts fest is a comprehensive art exhibition featuring several of the best visual artists from the National Capital Region and the rest of Luzon, affiliated with the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), the Printmakers Association of the Philippines (PAP), and the Society of Philippine Sculptors (SPS). Among the participating artists at this year’s PIVAF at Shangri-la are Siony Abaya, Allan Alcantara, Aris Bagtas, Kevin Baoson, Benjie Bisaya, Benjie Torrado Cabrera, Elito Circa, Fil Dela Cruz, Janos Dela Cruz, Maia Magpantay, Roel Obemio, Freddie Pilapil, Aner Sebastian, Crisanto Velasco, Jr. and Charlie Val. Also featured in the PIVAF exhibition are premiere sculptors Ral Arrogante, Ferdie Cacnio and Ronel Roces, as well as leading fine art photographers Luis Liwanang, At Maculangan and VJ Villafranca.
The opening ceremonies at the Shangri-la Plaza Atrium was followed by a series of art lectures and demonstrations by luminaries in their respective fields: Buds Convocar of the AAP for basic pastel painting (February 25); Ambie Abaño of the PAP for printmaking (February 26); Ral Arrogante of the SPS for Scrapology (February 27); and photography by Jay Alonzo (February 28). PIVAF`10 is the flagship project of NCVA, and features as one of the highlights of this year’s Philippine International Arts Festival (PIAF), which the NCCA has held since the inception of the National Arts Month in 1991. PIAF aims to showcase and celebrate the achievements of the various artists in the seven fields of art, whose work has been supported by the NCCA in the past year.
The festival serves as a reminder to all of us that in every individual are the passion and determination to see art the way the artist does, regardless of generation, location and situation.
of Art Association of the Philippines Pastel Painting Fundamentals February 25, 2010
of Printmakers Association of the Philippines Printmaking: An Artform February 26, 2010
by Society of the Philippine Sculptors Scrapology: From Nothing to Something February 27, 2010
Jay Alonzo Creative Photography Made Easy February 28, 2010
Acknowledgement The organizers and management of the Philippine International Visual Arts Fest `10 wish to thank the following for their invaluable aid and support: NCCA Department Heads and Staff Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez - Executive Director; Malou Jacob - Dep. Exec. Director; Josefina Maglalang - Chief of Finance; Adel Suemith - Chief, PMED; Mylene Urriza - PDO, PMED; Marichu Tellano - P/PFPD Chief; Ferdie Isleta - Arts Section Head; Lala Moldon, Niña Dueñas, Niño Selibio, Gina Barcelona - PDO, Arts Section; Alvin Soniega - PDA, Arts Section; Vanessa Marquez - Deputy Festival Manager, PIAF ‘10 One MGM Boracay Ms. Nenette Graf of Boracay Beach Resort Cory Batchelor of Cafe Del Mar Marlene Dualan of Shangri-La Plaza