Stories of Dreams and Realities – Contemporary Art from The Philippines @ Rossi Rossi

Rossi Rossi in association with The Drawing Room Gallery, Manila are presenting a group exhibition of contemporary art from The Philippines.

Alfredo Aquilizan, Roderico Jose Daroy, Kiko Escora, Kawayan de Guia, Riel Hilario, Troy Ignacio, Jose Legaspi, Diokno Pasilan, Lirio Salvador, Mark Salvatus and Trek Valdizno are all artists with a rich visual heritage whose works combine elements of fantasy, myth making and everyday life in varying degrees, commenting on a changing world in an increasingly international arena. Most artworks are clear references to the history and political status of the Philippines, with occupations from Spain, America and Japan throughout the centuries; this political instability and influx of foreign practices reasonably had an impact on the character of the local civilisation and its evolution.

Modern as well as contemporary art from the Philippines reflect apparent questions on social identity and the anxiety in expressing a local and a global character. The combination of a conservative and a modern aesthetic is visible via various practices that engage both traditional craft and modern art techniques in order to express spiritualism and modernism. Capitalism and American style democracy versus Catholicism also appear to be very popular iconographical elements in the works of the Filipino artists.

To celebrate this exhibition a full colour catalogue is available with an introductory essay and analysis by academic Patrick D. Flores, Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the University of the Philippines at Diliman, Curator of the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum and Adjunct Curator of the National Art Galleries of the Philippines and Singapore. Flores illuminated the collection as a showcase of how Filipino art, including the contemporary forms, has frequently dreamt of realities abroad while at the same time retaining a local sentimentality.

The exhibition is a great study for those who are keen on Asian art but also interested in modern art. Created by artists, who were inspired by the rich history and culture of the Philippines, they successfully demonstrate a strong artistic background. This reflects all characteristics of a such diverse environment leading to a unique cultural identity enhancing –at the same time- the passion for creation as well as existence.
|Kostas Prapoglou