In 2008, the Asia-Europe Museums Network or ASEMUS organized the exhibition Self and Other: Portraits from Asia and Europe. The project started in Japan at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka and travelled to the National Museum of Art in the same city, the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Hayama and the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History. Brian Durrans, advisor of the British Museum, explains that in Japan, the exhibitions “outline the complex history of mutual perception through the medium of visual representations” between Asian and European peoples. It was contemplated at the outset that variations on the same theme would be presented in places like London, Stockholm, and Manila. Mr. Durrans continues that this was “one of the more ambitious of several core projects organized within ASEMUS…(which was) established in 2001 on the initiative of ASEF, the Asia-Europe Foundation.”
The Manila contribution will be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and will be titled Bisa: Potent Presences. Its premise spins from the Filipino word for potency, efficacy, charm, enchantment, specter, and prowess that is linked up with talismanic culture as well as cognate to the Bahasa Malayu for ability, the possibility of doing. The exhibition, therefore, dwells on agency, the will of the self to relate to the other in a post-colonial context. The latter is salient because the Philippines has had the longest engagement with western-style painting and its modality of image making. When the Portuguese mariner Magellan set foot on the archipelago in 1521, he presented the image of the Christ Child to the chieftain’s wife; and three centuries later, the first school of drawing in Asia opened under the auspices of a homegrown miniaturist painter. It is this lasting and enduring liaison with image in a post-colonial scheme that gives the Philippine segment its distinction and the various guises of affection that the representation of self and other, conceived in the plural sense of presences, generate.
curator: Patrick Flores, Phd
Opening tonight at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.[b]
3 of my black and white works on Mining will be on exhibit, so are Teena Saulo's work about religious rituals, Veejay Villafranca's works about the Gangs of Baseco and his recent works on Religion.
Exhibition opens at 6:30pm.
See you there!