Philippine Art

Collection Selections with Community Voices

By Asian Art Museum

Central panel of a blanket (kumo) (approx. 1950)Asian Art Museum

These works from the Asian Art Museum were in the exhibition, "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories" and are presented here with comments from the community and from curators.

Woman's blouse (albong takmun) (approx. 1850-1920)Asian Art Museum

"The Philippine peoples are related and are distinct in constantly shifting, dynamic ways. In fact, the metaphor of weaving presents itself as eminently useful:

the fabric of culture features isolate elements, distinct patterns and leitmotifs

Woman’s blouse (camisa) (approx. 1850-1950)Asian Art Museum

but also overlays, border zones, embroideries, interlacings and patchwork."
—Marion Pastor-Roces

Ceremonial deity (bulul) (approx. 1930)Asian Art Museum

"I have visited Ifugao country several times, and the highlight of my time there was interviewing George Pepe in Banaue, one of the last remaining Mambaki priests of his lineage. This figure is a "bulul," a rice deity and is thought to bring a fertile rice harvest."
James Sobredo, Ph.D.

Crucified Christ (approx. 1650-1750)Asian Art Museum

"The figure of the Christ takes me back to going to Catholic school. In the Philippines, it’s very typical in a town to have the Catholic church and then a Catholic school nearby. So I was in church almost every day, except Saturday.

Seeing the image of Christ brings back a lot of memories. The figure is so elegantly carved and painted that when I look at it, I feel Christ’s sadness. But also the serenity in his face is wonderful."
Edwin Lozada

Popcorn Sellers in the Luneta (1961) by Anita Magsaysay-HoAsian Art Museum

"Anita Magsaysay-Ho is one of the few female artists that have been recognized in the Philippines. Her subjects were women in their normal daily lives. As a feminist, I know how hard it must have been for her to rise in that field."
Victoria Santos

1081 (1975) by Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (Filipino, b. 1942)Asian Art Museum

"1081 was the proclamation that directly and indirectly caused many Filipinos to migrate to America. It’s why I’m currently in San Francisco. The artwork is a powerful reminder of the atrocities and complex atmosphere of the era. It’s also an echo of the current situation of the Philippines."
Kristian Kabuay

Native Song (1999) by Santiago Bose (Filipino, 1949 - 2002)Asian Art Museum

"Santi Bose was a friend. His works range from very lyrical pieces to ones with political content, like this piece.

I remember hearing him say that in the Philippines, we’re poor and we don’t have money for oil and materials. He said that art can be made out of ordinary objects, things that are within your environment.

To me, this was a way of breaking through the mystique that art is only for a certain class of people or certain institutions."
Teresita Bautista

Everything is Sacred #1 (2009) by Norberto Roldan (Filipino, b. 1953)Asian Art Museum

"Sacred and banal, art and altar, Noberto Roldan’s work reflects the tensions and contradictions of faith in the Philippines.

This work speaks to the Philippines’ long history of Catholicism as well as its even longer history of faith in amulets and herbal remedies.

The juxtapositions of Christian icon and precolonial talisman does not strike the viewer as contradictory, though; instead it presents a layered narrative about belief and healing, faith and history."
Natasha Reichle

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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