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Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

Clarissa Chikiamco on Philippine independent art spaces funding challenge: Phillippine Star

Posted by artradar on July 14, 2010


PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENT ART SPACES FUNDING

In a recent Philippine Star article, Clarissa Chikiamco, a Manila-based art writer and independent curator, discussed the current difficult funding situation affecting Filipino independent art spaces, which parallels similar issues that arose in the Philippines fifty years ago.

Squeezed between “commercial gallery apparatus” and the “supposed behemoths of institutions”, independent art spaces, also called “artists-run or alternative”, are crucial for contemporary art as they “provide a more accessible environment ripe of the speculative”. However, as Chikiamco points out, three areas contribute to the inevitable fate of closure for independent art spaces.

Day-to-day expenses a struggle

First, lack of stable funding means that day-to-day expenses for these spaces are the most difficult to find.

Operational costs are the basic necessities which funding institutions nearly always shy away from, preferring instead to back output-type undertakings such as events or publications. Without stable funding time tick-tocks on the expiration date of these spaces, just like the legendary Philippine Art Gallery 50 years ago, need money ‘to pay for the light’.

Funding structure of NCCA needs a revamp

Second, Clarissa Chikiamco explains that the funding structure of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) needs to be re-examined. The strong case in point is Green Papaya Art Projects, an art space invited to attend the 2010 edition of “No Soul for Sale” at the Tate Modern, which aimed to showcase the “most exciting non-for-profit centres, alternative institutions and underground enterprises”. Each invited group had to secure their own funding to participate. Green Papaya’s request for funding to the NCCA was denied, strangely because the event wasn’t in the “list of prestigious international event”. Chikiomco notes that incidents like this reflect a deeper problem:

The schism between the NCCA and the community seems to have gotten wider in recent years, the government having an increasingly notorious reputation as a consistently unreliable source of support for the arts. Support in tangible materials is obviously in short supply but it goes beyond that to demonstrate a demoralizing lack of appreciation and understanding of the government of its country’s art scene.

Bea Camacho’s 11-hour performance at the Turbine Hall, part of Green Papaya Art Projects’ program for “No Soul for Sale.” Courtesy Green Papaya

Bea Camacho’s eleven-hour performance at the Turbine Hall, part of Green Papaya Art Projects’ program for “No Soul for Sale". Image courtesy of Green Papaya Art Projects.

Private support not an alternative

Third, Chikiamco states that private support, as a strong alternative to government funding in countries where the latter is declining, cannot be depended on in the Philippines. The few businesses that support the arts are more concerned with name branding; company-sponsored art competitions are the major form of participation these businesses take.

She then explores ways to improve the Philippine art funding challenge. There is a need to channel funds and good intentions for the arts to meet the basic needs of the art scene. A spirit of philanthropy is needed, while the sponsorship practice must be professionally branded so that corporations are properly recognised. Private support can come in many forms: bequests given to museums, travel grants, residencies for local artists to exhibit abroad, or simply covering the overhead expenses for independent art spaces.

Clarissa Chikiamco ends the article on an inspiring note:

Grounded in concrete resources and a healthy sense of reality, an art scene can — and will — only progress as far as our vision can take us.

Philippine independent art spaces profiled

Green Papaya Art Projects

Founded in 2000 by Norberto Roldan and Donna Miranda, Green Papaya Art Projects is the longest running independently run creative multidisciplinary platform in the Philippines. Its mission is to support and organise actions and propositions that explore tactical approaches to the production, dissemination, research and presentation of contemporary practices in varied artistic fields. It was the only Filipino group invited to “No Soul for Sale in 2010, billed by The New York Times as “the Olympics of nonprofit groups”.

mag:net GALLERY

Aiming to be at the forefront of Filipino contemporary art, mag:net  has been a cafémagazine/book/music/film store, exhibition space and a performance hub for many emerging local artists since the early 2000s. mag:net has eleven offshoots in Manila today, hosting exhibitions, film screenings, music and poetry readings and artist talks.

Mag:net gallery weekly updated schedule of events. Courtesy Mag:net gallery

mag:net GALLERY's weekly updated schedule of events. Courtesy Mag:net Gallery.

Over the years, their nicely run café business enables the gallery to stay independent and sustainable. Along with their carefully curated weekly changing events, this explains mag:net GALLERY’s successful management compared to other artist run spaces in the Phillipines and elsewhere.

Current exhibition at Mag:net gallery. Jucar Raquepo, Terror East, mixed media. Courtesy of Mag:net gallery

Jucar Raquepo's 'Terror East', part of a current exhibition at mag:net GALLERY. Image courtesy of mag:net GALLERY.

Silverlens Foundation

Established in 2006 in Manila, Silverlens Foundation is a grant-awarding body for photography artists. It provides professional and financial support for these artists through completion, acquisition, and exhibition. The Foundation is currently establishing a lending collection of contemporary photography and reference library relevant to the Philippines. It also regularly organises art talks, film screenings, lectures and slide shows.

Surrounded by Water and Big Sky Mind

The two pioneering artist run independent spaces in the Philippines were Surrounded by Water and Big Sky Mind, founded in 1998 and 1999 respectively by Wire Tuazon and Ringo Bunoan.

They both formed a close-knit artists’ community and invited their artist friends to exhibit and congregate. The goal of these spaces was to promote contemporary art by engaging in dialogues, encouraging innovation and diversity in art and supporting young and less established artists. Artists who passed through these two doors often became noteworthy characters in the Manila art scene.

Both spaces are defunct now, as both artists’ agenda deviated after they moved into the “mainstream”. Bunoan works with Asia Art Archive while still working on her art. Tuazon is working on his paintings for important art centres in Asia, organising festivals, and curating exhibits.

SXB/KN

Related Topics: artist run spaces, funding, nonprofit

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Posted in Art spaces, Artist-run, Business of art, Filipino, Funding, Manila, Nonprofit, Overviews, Philippines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Balgo Hills art: Indigenous Australian art by renowned masters in rare tour through Asia

Posted by artradar on March 3, 2010


CONTEMPORARY INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN ART

Bright colors and mythical subjects in 26 works of internationally-renowned Balgo-style Australian desert art on tour in Asia: information about the show and a primer on the Balgo art genre

The exhibition

Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills is an internationally touring exhibition of significant works from Australia’s Artbank collection.

The exhibition shows 26 works by a small community of Indigenous Australians from the Balgo Hills, a desert area in the northeast of Western Australia.

An important and highly respected range of prints by senior Balgo artists sits alongside a collection of works by emerging artists from the region.

Kathleen Paddoon, Nakarra Nakarra, etching on paper, 64 x 39 cm, 2005

image courtesy of TFAM

Balgo Hills

Priests of the German Catholic Pallottine Order established Balgo as a refuge mission in 1939. Unusually, the priests and nuns of the mission encouraged the Indigenous Australians to use their local language and customs, keeping traditional culture alive. The mission moved to the Balgo Hills area, where the community lives today, in 1965.

At Balgo Hills, different language groups were brought together as one community, and the community is collectively known as Kutjungka, meaning “being of one culture”. This mix of language and tradition has heavily influenced the Balgo artworks we see today.

Paintings from the Balgo Hills were first introduced to the world in the 1980s. An adult education centre was built in the community in 1981. Works produced here were shown at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 1986, in the pivotal exhibition Art from the Great Sandy Desert. The success of this significant exhibition lead to the establishment of the Warlayirti Artists Corporation in 1987.

Susie Bootja Bootja, Kaningarra, near the Canning Stock Route, acrylic on linen, 150 x 76 cm, 2000

image courtesy of TFAM

The Dreaming

The overarching theme expressed by Balgo artists is the Dreaming. The Dreaming is a complex and holistic concept that refers to a time of mythological Ancestral Beings or Sky Heroes, to Law (or the system of moral governance) and to religious beliefs.

Works by Balgo artists portray their ancestral stories of the land or “country” (what Indigenous Australians call land) through the depiction of nature. To Balgo artists, nature is a real replication of the Dreaming. The artists meditate on the Dreaming by depicting nature in their artworks.

Balgo “style” is more true to life than other Western Desert styles. The symbols used in the paintings stem from those used in traditional sand painting and drawing, and from body painting. The artists are known for their vivid choice of colours and balanced, often symmetrical, design. A blend of modernity and tradition is clear in work from the Balgo Hills; traditional tribal myths are recreated using modern acrylic and etching.

Brandy Tjungurrayi, Narroo, acrylic on linen, 120 x 80 cm, 2002

image courtesy of TFAM

The artists

There are a number of significant senior “master” Warlayirti (Balgo Hills) artists, all of whom are internationally recognised.

Lucy Yukenbarri and Susie Bootja Bootja both work with dots; Yukenbarri’s places her’s close together to form scalloped lines while Bootja Bootja creates dotted color fields.

Many of these artists use their various painting styles to represent water sources and the importance these have in their lands: Helicopter Tjungurrayi, Boxer Milner, Fred Tjakamarra, Tjumpo Tjapanangka, Lucy Loomoo and Elizabeth Nyumi.

Commonly, Bob Dingle Tjapanangka and John Lee Tjakamarra portray Luurnpa, the Ancestral Kingfisher, who lead the Kukatja people to their lands in the Dreaming. Brandy Tjungurrayi also portrays important Dreaming figures, but in sharp geometrics.

Kathleen Paddoon is known for her dramatic use of bright colour and a particularly minimalist approach.

Uniquely, Joan Nagomara works in the style of the early days of Balgo’s emergence, using it to show the ritual activities that tie her to her country.

Eubena Nampitjin and Ningie Nangala Nangala work with the hills and rocky outcrops of their countries, representing them in a minimalist linear fashion.

Stand-out emerging artists from the Balgo Hills region include Pauline Sunfly, who paints using intense color combinations, Miriam Baadjo, who presents the important Two Children Dreaming, and Jimmy Tchooga, who paints his father’s creation story.

The tour

Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills has already shown in New Zealand, the Philippines, the USA, Thailand and Taiwan, and is currently exhibiting in Hong Kong. Further destinations include Vietnam, mainland China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Korea. A touring schedule is available via the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

KN/KCE

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Posted in Ancestors, Australia, Australian, China, Conceptual, Emerging artists, Identity art, India, Korea, Land art, Landscape, Mythical figures, Painting, Philippines, Social, Taiwan, Thailand, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ten emerging Filipino artists in biggest outdoor gallery in Asia – Philippine Star

Posted by artradar on November 21, 2008


Lotsu Manes

Lotsu Manes

FILIPINO ART OPEN AIRBillboards can be traced as far back as 4,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt in the form of a tall stone obelisk used by merchants to promote their goods. Now, thousands of years later, the billboard’s use has invariably remained the same – a tool for advertisement.

But 2nd Media – the public affairs arm of the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP) – is going to write a new chapter in billboard history with the launch of the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route.

“Art throughout history has inspired change by always going beyond the frame,” says Dondie Bueno, 2nd Media spokesperson, “and together with the OAAP, we aim for the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route to be a catalyst for change in the metro by pushing the boundaries of what billboards can be.”

Dubbed the biggest outdoor gallery in Asia, it features artworks from 10 of the most promising Filipino artists such as Popo San Pascual, Riel Hilario, Eddie Boy Escudero, Jose Tence Ruiz, Mario V. Fernandez, Gari Buenavista, MM Yu, Lotsu Manes, and Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, who, together with Tina Fernandez of ArtInformal, curated the exhibit.

Mag Resiklo

Mag Resiklo

Sharing a theme that highlights environmental awareness, these artworks located in key locations across the metro beginning from Commonwealth, EDSA up to NLEX, is in support of the ongoing international movement rallying for nature conservation.

“People are not used to seeing paintings on a billboard. This momentarily takes them out of their daily grind and they start to notice. Can you imagine a better way to drive your message across than to evoke reactions from passersby?” continues Bueno.

OAAP president Frank Abueva says that the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route is the change that the billboard industry has long been waiting for. “This will herald a new era for billboards because it has debunked all existing negative perceptions about billboards and the industry.”

Even advertisers, who have long used billboards for their products, are excited about this revolutionary event by 2nd Media and the OAAP. “It’s a very interesting idea, probably the first of its kind. As a company that’s also very active in promoting social awareness, like in this one saving the environment, this is definitely something that we support and commend,” says Suyen Lim, brand manager for Human.

Also through the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route, 2nd Media and the OAAP aim to raise awareness that billboards are, in fact, effective channels for communication and are not just tools for advertising. “We want these paintings and photographs on billboards to enrich and entertain people. We want them to engage in discussions about the artwork they saw in Cubao or how they liked the one in Ortigas better.”

Aside from bringing art to the people, the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route also complements the initiatives of the local government towards uplifting the country’s urban landscape. “Galleries often show their best artists at fairs or exhibits, and these artists who contributed their works to the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route are the cream of the crop and deserve no less than the biggest outdoor gallery in Asia.”

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Posted in Art spaces, Emerging artists, Filipino, Manila, Open air, Philippines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Filipino artist Alwin Reamillo’s Helicopter project to tour Australia in 2009

Posted by artradar on September 10, 2008


 

FILIPINO ART Australian-based Filipino artist Alwin Reamillo’s collaborative sculpture called the Thuringowa Helicopter Project is to tour Australia’s capital cities as part of Kultour 2009. “Craft refers to a process of making a creative form of some sort, but also refers to sea/water vessels.” explains Reamillo to Asia Art Archive magazine, Diaaalogue. In my work “I fuse these literal meanings or states with alternative references. Helicopters are vehicles, quite literally in the form they take, but also become vessels of culture, and projects that mobilize communities, becoming vehicles of change”.

Another project which is commanding international attention is his on-going Grand Piano project which has taken place in several countries and is currently on show at the UP Vargas Museum in the Philippines.The project, officially titled the Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project,  takes the form of an installation, which also functions as a stage/workshop space for the restoration of three found pianos. “It breathes life into the musical legacy of one of the leading composers of the Philippines, Nicanor Abelardo” says Reamillo. “Nicanor Abelardo pioneered the research of traditional Tagalog folk music, and is considered the country’s first modernist composer”.

The installation focuses on Abelardo’s classical work, ‘Mutya ng Pasig’ (Muse of Pasig), which is animated through text, objects, found piano parts and imagery drawn from photographs and popular culture. The grand piano will be developed in September and will be launched for an all-Abelardo concert.

Autumn 2008 will be busy for Reamillo. He is involved in a project, which will culminate in performances and exhibitions in August/September 2008, based around the creation of a submersible deep-sea exploration vessel and a shadow play. At the same time he is currently preparing an exhibition of a new series of mixed-media objects in the form of toy piano wings, as part of an installation at Gallery East in Western Australia in August 2008 and Manila in December at Galleria Duemila.

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Posted in Australia, Collaborative, Conceptual, Filipino, Installation, Manila, Performance, Philippines, Projects, Vehicles | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »