“Parang kailan lang…” and now we are already in the last quarter of the year. Who would have thought that we’d be back to almost normal at this time? The year started still filled with uncertainties and anxieties, wondering when we would get to a better normal.
And while there are still some worries about the virus, we have survived and managed to make it through the year.
With less than two months before we welcome the new year, it seems the live event industry, hospitality industry, and arts community are in full swing, with different events filling up my calendar.
Aside from the annual tree-lighting events, theaters, cinemas, and other performing arts venues have something to offer. Just last week, I was able to watch We Will Rock You at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati. If you are a fan of British rock band Queen, you should catch this jukebox musical based on a book by Ben Elton.
The visual arts community is also quite busy. In fact, several exhibits are happening simultaneously in the metro. Here are some exhibits I recommend you visit this weekend (or the next).
Traces of Infinity
Just recently, Conrad Manila unveiled the 21st installment of its Gallery C’s Of Art and Wine exhibit, featuring artworks by Filipino visual artist Impy Pilapil, on view until January 7, 2023.
Dubbed Traces of Infinity, it exhibits Pilapil’s personal collection of 17 mixed media works, sculptures made of wood, steel, metal, stone and marble from 1994 to 2020. Each work showcases her mastery over the different elements, creative approaches, and compelling thematic messages.
“My personal quest has always been to find new meaning and purpose through art. Whether the path begins from within the pages of a fantasy novel or the wonders of the natural and higher worlds, wherever it may lead, I will always find traces,” shared Pilapil.
The exhibit also coincided with the launch of her book Saturn, which is part of a career autobiography. It is the first volume released in the series.
Educated at the UP Fine Arts, the Accademia Italiana in Rome, and Pratt Graphics Center in New York, Pilapil presents through her art a silent yet larger-than-life persona, graced with technical sophistication. She believes in living in harmony with nature and knowing our place in the greater scheme of things.
See the miniature versions of the most iconic pieces of furniture in 62 Icons: Milestones in Furniture Design from the Vitra Design Museum at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Design and Arts Campus, on display until December 17.
Featuring a selection from the world-renowned Vitra Miniatures Collection of the Vitra Design Museum in Wheil am Rhein, Germany, the exhibit encompasses furniture design milestones through the centuries, from Historicism and Art Nouveau, Bauhaus and New Objectivity, Radical Design and Postmodernism to the most contemporary design innovations.
At one-sixth scale of the originals, each featured furniture will be displayed with information on the objective, the status quo during its creation, and the public reception.
Some of the notable pieces and their legendary designers include Mies van der Rohe and The Barcelona Chair; Marcel Breuer and The Wassily; Charles and Ray Eames and The Lounge and Ottoman; George Nelson and The Marshmallow Sofa; and Gaetano Pesce, and his La Mamma.
Instituto Cervantes presents Fondly Remembering Spain, featuring Spanish paintings by Phyllis Zaballero, on display at its Intramuros branch until January 22.
The artworks were inspired by Zaballero’s years spent in Barcelona and memories of her trips around the Iberian Peninsula from 1957 to 1960. These life-changing trips made a strong impact on her as an artist.
Zaballero belongs to what we can define as the postmodern generation of artists who were trained in the spirit of the still revolutionary avant-garde style of the first half of the 20th century. Her first artworks developed in an extraordinary period of Philippine painting, from the ‘50s to the ‘80s.
A Battle with an Old Virus
Then, there’s the Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin: HIV, My Love exhibit by artist Isola on view until December 11, at the CCP Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby).
The project expands the discourse on the pandemic and its intersections with gender identity and class through a practice of engaged listening to voices of the unheard and the unseen, often silenced by social structure. As the artist puts it, while the whole country focuses on COVID-19 virus, some are fighting a different virus – albeit an older one – the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Last October 15, Isola facilitated an online visual poetry and body mapping workshop attended by HIV-positive participants. By mapping or locating the pain or wounds on a figurative drawing that represents their body, it aimed to help participants heal from their trauma, facilitated by artists and therapists.
The exhibition shows how each day of their lives is made possible by antiretrovirals and how they struggle to find joy in such a harsh social environment. It also reflects not just the callousness of fate, and how people judge them harshly, but it celebrates life as well as the intimate and lifetime love affair with HIV.
Isola, who is currently based in California for her MFA in Environmental Art and Social Practice, will be giving an online artist talk on December 1, at 6:30 p.m., for World AIDS Day.
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These are just some of the must-see art exhibitions happening around the metro. Do take time to visit them because you’ll definitely enjoy them, aside from learning something new.