Art, Exhibit, Lobby, North Wing Gallery (Landing), South Wing Gallery, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

Can’t Go Back Home Again: Santiago Bose in the Family Collection & Watching the Watchmen by Ronald Ventura

Opening cocktails
13 November 2012, 4PM
Vargas Museum

The Vargas Museum opens two major exhibitions featuring Can’t Go Back Home Again: Santiago Bose in the Family Collection and Ronald Ventura’s Watching the Watchmen on 13 November 2012, Tuesday, 4PM at the GF and 3F galleries to cap the first phase of the museum’s silver anniversary celebration.

For the commemoration of Santiago Bose’s 10th year death anniversary, Can’t Go Back Home Again, Santiago Bose in the Family Collection brings out artworks, illustrated journals, footage of interviews, and documentation from the collection of Bose’s family. Some of the works and memorabilia included in this exhibit have never been seen by the public. Bose, known for his experimentation in various media, pioneered the use of local materials in his artworks. In the words of Alice Guillermo, “Santiago Bose has been called the Anting-anting Maker … His art practice is based on the assumption that the work is not a painted illusion on a surface, but a concrete substance that undergoes the hectic process of becoming a charged material sign capable of holding within itself the tensions of conflicting forces … Bose brings out these political tensions”. This is his first exhibition at the University of the Philippines where he took up Fine Arts.

In Watching the Watchmen, Ronald Ventura responds to the form of the bulol of the Cordillera. He re-creates the bulol and presents them as anatomies, tattooed pieces, and CGI-inspired renderings that explore pop and contemporary expression. The bulol as an object mimics the silhouette and substance of toys and collectibles, moving away from its customary reference as an indigenous statuary. According to the New York Times, “Over the past 10 years, Mr. Ventura’s works have explored the role and place of religion in Filipino society, issues of identity and social stereotypes, consumerism and warfare. He often juxtaposes unexpected images — like a large skull with Disney characters; or a clown and a gas mask — to push viewers to question the realities of modern society.”

Santiago Bose (b. 1949, d. 2002) completed his Fine Arts courses at the University of the Philippines and did further studies at the West 17th Pint Workshop in New York.  He received the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 1976 and was given the Linang Project of the Council of Living Traditions grant in 1980. He co-founded the Baguio Arts Guild and helped initiate and sustain the Baguio Arts Festival. He exhibited his works both locally and in international art events such as the Third Asian Art Show in Japan, Havana Biennial in Cuba, the First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia, among others.

Ronald Ventura (b. 1973) studied fine arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He was the recipient of the CCP Thirteen Artists Award in 2003 and winner of the Ateneo Art Awards in 2005. He has exhibited his works at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in New York, National University of Singapore Museum, Institute of Contemporary Arts in Singapore, Akili Museum of Art in Indonesia, Institut Valencià d Art Modern, Primo Marella Gallery in Milan, among others. His works have also been included in the Prague and Nanjing Biennales.

Can’t Go Back Home Again runs until 31 January 2013 at the 3F Landing, North Wing and South Wing Galleries, and the Librarywhile Watching the Watchmen runs until 14 December 2012 at the GF Lobby and West Wing Gallery.

The second phase of the silver anniversary celebration will continue in 2013 with the release of The Vargas Collection Education Guide for primary to secondary and collegiate levels, the opening of the Visible Storage for researchers, and the Art History Series exhibitions.

For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 928-1927 (direct line), (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (fax) or send an e-mail to vargasmuseum@gmail.com. You may also check our website at http://vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph or like us at www.facebook.com/vargasmuseum.upd for more information.

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About Jorge Vargas

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.

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