Art, Exhibit, Lobby, Museum, UP Vargas Museum

Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project

Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project
20 June 2008, 6 : 00 PM
The Lobby, G/F
UP Vargas Museum

To celebrate the centenary of the University of the Philippines, the UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum presents the soft launch of the Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project on 20 June 2008, 6:00 PM at the Lobby of the UP Vargas Museum.

The Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project is an ongoing residency project of Australia-based artist Alwin Reamillo at the UP Vargas Museum. This developmental restoration project involves the artist’s sourcing of old upright and grand pianos and its transformation as art case instruments. These art case pianos also function as conceptual portraits to pay tribute to the memory of Nicanor Abelardo. Considered as the first modernist composer in the country and the composer of the university hymn, UP Our Beloved / UP Naming Mahal, Abelardo also wrote the first piano concerto in the country and pioneered the research of traditional musical forms that led to the development of the Kundiman to art music status.

The artist’s installation will feature two art case instruments, built from found Wittemberg upright pianos (1990) as prelude to the development of the grand piano. The installation will thematically focus on Abelardo’s classical work Mutya ng Pasig, which will be animated through text, objects, found piano parts and imagery drawn from extant photographs and popular culture to mark the artist’s musical journey as a composer. To signify work in progress, the artist will also feature a found grand piano, which will be developed in the months to come. A series of small-scale, wing-shaped piano lids and its mirror construction will also be developed to depict the artist’s journey as a government scholar to the United States. These ‘wing works’ thematically reference other classic Kundiman compositions such as Nasaan Ka Irog and Bituing Marikit. The final launch of the Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project is set in December 2008.

For the opening of the installation exhibit, students from the UP College of Music will play selected pieces to highlight the musical legacy of Abelardo.

For details on the Nicanor Abelardo Grand Piano Project, please contact the UP Vargas Museum at numbers 928-1927 (direct line), 928-1925 (telefax), 981-8500 locals 4024 / 23, or email us at


About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

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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Green Go Home featured artist: MIKE ADRAO

Initiated by Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija, the project collaborates with seven contemporary Filipino artists. Mike Adrao creates an image based on a photograph from of the People Surge rally in Tacloban in 2014.

Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) landed in the Philippine eastern coasts of Leyte and nearby provinces in November 2013. A year after the calamity that killed more than 6,000 people, simultaneous rallies happened in Eastern Visayas, Bohol, Zamboanga, and Metro Manila to denounce the government’s ineptitude in giving services and aid. People Surge is an alliance established in Tacloban City on 25 January 2014 by the survivors of the typhoon and it has organized mud walks to commemorate the Yolanda event. Green Go Home by Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija is at the 1F Galleries of the Vargas until 18 November 2017. Through collaborations with seven contemporary Filipino artists, images of recent protest actions in the Philippines are drawn on the walls of the Vargas as the exhibition progresses. 
According to Vu and Tiravanija, “the provocation inherent in Green Go Home is positioned against the subtle underlying subtext of U.S. interventions, and colonialist attitudes, towards its neighbors in Latin American from Mexico southwards: an antagonism that has cost many lives and much strife. In the imagery itself, the presence of each character-from films to music to personalities of resistance-reveals itself to the viewer as addressing the condition of the graffiti text. The grid holds up the statement and reinforces the layers of interpretation, readings, and misunderstandings. Green Go Home is meant to be a wall of resisters, and of resistance.” On Saturday, 19 October 2017, the museum will be open as usual with viewing hours from 9am to 5pm. However, please be advised of heavy traffic inside the university campus due to the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test). Here are some photos from last Saturday's opening reception of Green Go Home at the 1F Galleries. More photos can be viewed at our Facebook page. #TomasVu #RirkritTiravanija #BuenAbrigo #MikeAdrao #RenzLee #GabbyNazareno #ArchieOclos #IggyRodriguez #JoTanierla #drawing #mural #protestArt #resistance #socialsculpture Here is "Membranes" created by artist-educator Yan Abeledo
for the exhibit ">upgrade | homo sapiens sapiens" currently on view at the 3F Galleries. Thanks to @eyascapes for the photograph. Described as “social sculpture”, Green Go Home dwells on, magnifies, and renders the gesture of protest looming, urgent, and lively in current time and present political life. Conceived by collaborators Tomas Vu and Rirkrit Tiravanija, it has been organised in Colombia, the United States and Spain. This year, Green Go Home goes to UP Vargas Museum. Through collaborations with contemporary Filipino artists, images of recent protest actions in the Philippines will be drawn on the walls of the Vargas as the exhibition progresses. The exhibit seeks to review our notions of history by contributing a specific history of protest through interactions with the audience. The Vargas develops a timeline of protests to be accompanied by discussions as an integral part of the exhibition.” Mike Adrao’s artwork is based on a photograph of People Surge Tacloban published in, 11 November 2014

Green Go Home runs until 18 November at the 3F Galleries. Thanks to @tinawartgallery for the Instagram photograph. Third week of viewing: >upgrade | Homo sapiens sapiens | Yan Abeledo runs until 27 October 2017. The image is an installation shot at the 3F Galleries of two sculptural works titled Adam™ and Eve™ with corresponding printed texts and graphics on sintra boards also created by the artist. The exhibit raises questions on the human body and the ethical interventions on it. The allure of the commercial aspect of this venture may attract visions of the future, yet with it comes uncertainty.

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