Art, Exhibit, Lobby, UP Vargas Museum, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

Messenger of the Gods: A Duddley Diaz Retrospective

Messenger of the Gods

A Duddley Diaz Retrospective

8 August to 30 October 2009

GF, The Lobby and The Edge Galleries


The UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum in cooperation with Galleria Duemila presents the exhibit Messenger of the Gods: A Duddley Diaz Retrospective which opens on 8 August 2009, Saturday, 4:00 PM at the Lobby and Edge Galleries (G/F of the UP Vargas Museum).

The exhibit will feature various works representing significant themes and periods in the development of Italy-based sculptor Duddley Diaz. The title refers to the artist’s passion for religious and mythological themes and the recurrence of the owl figure which, in some cultures, is a symbol of wisdom and believed to be messengers of the gods.

The exhibit will feature his earliest works that date back from 1974 when, as an 11 year-old boy, he created small figures of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and different saints out of modeling clay and found objects. With the recommendation of the late Lucrecia Kasilag, then President of the CCP, Duddley apprenticed under National Artist Napoleon Abueva before entering the UP College of Fine Arts.  At UP, he also studied under Roberto Chabet and met fellow sculptors Agnes Arellano and Peter de Guzman.  Immediately after completing his fine arts degree, he was granted a scholarship at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy where he pursued graduate studies for 8 years. He has since lived in the Tuscan region but regularly holds exhibits in Manila.

Sculpture is one of the indigenous art forms in the Philippines and remains a constant and significant part of contemporary art practice. Although compared to two-dimensional forms such as painting and printmaking, fewer artists have taken on the challenge of this medium. Duddley Diaz is one of those few artists.  He works with different sculptural mediums namely clay, wood, cast bronze, marble, silver, and ox bone.

Based in Florence, Italy for 25 years, his works are enriched by indigenous and colonial Philippine traditions and its parallels with Etruscan and Italian cultures. It is this blending of the Philippine and the European, of the past and the present, that makes Duddley a strong voice in contemporary sculpture making. His works are also strongly influenced by religion – whether from indigenous and animistic beliefs or from Catholic and colonial traditions. As Dr. Alice Guillermo puts it, “the semiotics of form and style in Diaz’s religious work – its very medium and execution – gives rise to complex signification associated with his personal view of religion, and, indeed, of religious art as a whole.”It is this constant revisiting and re-visioning of past cultures and traditions with contemporary living and society that Duddley creates familiar yet new iconography.

The exhibit will run until 30 October 2009. The Museum is open on Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 am to 4 pm.  For more information, please contact the UPVM at numbers 981-8500 loc. 4034 (UP trunkline), 928-1927 (direct line), 928-1925 (fax), or send an e-mail to The Museum’s official website may be viewed at

The exhibit is also made possible with the support of its major sponsors: Jewellry Salon, Philippine-Italian Foundation, Tantoco Rustia Foundation; and also brought to you by Furn Italia,  Icon Graphics, Metrobank, UP Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, and Ralph’s Wines and Spirits.


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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CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development and UP Vargas Museum will be holding a storytelling activity on FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2018 at 4pm, together with the Araneta Foundation and Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. The first 80 kids to register (for free) at Vargas Museum will receive copies of Karapat-Dapat, a book on the rights of the child. Regular entrance fee for adults/parents apply. Viewing of Tumba Tumba exhibition is extended until 6pm for this event. 21 JULY (SATURDAY) events: 1) Tumba Tumba Free Book Day for first 500 children of U.P. employees, until supply lasts 2) Tumba Tumba activity: The Author's Hour 2 with Genaro Gojo Cruz at 1:30pm
July 18, Wednesday: In compliance with U.P. memorandum received before noon, the museum is closed this afternoon. Stay alert and safe. Please check our Facebook page for the latest news and announcements.
@TiesofHistory #Artists #Profiles: ANUSAPATI (b. 1957) was born in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia and now lives and works in Yogyakarta. He completed his studies at ASRI Yogyakarta in 1983, and at the School of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, New York, USA in 1990. Currently, he is a lecturer at the Faculty of Art, Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta. He works extensively with bamboo and wood (especially teak wood) as manifestation of his affinities to nature. In addition, he works with bronze and found objects and also creates installation works. His works have been exhibited in Indonesia, the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan and are part of institutional collections, including that of the Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta and the Langgeng Gallery, Magelang in Indonesia; the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; and the City Government of Kitamoto-Shi, Saitama- Ken, Japan. Read the full Ties of History press release here: UP Vargas Museum FB Event Page: Ties of History: Art in Southeast Asia [UP Vargas Museum]
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles AMANDA HENG (b. 1951) began her practice in the late 1980s, an epochal moment in Singapore art history that saw the beginnings of contemporary art, during which she worked in performance, installation, and other multi-disciplinary projects. Her work deals with tensions between Eastern and Western values, traditions, identity politics, and gender roles in the context of the multi-cultural and fast changing society of Singapore. Her recent work focuses on the issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban condition and information age. Amanda Heng is a full-time practitioner. She curates and organises art events and fora, and has lectured at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National Institute of Education (NIE), and the LASALLE College of the Arts. Heng is one of the founding members of the Singapore art collectives The Artists Village and WITAS (Women in the Arts, Singapore). She received the prestigious Cultural Medallion award in 2010. Read the full Ties of History press release here:
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles ROBERTO FELEO (b. 1954) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in 1982 and studied Art History at the University of the Philippines (UP). He became a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 1988. He co-founded Pinta Nueve and became the chief designer of the Comite de Festejos. He has exhibited locally and internationally. Feleo is a professor of visual arts at the College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman. He has also served as a lecturer at the School of Fine Arts and Design at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila and at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling, Laguna. Read the full Ties of History press release here:
The proof of concept show of CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development is on its last two weeks of run. Check our Facebook Events Tab for details of activities happening on Saturday, 21 July.

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