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 You may also check our website at or like us at for more information.

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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Taos-puso ang pakikiramay ng Vargas Museum sa mga naiwan ni Eduardo “Mang Ed” G. Makiling Sr. na sumakabilang-buhay nitong Pebrero 7, 2016. Matagal na panahong naglingkod si Mang Ed sa pamilya ni Jorge Vargas. Kasama siya nang ilipat ang Koleksiyong Vargas mula sa estado ng mga Vargas sa Kawilihan sa Mandaluyong papunta sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas noong 1987. Mula noon, naging kawani na siya ng museo, katuwang ang maraming manggagawang dumating at lumisan sa loob nang mahigit sa dalawang dekada. Naging bahagi si Mang Ed ng ilang daang eksibisiyon, aktibidad na pansining at pangkultura, at pang-araw-araw na daloy ng trabaho sa museo. Patunay sa kanyang kasipagan ang kanyang parangal bilang Natatanging Kawani na iginawad sa kanya ng Philippine Association of Museums, Inc. ilang taon ang nakaraan. Mapagkakatiwalaan, matapat, may pagkukusa at malasakit – ilan lamang sa mga katangian ni Mang Ed na sisikapin naming ipagpadayon sa aming gawain. 
Sa mga nais magpahatid ng dasal at tulong at para malaman ang detalye ng lamay at libing, mangyaring makipag-ugnayan sa amin simula sa Martes sa 928-1927 o 
Hanggang sa muli, Mang Ed! ****
Ang larawan at ang personal na tala (sa ibaba) ay mula kay Dominic Mangila sa kanyang eksibisiyon sa Vargas noong Nobyembre 2015: 
Mang Ed taken around 7 in the morning at Vargas. 
When I heard that he had been working at Vargas for so many years, I wanted to take a photograph of him doing a gesture that he had done thousands (or perhaps in a million) times for many years. I wanted to capture the beauty of the act of his dedication to paying attention to the surface of the glass as he would pause to inspect closer if dirt or dust was wiped away. I found it to be a very 'painterly' gesture. If my exhibition or art has a purpose at that point, I wanted it to at least record something that was beautiful and poetic - which I found in the gesture of Mang Ed as he navigated around the glass panels of Vargas. It was a constant art form/performance/act taking place for many years before the museum door opened. And I felt it would be awesome for the audience to see that gesture captured in photography... It's a gesture th Students from the Holy Family School of Quezon City, Inc. visited the museum yesterday for their English for Academic and Professional Purposes class. #VargasVisits Artist walk-through of Sergio Bumatay III for his exhibition "Anima: A Picturebook in Space"
#vargasmuseum #bookillustration #animaproj #animaph #contemporaryart #sergiobumatay Kids from Multiple Intelligence International School visit the museum today. 
#vargasmuseum #vargasvisits #contemporaryart

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