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FORCES AT WORK: 4 Exhibitions from the 2014 Curatorial Development Program

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The UP Vargas Museum (UPVM) and Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) present Forces at Work, an exhibition organized by emerging curators from the Philippines and Japan involving artists from the different artworlds in Asia. The exhibition opens on December 2, 2014, Tuesday at 6:00PM. Performances by Axel Pinpin Propaganda Machine, Derek Tumala and Bobby Balingit start at 7:00PM. The opening reception is preceded by an artists’ walkthrough at 4:30PM.

Forces at Work comprises curatorial projects from selected participants of the Curatorial Development Program, a workshop initiated by UPVM and JFM every two years since 2009. The four chosen curators this year were Con Cabrera, Merv Espina, Ricky Francisco and Mayumi Hirano. The program included curatorial workshops by Patrick Flores of Vargas Museum, Mami Kataoka of the Mori Art Museum and Yukie Kamiya of the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art. Together with their counterparts in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, the four curators were invited to a short-term residency in Japan, visiting cultural institutions, museums, galleries, and independent artist-run spaces in Yokohama, Nagoya, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Tokyo. This project is part of a larger program of Japan Foundation’s Run & Learn: New Curatorial Constellations with the next generation of curators from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan.

In Forces at Work, the curators’ projects address the myriad forces shaping social life: Cabrera traces oppression and protest in history; Espina explores the art market as site of political economies; Francisco focuses on catastrophe and the poetic responses to it; Hirano delves into the process of negotiation between local beliefs and scientific knowledge. As a whole, the exhibit explores the tensions between these competing forces and how they form not only the foundations of society but also our own realities.

Forces at Work runs until 28 January 2015.

For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (telefax) or send an e-mail to You may also check our website at or like us at and follow us @UPVargasMuseum for updates. You may also contact Japan Foundation, Manila at numbers 811-6155 to 58 or visit


Click on the image below to check full schedule via facebook events page.


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.



  1. Pingback: Selecter FM Session featuring Merv Espina | post/pablo - May 28, 2015

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