Announcement, Exhibit

TERRAFORMING | Mark Valenzuela and Pablo K. Capati III


UP Vargas Museum, in cooperation with Art Informal and Box Plot, presents Terraforming. It opens on March 20, Friday, 4pm at the 1F Galleries and runs through April 30.

An exhibit of Mark Valenzuela’s and Pablo Capati III’s contemporary ceramics, Terraforming goes beyond its literal definition of earth-shaping to present the importance of the process of making ceramics and the way the artists use these works in order to re-create and re-examine the world around them. Since terraforming is the process by which the earth is re-created (to the point of being habitable for humans) in order to transform a planet or a moon, the exhibition is a reflection of the artists’ physical and conceptual practice of re-forming the earth and re-creating their own worlds – beautiful, yes, but also full of conflict, confusion, and (in)humanity.

The exhibition invites its viewers to look at ceramics not as a beautiful object that has been shaped by ceramic traditions and age-old techniques, but as a platform by which the artists reveal something of themselves and the spaces they inhabit. For instance, Valenzuela explores cultural hegemony and the relationship between the individual and the collective by focusing on how the outsider “terraforms” his/her new environment. This includes colonization as a form of “terraforming” and the process of mediating and preserving in transforming one’s environment. Capati, on the other hand, reiterates a deep connection with the earth and the elements. His biomorphic forms, which are unadorned and complex, infuses a sexual quality into his sculptural ceramics.

Linking their projects is a collaborative work in which the egg becomes the basis of symbols from fertility to sensuality, from birth to death.

Mark Valenzuela (b. 1980) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work combines ceramic installations and paintings through which he considers recurrent themes of conflict, displacement and confinement. He has been shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards and was one of the 21 Southeast Asian ceramic artists chosen to develop the permanent collection for the FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums (FLICAM) in Fuping, China in 2012. He participated in Artstage Singapore 2013 and Art Fair Philippines with Art Informal (2013).

Pablo Capati III (b. 1975) took pottery classes in Kobe, Japan and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He became a full-time potter by 2003, and established the pottery studio at Art Informal in 2004. He is also on the board of directors of PUTIK Association of Philippine Potters. Element, Capati’s first major solo exhibition in 2010, shows his mastery as a potter: his works either acquired a barnacle-clad texture or retained their smoothness, both being a “planned accident” of sorts. Pablo Capati combines the art form of pottery and the elements of earth, water, wind and fire.

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 and follow us @UPVargasMuseum for updates.


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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