The UP Vargas Museum opens BENCAB: Another Scale on January 9 at 4 in the afternoon at the 1F Galleries of the museum. The exhibition is part of the year-long celebration under the banner BenCab 50 Creative Years. The exhibition runs until January 29, 2016.
The exhibition presents BenCab’s recreation of his installation done in Bandung, Indonesia in 1998 as a result of his collaboration with other Southeast-Asian artists for a workshop on Urbanisation. The installation is a reflection on urbanization and a critique of present-day environmental dilemmas. A reprise of his performance around this installation, also first executed in Bandung, poignantly marks the opening. In conversation with this installation are large-scale drawings and intermedia works that confront the contentious and complex concerns around migration, Filipino culture, and urban life. It is but fitting that BenCab comes home to his alma mater, the University of the Philippines, to reveal signs of experiment and urgency in his widely admired oeuvre and offer another scale to his stature as National Artist.
Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera (b. 1942) was conferred in 2009 an honorary doctorate by the University of the Philippines, where he enrolled in Fine Arts in 1959. He later worked in illustration and photography and set up an art gallery. Early on in his career, he represented the country in prestigious biennales in Tokyo and Paris. He lived and worked in London for thirteen years. He returned to the Philippines in time for the People Power uprising in 1986 and chose to settle in Baguio City. He co-founded the Baguio Arts Guild in 1987 with fellow artists Santiago Bose, Kidlat Tahimik, and Roberto Villanueva, among others. In 2006, he was conferred the National Artist for the Visual Arts. He has extensively exhibited both in local and international art spaces and cultural institutions. He established the BenCab Museum in 2009 to house his collection of Philippine contemporary art and materials from the indigenous culture of the Cordillera.
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