Driveway, Exhibit, Porch / Garden, sculpture, UP Vargas Museum

Form | Kata Proto-type (Outdoor Extension)

Form | Kata Proto-type
Outdoor Extension
Roberto M.A. Robles
October – December 2020
Driveway, West Porch, and steps

The University of the Philippines Vargas Museum invites the public to view the outdoor extension of the exhibition Form | Kata Proto-type by Roberto M.A. Robles, consisting of four marble art works located at the museum’s driveway, west porch, and west wing steps.
Originally scheduled from March to May of 2020, Form | Kata Proto-type was already partially installed when the pandemic rippled through the country, the UP Campus, and the museum, which closed indefinitely. Four months later, the exhibition opened in July to a virtual audience engaged through online platforms, which by this time were overburdened by surrogate social circulations. It closed in August. All the while, the outdoor marble sculptures “Ang Katagalugan,” “Kanawai,” and “Homo Erectus” remained in place. They will now be situated with the relocated installation “Ansal at Tukil,” and may be viewed by appointment until the end of 2020.

Robles’s exhibition seeks to delineate the identity of the Katagalugan, the descendants of the taga-ilog, from the cultural dominance of the West. He traces the processes that shaped the Tagalog, the accretion, pressure, time, and crystallization of a people’s collective identity through habitat, language, trade, and power relations, while drawing parallels in Eastern civilizations. The metamorphic rock, quarried and processed by the Teresa Marble Corporation from the mountains of Teresa, Rizal, is hewn into minimalist forms Robles refers to as post-sculpture; the cubes, cross, rectangular cuboid, and concentric circles standing as symbols with different meanings ascribed by different cultures, countries, and continents, but also with the meaning imbued by the present it inhabits. As Robles historicizes the forces instrumental to the Tagalog narrative, it does not cease to be written. As the marble, cleaved from the timescale of the ancient Earth, has weathered some 200 days of sunsets and sunrises, it will weather more.
Visual artist Roberto M.A. Robles hails from Tuy, Batangas and has been an active artist for forty years. He graduated from the University of the East in 1980 then completed his MFA in Sculpture at the University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1995. He has exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Yuchengco Museum, UP Vargas Museum, at Alliance Francaise (France), the 17th Asian International Art Exhibition (S. Korea), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (Japan), and at various other exhibitions in Chile, South Africa, and Australia.
The Form | Kata Proto-type (Outdoor Extension) will be on view by appointment at the UP Vargas Museum driveway, west porch, and steps from October to December 2020. To book a viewing appointment or to request more information, please send an email to vargasmuseum@up.edu.ph, message the UP Vargas Museum on Facebook via https://fb.me/vargasmuseum.upd, or on Instagram or Twitter via @upvargasmuseum. You may also check our website at https://vargasmuseum.wordpress.com.

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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