It’s a totally different experience for me seeing and getting up close to structures, artifacts and paintings. I usually only see these in books, newspapers or television. But when I was invited to Lopez Museum’s Open Ends Exhibit, it was completely different to the one I get and see with my own eyes.
Exhibit entitled ‘Open Ends’ – Why?
Because the arts selected are potential stages of artistic creation: to a seeming prologue of a story, experimentation in technique and attempts at appeasing one’s curiosity. In a nutshell, this exhibit features unfinished masterpiece.
Lopez Museum and Library for 2015, highlights a collection of rarely seen studies, sketches, and unfinished paintings by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. These works are a segment of the collection that will resurface after more than a decade long hiatus – well-kept and in storage.
Guest artists RIEL HILARIO, LING QUISUMBING RAMILO, and TOYM IMAO
Straight through the hallway of the museum, the viewer will be greeted by Riel Hilario’s sculptural installation entitled “It was a paradisical state: the body was allowed to be a body.” The work attests to the craftsmanship he got from his training in the art of santo-making and woodcarving, employed in creating a different brand of mysticism.
Canine bodies bear human heads, winged creatures and cabinets make for a surreal scenario. Like a bandit, he would “smuggle images from his sleep” – from a place where complete and utter freedom reign. Disjointed characters that do not follow soundness or logic are put together for a strange gathering. Like his experimentation with the traditional art form, Hilario’s works are culled from different contexts and reappropriated for this exhibition.
Together with these contemporary works, pieces from the permanent collection of the Lopez Museum and Library are also integral to the show: Juan Luna’s iconic España y Filipinas, unfinished correspondences captured in Jose Rizal’s careful handwriting and beautifully bound and printed novenas or prayer booklets.
Toym Imao features his own maquettes of unrealized commissioned markers and monuments. An architecture graduate, he fuses his affinity for history and works these narratives into a unique visual perspective that are attempts in accuracy and creativity. The supposed 11-meter structure is presented as a scale model of the Philippine Commonwealth Monument. Featuring key figures and turning points that defined the era of 1935 to 1946, it includes Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmena, Manuel Roxas, Jose P. Laurel and Jose Abad Santos, among others. The model can be observed in the round and can be considered a summation of the Commonwealth, a transitional government for the Philippines before the attainment of full independence.
A major piece is the architectural plan and maquette of Passage, a public installation at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Ling Quisumbing Ramilo reconstructed the recently demolished covered walkway of the university’s Main Library, which was also the Fine Arts and Architecture students’ hang out place from the 1960s to 1990s. These colleges eventually relocated to separate areas in campus. The architectural blueprint is cased in an intricately ornate frame. The maquette on the other hand is on a shelf with stilts. It is situated on top of linked trapos (woven rugs/mats), with sewn fibers of fine wool in varying shades of green mimicking overgrown grass and weeds that are on the site of the public installation.
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Exhibit will run from August 22 to December 23, 2015.
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Lopez Museum and Library is located at the Ground Floor of Benpres Building, Exchange Road cor Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.