Arts & CulturePress Release

Explore the roots of Philippine contemporary art with CCP and National Museum’s collaborative exhibit

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — United towards a common goal of preserving and promoting Philippine arts and culture, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Museum of the Philippines (NM) have teamed up to present a collaborative exhibit, titled Selections from the 21st Century Art Museum (21AM) Collection.

Officially on view since November 16, Selections from the 21st Century Art Museum (21AM) Collection is a continuation of CCP’s programs to promote its collection to a wider audience by gathering artworks that seek to outline the early trajectories of Philippine contemporary art from the 1960s to the 1980s. This effort is also in line with the institution’s goal to further promote Philippine arts and culture outside of the complex while the CCP Main Building is being rehabilitated.


The exhibition consists of two sections, “The Possibilities of Luminance” and “Man and Nature,” which are based on the initial formation of the collection under the CCP Museum and the now defunct Museum of Philippine Art (MOPA), and the visual thematic of illumination, materiality, nature, and spirited innovation that is aimed to spotlight artists who defied traditional art forms and broke new grounds in the creation of conceptual, experimental, and abstract works.

While separated into two exhibitions, the artistic practices wholly depict or deconstruct figurative and non-representational forms of art, informed by the artists’ creative expressions, gestural spontaneity, material, and personal philosophies. 

On display at the Gallery XXVII, the “Possibilities of Luminance,” is anchored on the concept of brightness or luminance as an artistic expression that ties across visual characteristics and affinities found in the artworks from the collection. The term tanglaw or light connotes the visual perception and traversal of lightness and darkness, presenting an understanding and control of light expressed through the intensity of its light source. 

This section seeks to explore the passages and evocations of lightness and darkness present in these artworks, which are confined within the dense colors from black to white, or the excess or emptiness of its value. It also brings together meditations of forms and new media, such as shape, material, textures, and translucency that is evocative of its time.  

On the other hand, “Man and Nature,” contemplates visual expressions surrounding human and environment, explored through the works of select National Artists for the Visual Arts. The featured artworks include modernist and abstract art practices within the Philippine contemporary art scene between the ’70s and ’80s, and eschew pastoral and genre paintings of landscapes and scenes in everyday life, navigating their practices around portrayals of human anxiety, materiality, and our shared relationship with objects and surroundings. 

Displayed in the two galleries are works by National Artist Napoleon AbuevaNational Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, National Artist Ang Kiukok, National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera, National Artist Jose Joya, National Artist Cesar Legaspi, National Artist Arturo Luz, National Artist Vicente Manansala, National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, Lee Aguinaldo, Raymundo Albano, Augusto “Gus” Albor, Constancio Bernardo, Roberto Chabet, Mariano “Nonong” Del Rosario, Lao Lianben, Ileana Lee, Alfredo Liongoren, Ben Maramag, Flora Mauleon, Romulo Olazo, Rodolfo Samonte, Dani Sibayan, Gerardo “Gerry” Tan, Phyllis Zaballero, and Fernando Zobel.

The exhibit is on view until November 2024. The entrance to the exhibition is free to the public. The National Museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. The National Museum of Fine Arts is located along Padre Burgos Avenue, Rizal Park, Ermita in Manila City, Philippines.

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