Arts & CulturePress Release

Philippines showcases cultural richness at 60th Venice Biennale

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, the principal advocate of the Philippine representation in the Venice Biennale, expressed her enthusiasm for this year’s participation of the Philippine Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale de Venezia.

“I am proud that we are now still actively participating in the oldest and most prestigious contemporary art platform in the world after our successful return in 2015 following a 51-year hiatus, with our pavilion housed in one of the main exhibition spaces of the Venice Biennale,” Senator Legarda shared.

“This year, the Philippine Pavilion presents Sa kabila ng tabing lamang ng panahong ito/ Waiting just behind the curtain of this age, curated by Carlos Quijon Jr. and featuring the work of Mark Salvatus. Drawing inspiration from the ethno-ecologies of Mt. Banahaw, the exhibition delves deeply into the intricate relationship between mysticism and modernity, exploring themes of tradition, faith, and resilience,” she furthered.


Her commitment to making the Filipino artistic community a key player in the world of art is evident in her ongoing support of the Venice Biennale, creating more opportunities for the growth of our curators and artists and encouraging more Filipinos to express their creativity.

Recognizing the important role of the arts in fostering patriotism and nationalism, the four-term Senator filed in the 19th Congress Senate Bill No. 492 or the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale Act, which seeks to institutionalize the country’s yearly participation in the international exhibitions of the Venice Biennale.

“Many would question: Why is participating in the Venice Biennale important? This is us, the Filipino people, conversing with other nations. It is a platform to establish connections, strengthen relations, and above all, share our diverse culture and identity with the world,” she said.

Senator Legarda also expressed her pride that apart from the Philippines’ national participation in the 60th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale de Venezia, the curator Adriano Pedrosa handpicked works of five Filipino artists for the main exhibition, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere. These artists include Pacita Abad, an artist known for her vibrant canvases and mixed-media techniques; Anita Magsaysay-Ho, who specialized in social realism and post-cubism mostly focused on women in Filipino culture; Nena Saguil, recognized for her works portraying cosmic and spiritual abstract; Joshua Serafin, a versatile artist merging dance, performance, and visual arts; and Maria Taniguchi, an artist who explores space and time through various mediums like sculpture, painting, drawing, silkscreen, video, and photography.

“As we again embark on another significant participation of the Philippines in La Biennale de Venezia, I hope our artists, curators, and the contemporary art community receive more support and recognition. As I often say, art is a powerful tool in advancing cultural diplomacy, a soft opener to our political and economic initiatives with other nations. As an enabler of development and unity, this will further enhance Filipinos’ sense of self-worth and pride in our cultural achievements,” Senator Legarda concluded.

The Philippine Pavilion, a joint project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Office of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, will be open to the public from April 20 to November 24, the Artiglierie, Arsenale, Venice, Italy.

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