Opening Ceremony of the Philippine Pavilion at the 60th Venice Art Biennale

Naririnig niyo ba ang kulog? Naririnig niyo ba ang mga kuliglig? With those questions I delivered my message in the opening of the Phl pavilion at the Venice biennale, that evoked conversations on the mysticism of Mount Banahaw, showing the interconnectedness of nature and culture.

It gives me immense pride and joy as we gathered for the opening ceremony of this year’s Philippine Pavilion exhibition “Sa kabila ng tabing lamang sa panahong ito/Waiting just behind the curtain of this age.” Curated by Carlos Quijon Jr., it puts forth the work of Filipino artist Mark Salvatus, exploring themes of life force and mysticism through the lens of Mount Banahaw’s rich history and vibrant community. The exhibition pays homage to the enduring legacy of Mount Banahaw and its profound influence on the Filipino cultural landscape.

The Philippine participation in the 60th Venice Art Biennale–the world’s most renowned contemporary art platform, is a fruition of a vision that started in 2015 after a 51-year hiatus. Our country’s participation helps us to establish connections, strengthen relations, and share our diverse culture and identity around the world. Art reflects who we are as a people. Art reflects our soul. Culture is the string, the element that binds us as a nation. No matter how diverse and divided we are.
We are also thankful for the presence of distinguished guests during the successful opening of the Philippine Pavilion— curators of past Philippine Pavilions Patrick Flores, Joselina Cruz,

Alexander Furunes; artists Maria Taniguchi, one of the featured artist in the main exhibition of the 60th Venice Art Biennale; artist Nicole Coson and her sister, writer Mara Coson; and jurors of past Philippine Pavilion proposals, Renaud Proch and Eugene Tan.

The Philippine participation in the Venice Biennale, a collaborative undertaking 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, is open to the public from April 20 to November 24, 2024 at the Artiglierie, Arsenale, Venice, Italy.