Five Jurors to Deliberate on Proposals for Phl Pavilion in 2017 Venice Art Biennale

August 28, 2016

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, will hold the deliberations on the submitted curatorial proposals for the Philippine Pavilion in the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia on August 29, 2016 at the NCCA in Manila.


The open call for curatorial proposals was launched in April with a deadline set on July 21, 2016. The Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB) Coordinating Committee received a total of 12 proposals.


The jurors who will deliberate on the submitted proposals are Dr. Eugene Tan, Florentina P. Colayco, Luis “Junyee” E. Yee, Jr., Prof. Felipe de Leon, Jr., and Senator Loren Legarda, principal advocate of the project.


Legarda, a three-term senator who chairs the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, is a staunch supporter of arts and culture and champions the causes of indigenous peoples. She is the visionary behind the Philippines’ return to the Biennale Arte in 2015 following a 51-year hiatus and the country’s first participation in the Biennale Architettura in 2016. The UN appointed Legarda as its Global Champion for Resilience, while the French Government bestowed upon her the title of Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor for her commitment to the fight against climate change and the promotion of culture and heritage.


De Leon is the Chairman of the NCCA and the Head of the NCCA’s Committee on Intangible Heritage and National Committee on Music and Commissioner of the Sub-Commission on the Arts. He is also the Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion in the Venice Biennale. He was the former chairman of the Humanities Department of UP Diliman. He specializes in the humanities, aesthetics, music theory, Philippine arts and culture, Language and Social Transformation, Semiotics, Mythology and Institutional Dynamics, and Accompanying People’s Movements. He is active in promoting and preserving Philippine indigenous musical forms, such as musikong bumbong, among others.


Dr. Tan is the Director of the National Gallery Singapore. He has curated various exhibitions including the Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and the inaugural Singapore Biennale (2006). Other exhibitions he curated include Of Human Scale and Beyond: Experience and Transcendence (2012), The Burden of Representation: Abstraction in Asia Today (2010), and Coffee, Cigarettes and Pad Thai: Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia (2008).


Colayco is the President of Metropolitan Museum of Manila. She is a full professor at the College of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines, where she served as the Dean from 2006 to 2012.  She earned her undergraduate degree in art history and studio arts from the University of the Philippines and Fordham University in New York. She took her Master of Arts degree  in Graphic Communications Management and Technology from New York University. Colayco founded ArtPostAsia Books, which has been producing award winning illustrated publications for the last 15 years. 


Junyee is one of the pioneers of installation art in the Philippines. He did his first one-man show of outdoor installation in the country at the UP Diliman campus in 1970, followed in 1976 by a much bigger second one-man show of outdoor installation in Luneta. He is the most awarded artist of his generation, especially in the field of modern sculpture. He has represented the country in many prestigious foreign art festival and he is the only Filipino artist who won art competitions in five decades starting in 1960 down to the 70s, 80s, 90s and the last one in 2007 when he won the Grand Award to design and execute a monument for the Israel Holocaust Memorial Park called “Open Doors”.


The five jurors will review all 12 proposals and select the winning proposal. Only one project is recognized by la Biennale for each participating country. Thus, the formal invitation to participate is coursed through the highest concerned government agency of a country, which in turn initiates a distinct process of selecting and realizing a proposal for the country pavilion.


The selected proposal will be realized as the Philippine Pavilion in Venice for the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, which will be held from May 13 to November 26, 2017.


The Philippines’ participation in the 2017 Art Biennale is another historic milestone because it will be the first time that the Philippine Pavilion will be mounted at the Arsenale, the historic and significant exhibition space.


In 2015, the Philippines successfully returned to the Venice Art Biennale following a 51-year hiatus and this year, it mounted its first national pavilion in the Venice Architecture Biennale. The 2015 and 2016 pavilions were housed at the Palazzo Mora.


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