Int’l and Local Jurors to Deliberate on Proposals for 1st PHL Pavilion in Venice Architecture Biennale

November 26, 2015

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, announced that the deliberations on the submitted curatorial proposals for the first Philippine Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will be held on November 28, 2015 at the Senate of the Philippines.


The open call for curatorial proposals was launched in August with a deadline set on October 30, 2015. The Coordinating Committee organized a consultation on September 30, 2015 inviting stakeholders in architecture and design to participate in the open call at NCCA, which contributed to the success of garnering thirteen (13) submissions.  Among the proponents are the country’s top architects, urban planners and cultural heritage activists participating in this milestone project for Philippine architecture.


The jurors who will deliberate on the submitted proposals are renowned in their field and were chosen for their insight, knowledge and experience. The jury is composed of Architect Dominic Galicia (Philippines), Architect Minsuk Cho (Korea), curator Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Singapore), Jang Un Kim (Korea), NCCA Chairman and Philippine Pavilion Commissioner Felipe de Leon, Jr. and Senator Loren Legarda, principal advocate of the project.


Architect Dominic Galicia is the current president of The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Philippines. Galicia is concerned with the preservation of historic architectural sites. He has served as Vice President of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS), sits on its Advisory Council, and represents it on the Board of Trustees of the Philippines Green Building Initiative (PGBI).


Architect Minsuk Cho was the Commissioner and Curator of the Korean Pavilion Crow’s Eye View, which won the Golden Lion for Best National Pavilion at the 14th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition. In 2003, he opened his own Architectural firm called Mass Studies. He is a recipient of several awards, including first prize in the 1994 Shinkenchiku International Residential Architecture Competition, the Architectural League of New York’s “Young Architects Award” in 2000, and two U.S. Progressive Architecture Awards (Citations) in 1999 and 2003.


Shabbir Hussain Mustafa is Senior Curator at the National Gallery Singapore, where he researches art from Singapore and Southeast Asia. He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics, Singapore chapter. Most recently, he was the curator of the Singapore Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale where he realized an exhibition titled SEA STATE: Charles Lim Yi Yong (2015).


Jang Un Kim is a senior curator at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in South Korea.  As a curator he worked in the Alternative Space POOL (Seoul, 2001-2002), Anyang Public Art Foundation (Anyang, 2006-2007) and 2008 Gwangju Biennale: The Position Papers (Gwangju, 2008).


Chairman de Leon will serve as the Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion at the  15th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition in 2016. He said, “Our voices as a nation will   be reflected through our Philippine Pavilion. This deliberation will help decide what aspect we will tell the world at the prestigious exhibit.”


Legarda said “This is an exciting time for Philippine Architecture. We have successfully convinced the best of minds in the field of architecture, design and cultural heritage to lend us their talents and time ensuring that our participation to the Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition will be a success.”


The selected proposal will be realized as the Philippine Pavilion in Venice to be opened on May 28, 2016 and will run until November 27, 2016.


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 Venice International Architecture Biennale is relatively the newest addition to the oldest and foremost biennale structure conceived by La Biennale di Venezia for more than a century of its existence.


La Biennale di Venezia has appointed Alejandro Aravena as Director of the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.   He has stated that “there are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of built environment and the people’s quality of life.”  In the light of such a vision and advocacy, he imagines the 2016 Exhibition to display “success stories worth to be told and exemplary cases worth to be shared where architecture did, is and will make a difference in those battles and frontiers.” He points to “cases that, despite difficulties, instead of resignation or bitterness, propose and do something.” The 2016 Exhibition is action-driven, he points out: “In the permanent debate about the quality of the built environment, there is not only need but also a room for action.”


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