Legarda Looks Forward to Philippine Participation in Venice Architecture Biennale

June 3, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today said she is looking forward to the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale which she sees as an opportunity to showcase the talent of Filipino architects and promote resilient architecture.


Legarda, who has expressed full support to the project, said that she is enthusiastic about the Philippine exhibit because “this is not only a showcase of architectural brilliance but also sends the message of resilience—the resilient Filipino spirit and the need to build back stronger communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.”


The Senator brought together the following agencies to participate in this year’s Architecture Biennale: National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA) of the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).


The Philippines will participate in the collateral event “Time Space Existence” Exhibit at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy organized by the Global Art Affairs Foundation, from 7 June to 23 November 2014.


The Philippine exhibit includes architectural proposals for the rehabilitation of Haiyan-affected towns from Prof. Jose Danilo Silvestre, Prof. Gerard Rey Lico and their students at UP Diliman College of Architecture.


Part of the Philippine exhibit is a design and scale model of a self-built emergency kit shelter utilizing bamboo, sawali and a combination of other readily available materials, which was designed by Silvestre and his students.


Silvestre said the exhibit underscores “the innate resiliency of the Filipino spirit, seeking to prompt a redefinition of what Architecture is, how we create it and how it in turn, creates us.”


“We are very fortunate to have been given a chance by the Global Art Affairs Foundation to participate in this exhibit and I hope this will be the start of the continuous participation of the Philippines in this biennial event. I invite Filipinos in Italy and Europe to visit the exhibit to show their support to our delegation,” Legarda said.


According to the NCCA, the Philippine participation in the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale through a collateral event is intended to pave the way for the country to participate officially in the next Biennale in 2016.


Silvestre is the Delegation Head/Architectural Curator of the Philippine exhibit, while Lico is the Deputy Delegation Head/Architectural History and Heritage Curator. Other members of the delegation tasked to produce the exhibit are Prof. Ruben Defeo as Artistic Director and Prof. Reynaldo Concepcion as Graphics Designer, both from the UP Diliman College of Fine Arts.


The Philippine participation, which is the first time ever, was made possible through the generous support of René Rietmeyer, a Dutch artist who is known for his own art form expressed through “Boxes” and views his works as proof of his existence within time and space.


Rietmeyer is the founder of the Global Art Affairs Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organization that supports and works closely with various artists in its quest to promote more philosophical themes in contemporary art particularly Time Space Existence.