Legarda Sees Bright Future for PHL Contemporary Art with Sustained Gov’t Support

November 22, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda said that she sees a bright and exciting future for Philippine contemporary art with the support the government is giving for arts and culture.


Legarda, a staunch advocate of arts and culture, made the statement during the conclusion of the first Curatorial Intensive in Manila by the New York-based Independent Curators International (ICI).


She said that Philippine art is seen to flourish because the country has a wealth of talented artists and curators and government support is starting to build up.


“I believe we are now seeing a renaissance in Philippine art. With sustained government support, as well as initiatives from the private sector, we can do more and we can show that to the world. This Curatorial Intensive is very much important for our curators to widen their horizon and fully develop their potential,” said Legarda, who is the visionary behind the return of the Philippines last year to the Venice Biennale after a 51-year hiatus.


The Curatorial Intensive, held from November 15-21, 2016, is a development program that immersed participants in a series of seminars, presentations, site visits, one-on-one meeting, and round table discussions on the process of developing an idea for an exhibition into a proposal.


Twelve curators from around the world were chosen to participate in the Curatorial Intensive. Among them are five Filipino curators—Kristoffer Ardeña, Con Cabrera, Avie Felix, Tessa Maria Guazon and Carlos Quijon, Jr.


The event concluded with a public Curatorial Intensive Symposium on November 22 that was attended mostly by professionals and students in the fields of visual arts, critical and curatorial studies and arts management.


Legarda thanked Renaud Proch, Executive Director of ICI, who proposed the conduct of a Curatorial Intensive to the Senator during the deliberation on the curatorial proposals for the Philippine Pavilion for the 2015 Venice Art Biennale. Legarda and Proch were part of the jury that selected Dr. Patrick Flores’ proposal, Tie A String Around the World, for the Philippines’ comeback pavilion in the Venice Biennale.


“I would like to thank Renaud Proch for putting this forward. I thank the ICI, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) for organizing this Curatorial Intensive. This is just the beginning of a vision to put the Filipino talent in its rightful place in the world. We want to make the Philippines a visible and important part of the global contemporary art scene,” Legarda concluded.


The Curatorial Intensive in Manila is a project of the ICI and NCCA, in collaboration with MET and supported by Senator Legarda.


The topics of the seminars during the Curatorial Intensive ranged from the pragmatics of exhibition making and funding models, to building working relationships with fellow artists.


The program was led by leading professionals in the art world—Renaud Proch, Jessica Berlanga (Creative Director, Alumnos47 Foundation), María del Carmen Carrión (Director of Public Programs & Research, Independent Curators International), Cosmin Costinas (Executive Director, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong), Joselina Cruz (Director and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila), Patrick Flores (Curator, Vargas Museum, Manila and Adjunct Curator, National Art Gallery, Singapore), Kate Fowle (Chief Curator, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, and Director-at-Large, ICI), Gridthiya Gaweewong (Artistic Director, Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok), and Monica Narula (artist, Raqs Media Collective).