Message: “Tie A String Around The World” at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

May 17, 2018

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
“Tie A String Around The World”
at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
17 May 2018


Art is an important platform to highlight creativity not only of the artist and the curator, but also of the spectator. The more a work of art veers away from the traditional look of things, the more it sparks curiosity, and stimulates analysis and dialogue.


The exhibit we are opening tonight has already gone to what is considered the Olympics of contemporary art, the Venice Biennale. In fact, it was the product of a realization of a dream to bring back the Philippines to the Venice Biennale after a 51-year absence.


When the exhibition came home from Venice, it was first mounted at the Vargas Museum in the University of the Philippines. Now, we see it rise again here at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.


This has been our goal from the start—not only to showcase Filipino creativity in the world, but also to share it with fellow Filipinos. We want our national pavilions to have as many after lives as possible. We want our participation in the Venice Biennale to encourage more Filipinos to seek and showcase their own creative talents.


“Tie A String Around The World”, curated by Dr. Patrick Flores, is remarkable. It was a powerful concept for our re-entry to the prestigious exhibition. It has brought pride to our country because aside from representing the Philippines at the 2015 Venice Art Biennale, it was considered as among the must-see pavilions during that year.


Today, as we open the exhibition here in Benilde, Dr. Edson Cabalfin and his team are currently in Venice mounting  “The City Who Had Two Navels”, the Philippine Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale—our fourth consecutive participation since 2015.


In between these two exhibitions, we had “Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City” curated by Leandro Locsin Jr., Sudarshan Khadka Jr., and Juan Paolo dela Cruz of Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP) for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale; and “The Spectre of Comparison” curated by Joselina Cruz for the 2017 Venice Art Biennale.


Moreover, only two years after our comeback, we were already able to secure a spot in the Arsenale, one of the main exhibition spaces of the Venice Biennale, for our 2017 and 2018 national pavilions.


We see a very long line of opportunities to engage in the global art discourse and enrich Philippine art and Filipino artists and curators; but the challenge of continuity remains.


This is the reason why I filed in the Senate a proposed measure that seeks to institutionalize the Philippine participation in the international exhibitions of the Venice Biennale. I hope that it will be enacted before 2019 so that even beyond my term as senator, we will continue to participate in the Venice Biennale.


This is another reason why we want to exhibit our national pavilions in different parts of the country—so that we nurture appreciation of art among Filipinos and encourage more citizens to join the clamor for stronger support for culture and the arts.


Art and culture appreciation is essential to instill pride of place and pride as a people. Art is our soul and culture is the bridge that unifies us as a nation, however divided and diverse.


We want Philippine art and culture to be appreciated by every Filipino. We want the country to use this as a platform to engage the international community on the cultural level.


We hope that through these efforts, more Filipinos will not only be encouraged to exhibit their expertise and craft but also help in promoting the relevance of arts in nation building.


Thank you.