Philippine Pavilion at Venice Raring to Open to the World

May 6, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today expressed excitement over the forthcoming opening of the Philippines’ comeback pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.


“The Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is raring to open to the world this week. I am very excited for our country because we are represented by a very talented team. The world will be awed by the immense creativity and brilliance of Filipino artists,” said Legarda, principal advocate of the Philippines’ return to the Venice Biennale following a 51-year hiatus.


Patrick Flores is the curator for the Philippine Pavilion with the exhibit titled “Tie A String Around The World”, featuring the works of artists Manuel Conde, Carlos Francisco, Manny Montelibano and Jose Tence Ruiz. The vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion is on May 8, and it will be open to the public from May 9 to November 22, 2015.


The Philippine Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale is the country’s 2nd official national participation. The first Philippine Pavilion was at the 1964 Venice Biennale, when Jose Joya and Napoleon Abueva, who are now both National Artists, represented the country.


Legarda said she is proud that the Philippines is back in Venice as one of the 88 national pavilions.


“Our return is triumph enough. There has been so much interest and excitement over the Philippines’ return. The use of multichannel video installation of Manny Montelibano on a subject so current has generated much anticipation in Venice. The installation of Jose Tence Ruiz in conversation with the restored Genghis Khan is simply creative and impressive,” she stressed.


Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno described the Philippines’ return to the Venice Biennale as “a fantastic achievement that rightly gives tribute to the richness and vitality of the Philippines’ art scene, which definitely deserves to be more internationally exposed, better known and more appreciated.”


Ambassador Roscigno hosted a reception in honor of the curator, artists and the team of the Philippine Art Venice Biennale (PAVB) composed of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.


NCCA Chairman and Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion, Felipe De Leon Jr., stressed the importance of being represented in this prestigious contemporary art exhibition.


“It is important that we are represented there because the world does not know enough about who we are. The talents have been here for centuries but we can show the world that these talents can be harnessed in a very contemporary and relevant way. The more we represent ourselves in the global arena, the more we harness what is called cultural energy. If Filipinos feel that they matter, they will become more productive in all areas of their work. This is what is engendered by what is called cultural energy, which is the motivation for work and achievement,” De Leon said.


DFA Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario, for his part, said that the Philippine Pavilion will contribute to the dynamism of the dialogue of ideas and philosophies among artists and visitors to the Venice Biennale.


“We are proud of the astounding diversity and multifaceted aspects of Philippine arts and culture. We present to the world the immense talent and creativity of the Filipino artists. At the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale, we all look forward to sharing with the international audience the emergence of the Philippines as an important and rich cultural force,” Del Rosario said.


Among those expected to attend the vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion on May 8 are curators, artists and commissioners of other national pavilions, as well as curators and directors of contemporary art spaces from other countries, Philippine media and the European press.


Mori Art Museum chief curator Mami Kataoka, Independent Curators International executive director Renaud Proch, and Filipino-American artist Paul Pfeiffer, who were part of the panel of jurors that selected the curatorial proposal of Flores for the Philippine Pavilion, as well as David Medalla and Adam Nankervis, who are scheduled to perform at the Philippine Pavilion in August, will be present at the vernissage.