Purveyor of Knowledge
on Philippine Art

The Arts of the Philippines

An emerging publisher of books on Philippine Art
March 1, 2015


Jerson Samson's Doon Po Sa Amin

by Christiane L. de la Paz

November-December 2014--Jerson Samson, during his freshman year at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts (UP CFA), started making a name for himself when his entries, Tukso and Nakaligtaang Kalikasan were finalists at the 27th Shell National Students Art Competition in 1994. He played his cards right that in 1997, his piece, Alay 1 was awarded honorable mention at the Metrobank Foundation Young Painters Annual and his other entry, Pasasalamat kina Lolo at Lola was the Juror’s Choice at the Art Association of the Philippines Annual Art Competition Representational Category. In 1999, he was among the Top 5 awardees at the Philip Morris Philippine Art Awards which led him to exhibit his piece, Nagsisikip na ding-ding during the Asean Art Awards at the National Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All these times, Samson had given the art viewing public a peek of the Antipolo neighborhood he grew up in where from a house apposite, from an upstair room, at no great distance, the inhabitants’ bustling activities and domestic interiors scenes were free-to-view--his personal and private response to primeval scenes he nonchalantly espied and depicted using saturated colors. In 2002, he opened his first one-man exhibition, Tahanan at the Boston Gallery where his ten

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The Culture and Art of the Mangyan

by Jericho Paul Santos

September 2012--The Mangyan tribe has been included in the history of Mindoro. Spaniards have long documented the life of the Mangyan people. However, much is still to be learned from the culture of one of the Philippines’ richest ethnic group. Mangyan refers to the Philippine ethnic group living in Mindoro Island but some can be found in the island of Tablas and Sibuyan in the province of Romblon as well as in Albay, Negros and Palawan. The word Mangyan generally means man, woman or person without any reference to any nationality. Social scientists have documented Mangyan tribes into several major tribes. One of the ways to categorize them is through their geographical location. The Northern tribes include the Iraya, Alangan and Tadyawan tribes while the Buhid, Bangon Batangon and Hanunuo Mangyan comprise the tribes in the South. 

The Culture
Despite being grouped as one tribe, Mangyans differ in many ways. In comparison to the technological advance between the two geographical divisions, the Southern tribes are more advanced as seen in their use of weaving, pottery and system of writing. The Northern tribes, on the other hand, are simpler in their way of living. Their language just like the whole Philippines came from the Austronesian language family. However, even if they are defined as one ethnic group the tribes used different languages. On the average, they only share 40% of their vocabulary words on their mutual languages. The tribes have also varied physical and ethnogenetic appearances: Iraya has Veddoid features; Tadyawan are mainly Mongoloid; and the Hanunuo looks like a Proto-Malayan.

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The Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs

by The Artes de las Filipinas Research Team

July-August 2013--A geological study in Tres Hermanas in Antipolo was undertaken by the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines. In this site, the Plio-Pliestocene deposit was identified as Laguna Formation which consists of tuffs deposited in an alluvial setting. The radio-metric datings are 1.7 and 1.0 million years. Recovery of plant fossils and extraction of pollen grains from sediments were undertaken. The data indicated a sub-tropical moderate climate in the Plio-Pliestocene. The area was covered by a forest with thick trees  and bushes  of angiospermae (flowering plants) gymnospermae (pines) and ferns or pterydophytes. Grasses were present, indicating atleast partly open forest or grasslands. The presence of pine trees and ferns indicated a subtropical moderate climate, cooler that the present day climate of the area. Vertebrate fossils found were molars and tusks of Pygmy Stegodonts and pertrified remains of a giant land turtle.


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Break the Silence Over Fakes

by Jack Flam

April 2012 -- The press has recently been full of reports about forgeries. In Europe, fakes by Wolfgang Beltracchi have embarrassed a number of experts and collectors. In the US, a painting purportedly by Jackson Pollock that was sold for $17m is the subject of a lawsuit against the now-closed Knoedler gallery and its former president Ann Freedman. This “Pollock”, moreover, seems to be only the tip of the iceberg, since it appears to belong to a surprisingly large collection of pictures supposedly painted by leading abstract expressionist artists. This collection was allegedly brokered by a previously obscure dealer named Glafira Rosales, who is now said to be the subject of an FBI investigation. The names attached to the paintings Rosales allegedly handled include Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, as well as Pollock.

One of these paintings, supposedly from the “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” series by Motherwell, was recently confirmed as a forgery by the Dedalus Foundation as part of a court settlement. The foundation, which I head, is sponsoring a catalogue raisonné of Motherwell’s work. Our experience with this and related works makes it clear how problematic the issue of authenticity has become for scholars, collectors, gallery owners, and foundations specialising in modern painting. Sharply rising prices and an increasing scarcity of major works have created a rich environment for forgers.

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Van Gogh was murdered, claims forensic expert: "He did not shoot himself"

by Antonia Molloy

November 2014--The true nature of Vincent van Gogh’s death continues to be a topic ripe for mystery – after a leading forensics expert has claimed that the artist was murdered.

The Sunflowers painter died an agonising 29 hours after taking a bullet to the abdomen in a wheat field near Paris in 1890. On his death bed he apparently revealed he had shot himself.

However, Dr. Vincent Di Maio, an expert on gunshot injuries, has said that he be believes the wound was “not self-inflicted”.

According to Vanity Fair, Di Maio, who  was a key witness at the George Zimmerman trial, said that it was highly likely that Van Gogh “did not shoot himself”.

He made the claim in response to a request by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, whose biography of Van Gogh disputes the long-held suicide theory.

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A Critical Essay on Constructing the Filipina: A History of Women’s Magazines (1891-2002)

by Molly Anne Velasco

April 2013--Constructing the Filipina: A History of Women’s Magazines from 1891-2002 by Georgina Reyes Encanto is a first attempt to record the history of Women’s magazines in the historical-feminist perspective. The author herself is the former Dean of Mass Communication and a Journalism professor in the University of the Philippines. Her research interests mainly cover Philippine press history, feminism and gender issues in Philippine media and popular culture. 
She begins her book with an introduction to the location of Women’s magazines in the lives of everyday Filipina women. Women’s magazines are the most accessible forms of media for women of different social classes. Topics of magazines usually include gossip, fashion, tips for the house and the workplace, horoscopes and relationship advice, all of which are absorbed by many of the readers from cover to cover. The pictures of beautiful scantily clad or fashion forward women who the readers idolize are often found on the covers along with advertisements of products that are supposed to aid women into becoming like the celebrities they adore. Encanto gives specific statistics regarding their circulation well as statistics on which medium and the percentage of the population were actually reading magazines thereby establishing factual evidence on Women’s magazines’ ubiquity. She also states that the study of women’s magazines as an Ideological and/or Repressive State Apparatus is a challenge yet a necessity because of their influences in the ideologies, decisions and world-view of women in the country within the book’s given timeframe. She mentions that while cursory historical accounts have been made by earlier writers, none of them have written in the historical-feminist perspective or have focused on women’s magazines specifically.
The author describes that women’s magazines did not appear until the last quarter of the 19th century. The women writers at that time were of bourgeoisie, ilustrada upbringing who propagated dominant Western, patriarchal and religious ideologies to their readership.  The articles in these magazines had women assigned to subordinate, domestic roles; deceiving women by romanticizing their roles as homemakers thus establishing the ideas of the hegemony during that era. Amidst the seemingly progressive articles that promote women’s development, juxtaposing these against repressive, colonial ideologies was very evident with the portrayal of the ideal women as learned and cultured ‘Queens of the Home’ in a patriarchal society. The ideal women exist to serve their husbands and use her knowledge for the proper upbringing of her children. The perception of physical beauty should reflect those of the 

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Private Collections Art Book Officially Launched

by Artes de las Filipinas Web Team

October 20, 2009 -- EACOMM Corporation hosted a cocktail reception to celebrate the publication of its first book project, Private Collections. Almost three hundred guests turned up at the Isla Ballroom 3 of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel to welcome the release of the limited edition art book and to have it signed by the art collectors.

The audience had a warm and unforgettable moment that Tuesday evening. Artists and distinguished guests from the business, arts and society stood in lines to meet and have a chat with Washington SyCip, Hans Sy, David Consunji, Joey de Leon, Napoleon Abueva, Charlie Cojuangco, Joel Jimenez, Eddie Chua, Patrick Reyno, Mark Villar, Julius Babao, Arsenio Tanco, Jovenal Santiago, Manny Zialcita, Gilbert Santos, Wilmer Hontiveros, Louie Ojeda, Mikee Romero and Alexander Tan, who were recognized and honored that night.

Private Collections is available online and at Fully Booked and Powerbooks.

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