“Diksiyunaryong Biswal ng Arkitekturang Filipino (A Visual Dictionary on Filipino Architecture)”

“Diksiyunaryong Biswal ng Arkitekturang Filipino (A Visual Dictionary on Filipino Architecture)” opened on January 19, 2016 at the UST Museum, showcasing original illustrations by Arch. Rino D.A. Fernandez that were published in his recent book of the same title. The book itself was launched during the exhibit opening, with National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) consultant Arch. Gerard Lico delivering the welcome remarks and UST Publishing House Director Assoc. Prof. John Jack G. Wigley, Ph.D. introducing the book.

Assoc. Prof. Wigley joined Arch. Fernandez in presenting a copy of the book to the UST Miguel de Benavides Library, represented by Prefect of Libraries Rev. Fr. Angel Aparicio, O.P. After his message of thanks, the author presented a folio of original architectural illustrations to the UST Archives, represented by Archivist Prof. Regalado Trota Jose.

UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. gave the opening remarks, with the ribbon-cutting led by Arch. Fernandez and Fr. Abaño. They were joined by Fr. Aparicio, Arch. Lico, Prof. Trota Jose and Assoc. Prof. Wigley.

Gleaned from the foreword by Arch. Lico, “…….. Diksiyunaryong Biswal ng Arkitekturang Filipino is a pioneering work and comprehensible guide enriched with hand drawings, distinguished for their elegance and delicacy of line. It is an engaging, thoughtful and beautiful introduction to Philippine architecture, ensuring that Filipino built heritage will never be forgotten."

2016 UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition

In celebration of the Philippine Arts Month, the University of Santo Tomas Museum held the 2016 UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition (OTSPC) last February 6, 2016 at the UST Benavides Garden. Registration ran from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. and the competition proper was held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The awarding ceremonies and exhibit opening were held at 6:00 p.m. at the Main Building Lobby.

The OTSPC grew out of the First National Art Competition organized in 1941 by then UST Rector Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P. It is currently one of the most prestigious and much-awaited contests for art students in the country and has discovered some of Philippine contemporary art’s brightest talent.

In addition to the event, an Art Lecture-Forum by Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) was also held simultaneously as a collateral activity from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the UST Civil Law Auditorium.

This year’s theme was “UNITY IN DIVERSITY.” As explained by Museum Director Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P., “Today our world is troubled, with acts of terrorism, hatred and prejudice constantly in the headlines. Differences in our cultural, social, political, racial and religious beliefs divide us and create fences instead of bridges. Each person is a unique individual, with a set of beliefs. This individual’s uniqueness also extends and expresses itself in the different societies and groups with their upheld set of beliefs and understanding. Instead of imposing uniformity on a divided world, these diversities can contribute to the welfare and advancement of humanity if only to be understood that there can be a unity in diversity, because each one can enrich one another.”

With the 2016 UST Annual Inter-School On-the-Spot Painting Competition, the UST Museum partnered once again with Metrobank Foundation to challenge young artists to reflect on how art can serve as a means of dialogue and understanding, by putting into visuals their ideas on how to create harmony from our differing beliefs, enrich and respect one another, and attain true peace.

The 2016 winners were: “Mga Kulay Sa Ilalim ng Iisang Sigaw” by Angelo Luigi Domingo (EARIST), 1st Place; Untitled by Aljohn Cueva, (EARIST) 2nd Place; and “Synergy” by John Matthew Gaño, (UP Diliman) 3rd Place.

“Unitree” by Vincent Jordan Santos (UE); “Damayanihan” by Joey Marquez (UE); and “There's Always Love On Us” by Christian Billy Bagtas (EARIST) were awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd honorable mentions respectively. The Metrobank Choice Awardee was “Egalitarianism” by Joegan Espina (EARIST).

UST Museum’s Brown Madonna Graces the National Gallery Singapore

UST Museum Assistant Director Assoc. Prof. Anna Marie Bautista represented the University during the opening of the "Reframing Modernism" exhibit at the National Gallery Singapore last 30 March 2016. The UST Museum loaned the "Brown Madonna" oil on canvas painting by Galo Ocampo, considered a treasure of our cultural heritage and a pivotal work of Philippine modern art, to NGS until August 2016.

This marks the first time that the "Brown Madonna" has been loaned internationally, after intensive restoration conducted by the UST Museum Conservation Laboratory. Before restoration, the painting was in such fragile condition that it had to remain in storage and had not been viewed by the public for many years. It generated much interest when it was painted in 1938 for its being the first depiction of the Virgin Mary carrying the Child Jesus, as a brown Filipina, in a typically Filipino setting.

The artist, Galo Ocampo, was one of the pioneer faculty members of the UST School of Fine Arts along with Victorio Edades and Carlos “Botong” Francisco. The three were considered the “Triumvirate of Philippine Modernism.”

“Reframing Modernism” was co-curated by the National Gallery Singapore with the Centre Pompidou, a French art gallery and cultural hub. The exhibit was on display in the Singtel Special Exhibition gallery, and aimed to invite greater discourse among visitors by exploring how Southeast Asian artists explored modernity and by challenging the existing paradigm of how modernist visual art is presented.

UST Museum Loans its Centuries-old Ivory Crucified Christ to Asian Civilizations Museum

The UST Museum's late 16th to 17th century ivory figure of the Crucified Christ is on temporary loan to the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore as part of the "Christianity in Asia: Sacred Art and Visual Splendour" exhibit, from 26 May to 11 September 2016.

The exhibit presents fascinating religious-cultural objects that are the result of the spread of the Christian faith across Asia. The UST Museum’s ivory figure of the Crucified Christ joined other artifacts from internationally-acclaimed museums, including the Musée du Louvre, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Portugal. According to the curatorial staff at the ACM, the UST ivory Christ is the “single longest ivory corpus in Christian art in Asia” and the second-largest sculpture of its kind in the world, the largest being found in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France.

UST Museum Assistant Director Assoc. Prof. Anna Marie Bautista attended the opening of “Christianity in Asia” while UST Museum Director Rev. Fr. Isidro Abaño, O.P. and some of the museum staff members made a special visit to view the exhibit last July 25, 2016.

With contributions from Levine Andro Lao (Contributor), published on pages D2-D3 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle Section, 08 August 2016