Monday, November 19, 2012

The BSP’s New Art Collections

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has partnered with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in showcasing its latest collection of newly acquired artworks.

Its latest exhibit, “Enduring Commitment: New Acquisitions (2009-2012), the BSP Art Collection,” presents 38 of its new paintings and works of sculpture.

“Representing established and emerging local artists, the exhibition is an engaging visual feast of the various expressions that may have come out in the last decade of the 20th century, and in recent years,” the Metropolitan Museum (MET) explained.

The exhibit will run until December 15, 2012 at the MET’s Galeriya Bangko Sentral.

“Enduring Commitment” showcases some of the works of Filipino National Artists, including Arturo Luz, Jerry Elizalde Navarro and Benedicto Cabrera.

The exhibit also presents the winners of the first Tanaw BSP Art Competition held in 2010 — Gary Custodio (“The Rebuilders”), Melvin Culaba (“Unresolved”), and Brave Singh (“Pagsabay sa Paghakbang ng Ating Mga Pangarap”).

Women artists are likewise represented in the exhibit through the works of Phyllis Zaballero, Yasmin Sison, Geraldine Javier, Isa Lorenzo and Maxine Syjuco.

Zaballero’s “Handaan” (2011) elaborates on fellow artist Nunelucio Alvarado’s take on the Filipino eating culture. While Alvarado’s “Carinderia” (2009) features an intensely vibrant scene at a local eatery, Zaballero’s work shows a sumptuous display of festive treats and local celebratory dishes such as pancit and lechon.

An artwork by Rodel Tapaya, CCP Artist Awardee for 2012, is likewise included in the exhibit. Tapaya’s painting, “The Miracles of Lumawig,” is an earth-toned interpretation of the works of Lumawig of Bontoc, one of the more enduring characters in indigenous creation myths.

According to the BSP’s monthly newsletter, The Central Banker: “Comprising of conceptual, figurative, abstract, and hyper-realist art, (the paintings) are a fascinating exposition of the mental workings and motivation of the Filipino artist.”

The BSP art collection is a rich source of inspiration and pride for present and future generations of Filipinos, according to the Metropolitan Museum.

“Consisting of over a thousand artworks, the collection remains one of the most significant institutional collections of Philippine art today,” the Museum added.

Here are some more facts about the BSP art collection that enthusiasts may be interested to know:
* Some of the first groups of paintings acquired by the Bangko Sentral in the late 1950s to be displayed in its offices were of the so-called “Mabini art.” These paintings were bought along Mabini Street in the Ermita district, where many of Manila’s art galleries were concentrated during that time.

* The biggest painting in the BSP art collection is “Pagdiriwang” (oil, 1956) by National Artist Jose Joya. It measures 515 X 700 centimeters and currently hangs at the main lobby of the Philippine International Convention Center.

* The BSP Painting Collection is among a few public collections in the country that hold representative works of all the National Artists of the Philippines in the field of painting.

* The BSP holds a number of 19th century religious paintings in its art collection. For example, the works of a master painter from Bohol is well represented in the collection, with “14 Stations of the Cross” and other portraits of saints such as those of “Saint Anthony Abbot” (circa 1840) and “St. Joseph” (1830). It would be interesting to know that despite his anonymity (being only referred to as the “Bohol Master”), the master painter from the Visayan province is indeed very prolific. His “14 Stations of the Cross” is presently on display at the 4th Floor of the Bangko Sentral’s 5-Story Building.

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