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Scaling the landscape of history

1 September – 23 December 2016

Exposition brings together guest artists Cian Dayrit, Liv Vinluan and Lightning Studies: CTCCCs and is co-presented by Instituto Cervantes with support from the Cultural Department of the Embassy of Spain in Manila. The show takes its reference from the series of large-scale exhibitions that were made popular during the age of conquests, including the Exposición de las Islas Filipinas in Madrid in 1887.


Unpacking the burden of strict, linear history and its fixation on “great men,” Exposition sets its sights on specific ruptures — curiosities that converged and crystallized a new world order. These ruptures are situated in particular terrains where projects were undertaken to learn more about the Philippine colony. The exhibition highlights the important segments in the Lopez Museum and Library Collection — the numerous maps in the cartography collection; the illustrated publications and scientific journals on projects that cataloged and classified Philippine flora; and the expansive Filipiniana rare books written both in Spanish and the native tongues. The exhibition looks into ideas, anxieties and questions that punctuate the complex historical episode under the Spanish rule through images and texts.


Curiosity and wonder will guide the visitors around the exhibition as facts, fiction, and even whimsy, come together to reimagine the Philippines under the lens of the 21st century. Both Dayrit and Vinluan work with the possibilities of textile as a medium. Dayrit engages with the numerous maps in the collection, creating his own versions of the detailed Abraham Ortelius’ Indiae orientalis, insularum que adiacientium typus and the infamous Mapa de las yslas Philippinas of Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde, S.J published in 1744. His tapestry maps were collaborations with his trusted embroiderers in the Pasig Market.


One of Vinluan’s works takes inspiration from the Palacio de Cristal, which was used as one of the exhibition spaces during the 1887 exposition. Operated as a greenhouse, the structure was fabricated to house thousands of vegetation from the Philippines. Ang Cabilogan nang Isang Cuadranggulo clues us on the artist’s sewing skills, creating sculptural works out of antiquated garments – camisa and saya, and the corset and crinoline. Lit from underneath, the structural elements are made evident, paralleled to the transparency of the glass and steel frames that make up the palace.


Lightning Studies: CTCCCs mines the collection to come up with the project PASÁ PASÂ, a curatorial study on translation through archival and library materials on scientific and health inquiries, and other strategies operated during the Spanish and American colonial period. Playing with the idea of bruises or bruising, Lightning Studies looks into notions of civility and public good, and how this is translated into operationalizing systems grounded on providing order.


More than anything, Exposition likewise attests to the manner in which the arts and humanities were synthesized with the more scientific ventures. Similar to the inevitable merging of Spain and the heterogeneous mass that eventually became the Philippines, Exposition shows a collision transpiring between two worlds of thought.


Both exhibitions will run from September 1 until December 23, 2016. For more information, call 631 2417 or email The Lopez Museum and Library is located at the Ground Floor of Benpres Building, Exchange Road cor Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.  Gallery and library hours are from 8 AM to 5PM, Mondays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and holidays.


Exposition: Artist Bios

Cian Dayrit

Cian Dayrit took Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines Diliman graduating cum laude. Cian Dayrit has done solo exhibitions for Art Informal, Tin-Aw Gallery, and Vargas Museum and group exhibitions for the Metropolitan Museum Manila (2016), Project Space (2015), Fort Santiago Intramuros (2014), etc. The Vargas Museum exhibition entitled Bla-bla Archaeological Complex (2013) was short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards in 2014.


Liv Vinluan

Liv Vinluan was born in the late eighties in the city of Manila. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines in 2009. Enamored by old stories since childhood, her art practice is driven by history, the narrative and by what she calls, “the inconsistencies of human character”. Her 2015 work, Cariño Brutal was recently Shortlisted for the 2016 Ateneo Art Awards.


Lightning Studies: CTCCCs

Lightning Studies: Centre for the Translation of Constraints, Conflicts and Contaminations (Lightning Studies: CTCCCs) is an imagined, virtual and fleeting institution for relational translation. Its structure is grounded on (1) undoing the deterministic notion that looks into translation as method and practice of instruction; and (2) exploring partially visible modes of organization through texts and images. Fictionalizing European Enlightenment and capitalist modernity’s transformation, it traces the turns and omissions in translation, and then archives the ongoing and futural translations of artistic impulses to configure a constellation of discourses.

Museum Admission Rates:

PHP 100- Adults

PHP 80- Grades 7 until University Level / Senior Citizens

PHP 60- Grades 1-6