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Unfolding Half A Century: After the Fact / Threads

The Lopez Museum and Library in celebration of its 50th year kicked off by launching a coffee table book, “Unfolding Half a Century: The Lopez Museum,” alongside the opening of a cutting-edge exhibit, Threads: The Museum as Site for the Weaving of Tales.”

Threads features contemporary artists Leo Abaya, Myra Beltran, Jef Carnay, Kiri Dalena, Ann Tiukinhoy Pamintuan, Claro Ramirez, Jean Marie Syjuco and Ann Wizer. Each artist has been invited to either craft a work taking off from their personal conception of the museum or to cosplay characters found in iconic works from the museum collection. Taken together, their works spoke on what museums do, as sites of remembrance and narrative-making. Highlights of these performances and installation pieces will be exhibited at the Rockwell Powerplant Mall North Court.

Parallel to this exhibit After the Fact at the museum’s premises. The exhibit evokes recollections of past exhibitions as well as a purview of future directions of the Lopez Museum. It features key works from the museum collection and works by Gaston Damag, Antipas Delotavo, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, and Keith Sicat.

What started as the personal collection of the late Lopez Group founder Eugenio H. Lopez Sr., has evolved into a trusted and well-loved Philippine Institution. In fact, the Lopez Museum and Library collection ranked on of Asia’s finest.

Since its founding in 1960, the fine art section has grown from an initial collection of the 19th century masterpieces consisting of 36 Juan Lunas and 182 Felix Resurreccion Hidalgos to include modern and contemporary pieces.


Five years have passed since Lopez Museum’s doors first opened and sought a public for its trove of what was then loosely imagined as Filipiniana, presumably material proof of what was held in common or at least tenuously marked off what was and was not Filipino. This half-a-century post-ness brings with it notions of evidence for reconsideration looking back and ultimately, moving forward. After the Fact is given questions such as: What and how did we do? Then what?

As after summons appropriative gestures and attempts to establish lineage and recollected past, this exhibition assembles remnants of what has transpired, what is present in the collection, and what is perceived as needing attention if the museum continues to aspire to wider breadth and substantive depth in the working narratives that its exhibitions and attendant public programs present.

This particular project also brings two artists loosely associated with Philippine social realism into the physical site of this museum which has more popularly imagined as a home for art produced by Luna, Hidalgo and several generations of modernists. In After the Fact, Antipas Delotavo, and feminist Imelda Cajipe-Endaya underscore what may have been eclipsed in the unfolding of various stories that have been articulated within Lopez Museum over the years.

Alongside their work are multimedia interventions from the one-time and still ambivalently diasporic practice of Keith Sicat and Gaston Damag narratives woven within the museum as generator of knowledge, that is, particularly about notions of indigeneity and origin lacing the complex relationships between lowland and highland cultures in the Philippines. These still relatively muted voice emanate from continuin re-explorations of the Philippines as thrice occupied territory unto our present days of unbridled deployment of Pinoy human bodies across over 300 countries around the globe as of recent count.

Inasmuch as there is truly no escaping what has passed in attempting to move through the present and future, After the Fact hopes to approximate a subtle homage of cultural production that is not so facetious that it only gets helplessly entangled in paeans to itself.


After the Fact evokes recollections of past exhibitions as well as a purview of future directions of Lopez Museum.


THREADS: The Museum as Site for the Weaving of Tales

The intention to uderline the museum’s commitment to moving the institution forward by broadening its engagements outside its physical structure as well as pursuing an openly interdisciplinary approach to exhibtions and programs.

Threads at Rockwell Tent takes off from the title of Lopez museum commemorative book and overall anniversary theme. It launches the series of events marking the institution’s 50th anniversary celebration. Loosely taking after UP College of Fine Arts exercise called Paintings Come Alive. Lopez Museum engaged a mix of individuals to cosplay characters found in iconic works from its collection as well as animate or embody their conception of what museums, as sites of remembrance and narrative making do.

The works and artists pairs are the following:

  1. Leo Abay’s Generator is a video installation playing on spinning/unravelling thread/fabrication, archival footage of museum’s opening in Pasay as well as objects in its trove; interactive in the sense that museum official will be asked to set off kinetic rotating sculpture that in turn activates video.
  2. Myra Beltran will perform Mi Ultimo Adios, a 6-7 minute excerpt of Itim Asu: 1719-2009, a modern ballet that references Felix ResuThidalgo El ASsinito del Gobernador Bustamante y su hijo to anti-clerical flavor of El Fili and the agential power of artists.
  3. Jef Caranay’s Tipped and Empty Pockets are an installation piece and performance art piece depicting the character in Danilo Dalena’s Jai Alai Seroes: Talo.
  4. Kiri Dalena’s Watch History repeat Itself is a video projection unto engraved marble surface based on the Lopez Library’s archival material.
  5. Ann Tiukinhoy Pamintuan’s Family Affair and Pie Chair are functional handwelded galvanized wire sculpture lounge pieces.
  6. Claro Ramirez’s Industrial Totems are three totemic sculptural pieces invoking history, lineage and memory in light of the museum’s turning 50 years old.
  7. Jean Marie Syjuco’s work called Where are we now?… Where do we go from here…? metamorphoses the two female figures in Juan Luna’s Espana y Filipinas into Barbies ascending steps with back turned to audience, facing vide projection of images suggestive of cultural imperialism, sourced and produced by the artist.
  8. Ann Wizer’s Extra ORDINARY combines found objects made out of trash woven into tapestry and garments; it takes off from Jose Tence Ruiz’ Topless Victoria.

In a seperate location, the Rockwell Tent, visitors will enter a pared down environment reminiscent of New York underground/warehouse happenings. The Tent, while fitted with staging accoutrements will evoke a rough unfinished space that strongly suggests a physical encounter with the material and process of future/culture making. The Tent itself should be looked upon as one large installation that simulates how Lopez Museum as morphed from a site of static display and hanging one that recons with how the contemporary viewer consumes information and multi sensory stimuli– that is in the non linear self propelled endlessly nested cross-referencing that is best visualized by imagining computer users dealing with simultaneously open windows/tabs and hyperlinks pointing to other hyperlinks.

features contemporary artists Jean Marie Syjuco, Ann Wizer, Myra Beltran, Jef Carnay, Ann Pamintuan, Leo Abaya and Kiri Dalena.


The artists craft a work taking off from their personal conception of the museum or to “cosplay” characters found in iconic works from the museum collection. Taken together, their works will speak on what museums do, as sites of remembrance and narrative-making. Highlights of these performances and installation pieces will be exhibited at the Rockwell Power Plant Mall North Court from February 19 to 25, 2010

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