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The Metropolitan Museum of Manila reminisces four decades of promoting art for all

Since its public opening in October 1976, the the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) has launched over 400 exhibitions that showcase art from the Philippines and other cultures around the world, in various forms and contexts. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the museum has designed a series of exhibitions that highlight its colorful history and show pieces, culled from its extensive collection of modern and contemporary art.

A HOME FOR CONTEMPORARY ART Re-curated in early 2016, the Direction section of MET’s permanent exhibition on Philippine contemporary art features works that explore the movement of art across media, which constructs contemporary understandings of existence in time and space. (Manila Bulletin)

A HOME FOR CONTEMPORARY ART Re-curated in early 2016, the Direction section of MET’s permanent exhibition on Philippine contemporary art features works that explore the movement of art across media, which constructs contemporary understandings of existence in time and space. (Manila Bulletin)

“Configuring Philippine Print,” which is already on view, features a selection of 40 printmakers, whose techniques, concepts, and approaches have contributed to the development of the art form. The Philippine prints in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Art Collection are put side by side with prints by foreign artists in the MET Collection, examining the notion of modern printmaking locally and in Western art. This exhibition looks into various themes in printmaking: classical, abstraction, representational, color dimensions, and social consciousness.

Following the show on print is a major exhibition on the museum’s collection of posters and catalogues, vernissage photos, and other documents.

SITTING WITH MASTERS The MET hosts a variety of educational and public programs to further its mission of promoting Art for All. Pictured here is National Artist BenCab taking part in one of MET’s sketching sessions. (Manila Bulletin)

SITTING WITH MASTERS The MET hosts a variety of educational and public programs to further its mission of promoting Art for All. Pictured here is National Artist BenCab taking part in one of MET’s sketching sessions. (Manila Bulletin)

Scheduled to open mid-October, the highlight of the exhibit, however, is the MET Collection of art from the modern and contemporary period, which is enriched by recent acquisitions through donations.

Like the museum’s previous exhibitions, these anniversary offerings will be accompanied by artists’ dialogues, workshops, film screenings, tours for the blind, and other educational programs. Moreover, since Sept. 6, the MET has been offering free admission every Tuesday as an anniversary gift to the public.

Included in the Configuring Philippine Print exhibition is ‘Diwata AP’ (1979) by Rod Paras Perez from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Collection (Manila Bulletin)

Included in the Configuring Philippine Print exhibition is ‘Diwata AP’ (1979) by Rod Paras Perez from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Collection (Manila Bulletin)

Exploring Narratives in Philippine Art

The MET continues to be a home for contemporary art, constantly presenting the public with unsung and new narratives in Philippine art scene. Earlier in the year, the museum re-curated two sections of its permanent exhibition, “The Philippine Contemporary: To Scale the Past and the Possible” (PSA)  to encourage the exploration of other themes, movements, trends, and art worlds.

Guest curated by Prof. Tessa Guazon, the Direction section currently contains works that explore the movement of art across media, which constructs contemporary understandings of existence in time and space. The artists featured here are Manix Abrera, Olivia d’Aboville, Catalina Africa, Zeus Bascon, Charles Buenconsejo, Vermont Coronel, Cian Dayrit, Russ Ligtas, Dominic Mangila, Art Sanchez, and Mac Valdezco.

One of MET’s pioneering educational programs, Touch the Artist’s Vision allows the blind and visually impaired to appreciate art through the use of  tactile diagrams, Braille captions, and specialized audio narratives. (Manila Bulletin)

One of MET’s pioneering educational programs, Touch the Artist’s Vision allows the blind and visually impaired to appreciate art through the use of tactile diagrams, Braille captions, and specialized audio narratives. (Manila Bulletin)

On the other hand, the PCA’s Sphere section, curated by Dr. Patrick Flores, presents a wide selection of former Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) museum director Raymundo “Ray” Albano’s work: intermedia, installation, discourse, publication, design, poetry, and polemic, done by artist in the ‘70s and ‘80s, underlining his innovative and experimental practices and articulating his influence on today’s local art scene.