Guggenheim Museum showcases Filipino artists in new exhibition

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By Momar G. Visaya/Asianjournal – It’s not everyday that works of Filipino artists are displayed in major museums in America.

We have seen works of both upcoming and established Filipino artists showcased at the Philippine Center or at various art galleries scattered all over the city, like acclaimed contemporary artist Ronald Ventura who presented his first solo exhibit in the United States at Tyler Rollins Fine Art in Chelsea back in 2009. Manuel Ocampo has also shown some of his work at the same gallery.

Last week, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened its newest exhibition – No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia – which included works by two Filipino artists: Norberto Roldan and Poklong Anading. The selected group of 22 Asian artists includes painters, video artists, multidisciplinary installation artists and more.

The exhibition, which will run through May 22, 2013 is the inaugural exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. The exhibition features work by 22 artists and collectives representing some of the most compelling and innovative voices in South and Southeast Asia today.

Drawn from the opening line in W.B. Yeats’s poem “Sailing to Byzantium” which was later adopted by Cormac McCarthy for his novel No Country for Old Men, the exhibition title No Country evokes the concept of a culture without borders. Investigating the diversity of contemporary artistic practice in South and Southeast Asia through the work of a cross-generational selection of artists and in the context of the region’s problematic borders, the exhibition traces the complex relationships and cultural influences that connect the area’s people to each other and the rest of the world.

Among the works’ themes are: concepts of nation, identity, and religion; cross-cultural encounter and negotiation; and historical interpretation and narrative. Many make use of cultural appropriation and emergent media.

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