Filipino artists for Venice Architecture Biennale named

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“MUHON: Traces of an Adolescent City,” the selected exhibit for the country’s National Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in the Venice Biennale, has gathered the country’s foremost architects and contemporary visual artists.

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This can be expected for the historic first participation of the Philippines to the Architecture Venice Biennale under the auspices of the National Comission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.

The Philippine Pavilion will hold its vernissage on May 27 and will run from May 28 to November 27 at Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy.

“Great architecture shapes our national and personal identity. Our most intimate memories are associated with the structures that surround us,” Legarda, the visionary of the project, stated.

The senator added, “Our historical first participation to Venice Architecture Biennale is a venue in which we can raise a dialogue on the progress of our architecture and issues on how we are preserving and conserving our built heritage.”

The exhibit’s curator Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP) has invited six architects and three contemporary artists to start a conversation about the rapid creation and destruction of Metro Manila’s built heritage and whether such a condition precludes the formation of the city’s cultural identity. The curatorial team is composed of Leandro Locsin Jr., Sudarshan Khadka Jr., and Juan Paolo de la Cruz.

The nine participants surveyed buildings, structures, landmarks, boroughs, and urban landscapes, and evaluated their cultural merit and analyzed their potential as national heritage. After which they created three sets of abstracted models built for each of the subjects corresponding to their original state, their current condition, and their projected future.

The individual architects and firms are Eduardo Calma, Jorge Yulo, 8×8 Design Studio Co., C|S Design Consultancy, Lima Architecture, and Mañosa & Co. Inc. The internationally recognized Filipino contemporary artists, represented by 1335 Mabini—Poklong Anading, Tad Ermitaño and Mark Salvatus—complete the list.

The subjects that will be featured in the Pavilion are KM 0 in Luneta (Anading), Pandacan Bridge (Ermitaño), Chinatown (Salvatus), Philippine International Convention Center (Calma), Mandarin Hotel (Yulo), Magsaysay Center (8×8 Design Studio Co.), Pasig River (C|S Design Consultancy), Makati Stock Exchange (Lima Architecture), and Coconut Palace (Mañosa & Co.).

“I look forward to the Philippine Pavilion and the exhibit that will arise from such a great collaboration. The Venice Architecture Biennale adds another milestone to our history. It is an opportunity to show the world what we have,” Legarda concluded.

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