Ortigas Pasig Day Trip - A Short Tour of the Lopez Museum Complicated Exhibit

I would like to admit now that I've never really had this kind of museum experience before. Usually, I'd just be content to read the introduction texts and go around on my own. Thank goodness, the Lopez Museum told us that there was an hourly tour. I got a lot from it and found myself appreciating how the exhibit was curated. In a way, they were able to uncomplicate the "Complicated" Exhibit for me and gave me enough information when I went around by myself after to take a closer look of their treasures.

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The Eugenio Lopez Foundation's Lopez Museum & Library is located at the ground floor of the Benpres Building in Ortigas, Pasig (near the Stock Exchange). It's open from Monday to Saturday and the fee they collect includes entrance to both the museum and the library. Yearly membership fees are available for around P1500.

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The exhibit changes every 6 months so the current exhibit (in this post) will go on until August 2, 2014 =)

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We started with some of Leslie de Chavez's works.

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Basically, my understanding was (because we are all entitled to our own interpretations about this) she was depicting our colonial past and how it makes us who we are now (our identity) as Pinoys. It's been ingrained in us and you can actually see it in our everyday lives.

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The King (2003) by Leslie de Chavez

If you look at these 4 installations, they are old commercials of videos that are repeated over and over. Brainwashing? Well, whatever you call it, it still happens to this day. Some are subtle and others are just like those jingles that you can't get out of your head/LSS sometimes..

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Highest Quality (2014) by Leslie de Chavez

Next up were the works of 19th century Filipino artist Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo. Surprisingly, (I can't believe I never thought and heard about this... I guess I wasn't much into art before haha) they had "drafts" called a study of a painting's final work. The painters would supposedly submit these for approval before they do their final massive mother painting. =D

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Full Study of Per pacem (1903) by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

I wonder if artists still do this now, like have a draft on another piece of paper... The works below are very detailed and they come from a teeny part from the image above.

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Woman Holding a Sword (1903)
Woman Holding a Torch (1903)

I guess if they blow them up like as big as the Spoliarium at the National Museum of the Philippines, the details would show. 

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Untitled figure studies of Per Pacem et Libertatem (1903)

I wonder how many of these he made... With these, the end product should have been pretty masterly made already.

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Full Study of Per Pacem et Libertatem (1903) by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

The Lopez Museum has collections of cartoons and drawings made by Pinoys. These caricatures about Liberty depict the political situation of the Philippines during their time in satire.

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On the other room was a very beautiful painting by another 19th century Filipino artist Juan Luna. Our guide said that another version of this painting sold for around $3 Million at Sotheby's in Hong Kong last 2013... I like this version that's hanging on the Lopez Museum - it looks more alive for me =) All the other works in this room are about women.

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Espana y Filipinas (1886) by Juan Luna

Don't miss the small theater beside the Recuerdos (depicting the love triangle of Rizal) painting of BenCab, one of our national artists (there's a BenCab Museum in Baguio) =)

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Recuerdos (1985) by Benedicto Cabrera

We watched a disturbing and captivating 6-minute performance of dancer and choreographer Ea Torrado. It's her interpretation of the Juan Luna's painting and her take on Jose Rizal's Sisa set on the current issue of people who are missing (or died).

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On the room just adjacent to this were some of the drawings of Vicente Manansala for Rizal's books. The museum also had things used by Dr. Jose Rizal himself.

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There's the letter to his mom,

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his bibliography/references used (he had a very nice handwriting... hehe)

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and they even had his calling card from Hong Kong.

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I thought I would never get to see an Aliwan Komiks in my lifetime.

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And here I was reading one hehe. It was a bit hard to read actually and it was in Tag-lish with just the right amount of humor. I love the way that the expressions and sounds were spelled. Haha. I spent a few minutes just reading this!

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We go back to Leslie de Chavez's supposedly old-prose-turned-to-Jejemon work! Below is a translation of our national hero's Sa Aking Mga Kababata (face palm!) hihi.

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I dare you to decript the others! The title of this mixed media definitely hit a nerve.

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When the medium killed the message (2014) by Leslie de Chavez

I wonder how long you'll take just staring. Haha.

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I love old maps! The Lopez Museum has a lot more in their vaults and this one is from the 1570s. It had mermaids and all =D

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Indiae Orientalis (1570-1574) by Abraham Ortelius

The room next to the library had BenCab's Soldiers painting that's made of handmade paper. All those kneeling soldiers died believing that their Agimats (talisman) would save them.

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Soldiers (Heroes of the Past IV, 1998) by Benedicto Cabrera
Litanya ng tatlumpu't dalawang sumasampalataya (2014) by Leslie de Chavez

Speaking of Agimat (according to our guide), there's one right outside hehe. I initially thought it was Illuminati or something.

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Infectious 05 (2013) by Mike Adrao

These are works by Mike Adrao. Our eyes went wide when we were told that this was no simple charcoal on paper. The paper was first covered in black then erased to create the images!

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Pillars (2013) by Mike Adrao

Our guide said that it took him around a year to complete these and injured himself in the process for his art. If you look closely, he used images from the museum archives.

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If you look up, it will be staring at you haha.

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Last but definitely not the least are these Sanso prints made from carving (copper plates I think) one by one then using black ink to stamp it on paper! Amazing.

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I so love the Lopez Museum's collections. The current exhibit size was just right to keep you coming back for more. And I understood why J brought me here now. I hope to see and hear more about them and art in the future. Our guide told us that since this was the former publication/press building then all the photos and collections went to them so they surely have tons of masterpieces there. J and I are so looking forward to photographs from the era of old Manila, those we first heard of during the Manila Postal Heritage Tour

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Museum goers also get to just draw on that blank canvas scattered in the rooms if the inspiration strikes them =D There's so much more not featured here so I recommend just seeing them for yourself and start with the tour first ;) It's much too complicated to explain it all here anyway hehe. Enjoy!

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Museum Details:
Ground Floor, Benpres Building
Exchange Road, Pasig City, Metro Manila
Open Mondays to Saturdays
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
+63-2-6312417 (Museum)
+63-2-6312425 (Library)
info@lopez-museum.org.ph

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