Friday, July 7, 2017

Museums and Art in Public Spaces (1 of 3)

In three weeks, Zoe and I will be back at school. She begins year 10 in the Academy and I carry on as teacher librarian. We are ticking the list of to do's one at a time and counting the days till the first day of school begins.

One of the activities we have ticked off our list is to visit museums. We have been to the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman, the Ateneo Art Gallery in Ateneo de Manila University and the Ayala Museum in Makati. All three museums are accessible to us with affordable entrance fees. As a matter of fact, I only paid Php 125 for Zoe and I went in for free in the Ayala Museum. 

Teachers only need to present their school IDs for free entrance to the Museum. So, if you are a teacher or a librarian with a faculty status, just make sure your ID says so, bookmark Ayala Museum's web page and follow the Museum's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts for updates on workshops and new exhibits. The permanent displays never fail to mesmerize. The current ones are just as amazing. 

I have seen the Gold of Ancestors three times and this recent experience of looking and viewing at the artifacts made me more proud of my history, my heritage and my place in the world. Pre-colonial Filipinos (is there a better word or a term that is historically appropriate?) were already trading with the rest of the world and making art! The exhibit on textiles and indigenous weaving touched me so because the Gaddang people were part of it. One of my cousins in my father's side medntioned to me ages ago that we trace our lineage to the Gaddang. I will definitely go back and spend more time in that part of the Museum. Something about weaving, the meeting of the warp and weft, and the idea that man is a bridge between heaven and earth appealed to me. I find it strange how pieces of woven cloth moved me in ways I can't fully explain yet. I will keep this feeling on tab and park it in memory. In time, I will be able to connect the dots.

Another permanent display that engaged us was the Diorama Experience. I don't know about Zoe, but this exhibit is perfect for amplifying concepts in history like timelines and cause and effect, as well as human nature and the changing thought processes of each age and era. We missed the virtual reality on Rizal, but Arturo Luz's paintings and sculptures delighted us. It was simple but elegant. Unpretentious but classy. Less is more, indeed!

We went in at 11AM and came out at 1PM. Our minds and hearts were full. Our spirits lighter. We were hungry at the end of the visit that's why we had a heavy snack right after. That's the good thing about Makati. It makes everything accessible for everyone. 

Next post is about the exhibits in Vargas Museum and the manga exhibit in the Ateneo Art Gallery.

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