ATENEO ART AWARDS
There is perhaps no other culture in the world more complex than the Philippines, where the personal, familial, regional, national and global coalesce. It is this multifaceted nature that clearly circumscribes Philippine art, imbuing it with a palpable richness and complexity. Little wonder then that local art practitioners – in spite of the myriad challenges that come from working within the context of a society that has by and large struggled to provide them with substantive levels of support — still continue to brim with promise. This is no truer than in the case of the country’s young, emerging talent, whose confidence, technical sophistication and intellectual maturity are reflected in the superlative works that the Ateneo Art Awards seek to recognize annually.
The theme that we selected for this year’s Awards, Global/Vernacular, recognizes and gives credence to the innate qualities that set modern and contemporary Philippine art apart – acknowledging its nuances yet believing that it moves beyond local context to reverberate cross-culturally.
This is the inspiration behind the Ateneo Art Gallery’s initiative to take the Awards beyond the self-contained bubble of the Philippine museum-gallery system, the ether world of critical discussion and the ivied halls of academe and move it into milieus both local and foreign – bringing truly good art to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity to engage with and benefit from such an encounter.
We reaffirm our commitment to this didactic approach, rewarding and enabling excellence through the expansion of the Ateneo Art Gallery International Studio Residency Grants, the only program of its kind organized by a Philippine cultural institution. 2007 marks the third year of the Ateneo Art Gallery Studio Residency Grant in Australia, to be held for the first time at La Trobe University in Bendigo, as well as the introduction of the Ateneo Art Gallery Studio Residency Grants in Singapore and in Bandung, Indonesia, to be hosted by Artesan Gallery and Common Room Networks Foundation respectively.
Our profound gratitude goes to all of those who have helped to build linkages, bridge differences, create opinions, and translate visions: those who have shocked, awed, provoked and inspired through the universal language of art
Ramon E.S. Lerma
Director and Chief Curator
Ateneo Art Gallery