2014 Ateneo Art Awards




Ramon E.S. Lerma
Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery

Tony Godfrey
Art Critic and Writer

Tessa Guanzon
Assistant Professor, Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman

Lisa Periquet
President, Borad, Museum Foundation of the Philippines

Kiri Dalena
Visual Artist and 2009 Ateneo Art Awards Winner

Mark Justiniani
Visual Artist

Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ
Associate Professor, Fine Arts Program, Ateneo De Manila University


Loss As Impetus of Discovery: A Review of Complicated

In the video installation of Sisa, the artist Ea Torrado translates the frantic, anguished search of the beleaguered Noli Me Tangere character through a series of sharp, uncoordinated movements, brutal spins, and resistance and submission to gravity. Rather than the names of her lost sons Crispin and Basilo, Sisa howls those of the desaparecidos, men and women who, because of their political leanings, were abducted during the Marcos regime, never to be seen again.



Re-Reading History: A Review of Complicated, Lopez Museum

For quite some time now, the Lopez Museum and Library has been able to engage with the contemporary art world through the theme of dialogue. The very first example of this was a massive 2011 exhibition which established the parameters of this dialogue: contemporary art must engage with what the Museum already has. The strength of its collection lies not only in its art but also in its archive, where books, magazines, and newspapers provide sources for a history that deserves a fresh re-reading every generation.


Fragments Of The Philippine Contemporary: A Triumph Of Kitsch, Anguish, And Ambiguity

Symptoms of Contemporaneity or Symptoms of Restrictive Nostalgia?

Symptomatic tendencies towards assertions for new discourses emerging in contemporary Philippine art could initially perceived through Wawi Navarozza’s Self-Portrait with Bricks. Part of the catalogue of a currently ongoing exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila laid down as the Philippine Contemporary, this denotes the role of the younger generation seeking to find their voice complemented by the promiscuity of the present and leaning towards initiating discourses embodying the a pulse of the “now”.


Re-Presenting The Present: Mapping History Through The Philippine Contemporary

Figure 1.


The interfaces of Philippine art history are fascinating territories: fecund areas where past and present practices transit and intertwine, marked by both metaphorical monuments to the muse and moments of real world resistance.

The Philippine Contemporary attempts to capture this process of flux on an ambitious scale. On view since February 2013, this permanent exhibition occupying the entire second floor of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila presents a collection of over 200 works from the past 9 years, from 1915 to 2013. It also comes at an opportune time for expanding critical discourse on Philippine contemporary art, as the country prepares to participate the Venice biennale after 50 years in 2015.


Loose Continuity: On Manila Metropolitan Museum’s Philippine Contemporary

The word contemporary, in my mind, has been one of language’s savory garnishes. Nowadays, it is an ingredient many would look for, the same way one would look for seals of approval from certain goods. It has replaced the past approval- the ‘modern’ movement. It is almost as delectable as is sounds: con-tem-puh-rary; rolling down from our lips like a lure. It appeals like an appetizer, always served before the main course- contemporary fiction, contemporary design contemporary management, contemporary gardens and soon. One seeks it in order to validate oneself as part of the now, as someone who is in tune with the times, fashionable and dynamic. It only takes one qualifier for anything to be considered as timely.


How Did We Get Here?

Scaling The Past And The Possible At The Met


Upon entry, one is confronted by an al-seeing eye daubed in acrylic along the museum’s stairwell. There are texts on the wall that refer to nothing and everything outside of themselves. There is a jukebox that cannot play music, a kinetic sculpture inside a birdcage, videos, film stills, comic strips, portraits, self-portraits, and found objects.




Ramon E.S. Lerma
Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery

Igan D’ Bayan
Art Editor, Lifestyle Section, The Philippine Star

Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez
Independent Curator and Assistant Professor, Department of Art Studies, UP Diliman

Cesare A.X. Syjuco
Multi-awarded Painter, Poet and Critic

Gina Fairley
Independent Curator, Regional Contributing Editor, Asian Art News (HK), and National Visual Arts  Journalist, (AU)



Ateneo Art Awards 2014


Catalogue Foreword

Welcome to the 2014 Ateneo Art Awards!

As we enter the second decade of what we have nurtured to become the country’s most important prize for an emerging Filipino artist, it gives us great joy to inaugurate a new phase of these Awards, in response to the myriad of exciting developments in the local art scene.

From one accolade devoted to the very best in visual art, which we have named The Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art to honor the memory of our founding benefactor, we are also this year starting The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism. This new prize category comes at an especially important juncture where the Awards have taken on the role of the arbiter – our choices making a profound impact on the careers and prospects of young artists. We though it a logical step to add another layer of critical engagement to process and provide much-needed feedback to creative output and, at the same time, develop new audiences.

We extend our profound appreciation to the heirs of Fernando Zobel, in particular, Georgina Zobel Padilla, for lending their uncle’s illustrious name to our visual arts prizes. We equally express the gratitude to the trustees of the Kalaw-Ledesma Foundation, Inc. Through its President, Ada Ledesma-Mabilangan for sharing our vision for Philippine art in establishing the prize for art criticism in memory of their beloved mother – a true pillar of Philippine modernism. A special note of thanks to Millet Mananquil, Lifestyle editor of The Philippine Star, who continues to support the work of the Ateneo Art Gallery and has been a partner of the Awards since its inception. Her invitation to the winner of the criticism prize to write an art column provides an immense boost to our programmes.

Lastly, we acknowledge the support of our partners Shangri-La Plaza Mall and Metro Society, and the abiding faith of the trustees and President of the Ateneo de Manila University in all of our endeavours.

Ramon E.S. Lerma
Director and Chief Curator
Ateneo Art Gallery