Mutable Truths: Perspectives in Philippine Contemporary Art was organized by the La Trobe Art Institute and the Ateneo Art Gallery to celebrate our decade-long partnership.  The exhibit features ten artists from the Philippines, all having visited Australia between 2005 and 2014 through an artist residency they received as winners of the prestigious Ateneo Art Awards (AAA). This award program, which began in 2003, gives recognition to outstanding exhibitions held within a year by artists below 36 years of age. Its winners have since established their careers and are among the most active in the Philippine art scene.  Featured artists are Ronald Ventura, Poklong Anading, Lyle Buencamino, Leeroy New, Marina Cruz, Mark Salvatus, Kawayan de Guia, Martha Atienza, Buen Calubayan and Charles Buenconsejo. The title refers to the varied range of issues and concerns each artist addresses as well as the diverse scope of practice they represent – from paintings, assemblage and installations, and video works.


This partnership between the La Trobe University and the Ateneo de Manila University from the Philippines began 17 years ago through academic exchange programs in the humanities and social sciences organized and coordinated through the Philippines Australia Studies Centre . In 2005, both universities through their respective art museums, supplemented this cooperation through an artist residency and exhibition exchange program.  This component has since provided venues for interaction among Australian and Filipino artists.

Photos by MM Yu

Leslie de Chavez_Approximating Fear

Photo: Leslie de Chavez, Approximating Fear, 2016, embroidery on canvas, 50 x 50 cm


Shared Residencea collaborative art project initiated by Poklong Anading, examines the notion of public and private spaces and communal ownership—from the artists to its prospective borrowers. Adopting a system similar to borrowing a book from a library, members of the Ateneo de Manila Loyola Schools community are given the option to borrow an artwork to reside in their personal space for a two-week or fourteen-day period. This act of temporary ownership or possession introduces borrowers to collecting as a social practice which also comes with the responsibility of care and integrity.

The lives of these artworks will take in the next months are an integral part of the project. Documentation from borrowers will be compiled through digital media, tracing a work’s movements online, thus creating another platform of sharing.

Ateneo Art Gallery developed the mechanics of the project as an adjunct to the Ateneo Art Awards program. Artists initially invited to donate works specifically for this project are past awardees and/or recipients of residencies. We are grateful for their participation and interest in the project. The duration of Shared Residence is indefinite and we foresee a growing collection that the university can share.

If you are an AdMU employee or Loyola Schools student and are interested in borrowing an artwork from the project, please read the Borrower’s Application FormShared Residence – Mechanics and Guidelines and Shared Residence – Loan Agreement Template carefully. AAG will begin accepting applications on 1 March 2017, Wednesday. You may use #AAGSharedResidence for your posts about the project.

For inquiries and submissions of application forms, you may contact Tricia Raya, Exhibitions Coordinator, at 426-6488 or email


Jose Garcia Villa_Self portrait_1949_graphite on paper_21 x 15 cm_Rizal Library Collection

Lines: Pictures and Poems 

by Jose Garcia Villa


presented in cooperation with the Rizal Library

8 February to 26 August 2017

Jose Garcia Villa (1908–97) is best known as a modernist poet in Philippine literature whose experiments and audacity brought him both notoriety and fame. Before he became a poet, however, he was a painter. He considered painting his “first love” and actively painted and drew in the 1920s and 1930s. Tending to abstraction at a time when postcard prettiness was the norm, Villa’s drawings and paintings stood apart from his contemporaries’, just as his poems jolted literary circles. Whether as verses or as figures, his lines were decidedly modern. While poetry eventually took precedence, the visual arts remained a constant in Villa’s life and work—as inspiration, influence, and self-expression.

On the occasion of the twentieth year of his death, “Lines: Pictures and Poems by Jose Garcia Villa” exhibits a selection of his work as a visual artist. In many cases, it illustrates the marriage of the visual arts and poetry. The materials on display are taken from the Jose Garcia Villa collection, donated to the Ateneo de Manila University by the Literary Estate of Jose Garcia Villa in 2012 and deposited at the Rizal Library.



Ligalig, a Filipino word for “threat,” encompasses the themes that continue to be relevant to this day — threat to life and freedom brought about by abuse of power, poverty, economic and social inequalities, and environmental degradation.  The range of artworks in this exhibition is quite varied — from paintings, prints, and drawings to mixed media and video works.  Alongside visual expressions, selected poems to provide a literary dimension to the struggle fought.  The exhibit also includes a compilation of documentaries addressing memory, or the lack of, and recent history.

It will feature works by Martino Abellana, Virgilio Aviado, Benedicto Cabrera, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Orlando Castillo, Charlie Co, Kiri Dalena, Antipas Delotavo, Alfredo Esquillo, Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Anna Fer, Marciano Galang, Emmanuel Garibay, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Renato Habulan, Neil Manalo, Alfredo Manrique, Manny Montelibano, J. Elizalde Navarro, Galo Ocampo, Onib Olmedo, Jose Tence Ruiz, Pablo Baens Santos and Lazaro Soriano

Picture of AAG in the 60s


Photo: AAG in the 1960s



AAG in Review:

Bellarmine Hall (1960-1967)

Print and Drawing Room (1997-2005)


8 February to 20 May 2017


As we prepare to transfer to a new home at the Arete, we take this opportunity to look back to our history when the AAG was housed in two different spaces: first, the Bellarmine Hall (from 1960 to 1967) and then the Ground Floor of the Rizal Library (current building, from 1967 to 2009).  The distinct qualities of these two spaces impacted on the directions of AAG programs and the memories of those who frequented its spaces.

This “review” is a re-construction of the Bellarmine Hall exhibition, as how Zobel wanted visitors to engage with art of a new visual language.  Another section recreates the Print and Drawing Room where Emmanuel Torres, former AAG Curator (1960 to 2002), taught art history and art appreciation to generations of Ateneo students.

AAG in Review will be up from the 8 February to 20 May 2017. For more information, you may contact AAG Exhibitions Coordinator. Tricia Raya, at


Ateneo Art Gallery invites you to the opening of the exhibition #LUZ@90 Curated by Ambeth R. Ocampo, on 16 November 2016, Wednesday at 6pm. Featuring recent and early works, the exhibition is a celebration of the 90th birth anniversary of Arturo R. Luz, National Artist for Visual Arts.

Luz was named National Artist for Visual Arts in 1997. Beginning his career with figurative works, he then explored other modes of abstraction and stylized figuration in paintings, sculptures, prints and collages. His works like ‘Bagong Taon’ and ‘City’ (both from the AAG collection) marked a critical development in the history of Philippine modern art. Works in various media, including photography, maintain his aesthetic of linear and geometrical forms and remain true to his visual clarity.

Selected works featured in the exhibition will form part of the Ambeth R. Ocampo bequest to the Ateneo de Manila University.

“My life is to paint. Because I keep working, I could give any show any day of the week.” (Luz, Philippine Tatler, 14 March 2015)

Three visual artists and 2 art writers made up this year’s winners for the Ateneo Art Awards’ Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art and Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism.

Martha Atienza (A Study in Reality No. 3), Rocky Cajigan (Museumified), and Nathalie Dagmang (Dito sa May Ilog ng Tumana: A Sensory Investigation on the Contradictory Relationship of Barangay Tumana with the Marikina River) were declared winners for the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art.  Dagmang was also named recipient of 2 international residency grants:  Artesan Gallery + Studio in Singapore and Liverpool Hope University- Creative Campus in England. Atienza won the La Trobe University Visual Arts Center residency grant in Australia.

For the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism, Pristine de Leon won for her essay “Owning the Image: Exploring Lopez Museum’s Political Cartoons and the Pleasures of Residence.” Part of de Leon’s prize is a regular column at the Arts and Culture section of The Philippine Star that will be published twice a month for a year.

For his entry “Chambers of Reflection: A Critique on Mark Justiniani’s ‘Reverb,” Dominic Zinampan was declared the first winner of the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize- ArtAsiaPacific Magazine. Zinampan received a writing engagement with the magazine and will contribute 6 articles for a year.

In his welcome remarks, Ateneo de Manila University President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, expressed his gratitude to all the artists.

“Thank you for generating light, for generative waves and moving us to see your world and transforming us with your art,” he said during the Ateneo Art Awards rites on September 15, 2016 at the Grand Atrium of Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong.

The 2016 Ateneo Art Awards yielded 74 nominated exhibitions and 22 writing entries.

“It is heartening to know that on its 13th year, the Ateneo Art Awards continue to grow in depth and breadth,” said Ateneo Art Gallery Director Ma. Victoria Herrera.

Jurors who screened the Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art were sculptor Agnes Arellano; visual artist and Ateneo de Manila University Fine Arts professor Fr. Jason Dy, SJ; multi-awarded visual artist Edgar Talusan Fernandez; independent curator and Bandung Institute of Technology professor Agung Hujatnikajennonh; visual artist, curator and lecturer Angel Velasco Shaw; visual artist and 2005 Ateneo Art Awards winner Eric Zamuco; and Ateneo Art Gallery director Ma. Victoria Herrera. The jurors screened the nominations and came up with the 12 shortlist artists and winners.

The other shortlisted artists were Buen Abrigo, Romina Diaz, Ian Fabro, Ian Carlo Jaucian, Leeroy New, Jose Luis Singson, Ryan Villamael, Liv Vinluan, and Paulo Vinluan.

Jurors who screened the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism were University of the Philippines Art Studies professor Dr. Cecilia de la Paz; Ateneo de Manila University Fine Arts professor Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ; The Philippine Star Lifestyle Editor Millet Mananquil; ArtAsiaPacific editor-in-chief Elaine Ng; and Ateneo Art Gallery director Ma. Victoria Herrera.

The other shortlisted artists were Mariel Aglipay, Jasmine Cruz, Par Patacsil, and Carlos Quijon, Jr.

From October 10 – December 3, 2016, all 12 shortlisted artworks be on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery in Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.

The exhibition explores the founding of the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG), the first institution of its kind in the Philippines, in the context of modern art after the Second World War and the unspoken utopian vision that underpins its development. Bookended by the destruction of Manila and the contemporary themes represented by select artists, the exhibition immerses the viewer in modern art as it highlights the utopian context of the AAG from the period of decolonization, which saw the emergence of a new postcolonial state, to the current times of economic meltdowns and environmental crises, which demand brave new futures. The exhibition consists of fourteen sections illuminating key historical moments in modern art in the country from the last half century. At its heart lies the hope to reexamine the paths that Filipino art has taken to envision a modern nation in pursuit of freedom.


The Ateneo Art Gallery presents Stirring the Ashes by Leslie de Chavez, opening on Saturday, 23 July at 4pm. De Chavez was one of the three winners of the 2014 Ateneo Art Awards and the recipient of the Ateneo Art Gallery – Liverpool Hope University Residency Grant. De Chavez won the award for his works in the 2014 Lopez Museum exhibition Complicated which investigated the complex relationship of the Philippines with its former colonizers, the United States and Spain.

Through his paintings and installations, de Chavez reflects on the power structures of the past and present, giving visual form to the disparities that have persisted throughout history. Using powerful images and text, De Chavez captures your attention and forces you to reflect upon his subjects. These continue to haunt you beyond your physical encounter with them.

Stirring the Ashes opens on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at 4 pm. Artspeak : Leslie de Chavez in conversation with Fr. Jason Dy is on Thursday, 18 August at 4 pm. For more information visit or call the exhibition coordinator, Tricia Raya at 4266488.