Title And Themes Of Philippine Pavilion At 2019 Venice Biennale Released
By Phoebe Tam
On July 26, the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Foreign Affairs, and office of senator Loren Legarda announced in a press release that the country’s pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale will be titled “Island Weather.” Curated by Tessa Maria Guazon, a researcher, curator and assistant professor at the Department of Art Studies, University of Philippines Diliman, the pavilion will showcase works by Bacolod-born installation artist Mark Justiniani.
The pavilion will look into the symbolism of the island, as perceived in both fiction and reality. The three themes of the exhibition, “Island Voyage,” “Local Forecast: Turbulent Weather,” and “Piers and Ports,” will explore the interactions between travel, fantasy, vision, and the motif of the lighthouse.
Justiniani, who has been active since the 1990s in both art and political activism, began his career as a Social Realist artist before gradually moving toward the exploration of optics, vision, and perceptions of reality in his work. In 1994, he received the Cultural Center of Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Award, and has since represented his country in exhibitions and conferences worldwide.
Guazon’s academic research specializes in urban spaces and Asian contemporary art practices. She is also the principal researcher for Manila in the Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network project, run by Urban Knowledge Network Asia and the International Institute of Asian Studies, Leiden. She has previously curated for the John B. Vargas Museum, Manila, and the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, among others, and is drafting a book and an essay on art, resilience and locality.
The 58th edition of the Venice Biennale, whose title “May You Live in Interesting Times” was initially misattributed as an “ancient Chinese curse,” is slated to open from May 11, 2019 until November 24, 2019.
Phoebe Tam is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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