Six Jurors Deliberated on 12 Proposals for the PH Pavilion in Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

January 1 1970 |

The Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB) has received 12 proposals submitted to the Coordinating Committee in response to the open call for curatorial proposals for the Philippine participation at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.

The PAVB is composed of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.

Six jurors deliberated on the submitted proposals: NCCA Chairman Virgilio S. Almario; Leandro Locsin, Jr.; Fernando Zobel de Ayala; Carol Yinghua Lu; Lani Maestro and Senator Loren Legarda, the principal advocate of the project.

Almario is a National Artist for Literature and serves as the Commissioner for the Philippine Pavilion. Locsin is the administrator of the Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP) architecture firm and part of the curatorial team that represented the Philippines in its first participation in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. Zobel is the Chairman of Ayala Land Inc. and whose kin painter Fernando M. Zobel was the first Filipino to participate in the Venice Biennale in 1962 under the Spanish Pavilion. Yinghua Lu is a curator, art critic and was part of the jury for the Golden Lion Award in the 2011 Venice Art Biennale. Maestro is one of the participating artists in the Philippine Pavilion, “The Spectre of Comparison”, at the 2017 Venice Art Biennale. Legarda, a three-term Senator and a staunch supporter of art and culture, is the driving force behind the Philippines’ return to the Venice Biennale in 2015 after 51 years of absence.

The deliberation took place at the NCCA Building on September 22, 2017. The selected proposal will be announced on September 30.

The open call was released on the website of PAVB, NCCA, DFA and Senator Legarda, via press release and email distribution last June 16, 2017 with a deadline set on August 30, 2017.

According to Almario, who also serves as the Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion, he deemed the proposals to have strong curatorial merit and responded to the issues of contemporary architecture in the Philippines and elsewhere.

“It is with pleasure that we have garnered the support of the community of architects, curators, artists, and thinkers in the country,” Almario said. He explained, “The Venice Biennale is a platform that allows our realities as a country to be presented unto the global stage.”

Meanwhile, the project’s main proponent Senator Loren Legarda said, “I pushed for the government to support our art endeavors but it is an achievement for me to see that our vibrant architecture and art community very supportive of our projects as well.”

Legarda added, “There is much importance given to the country’s economic gains but when we support the arts and the people behind it, it becomes a way for us to enrich lives. Everybody profits when the government invests in art and culture.”

The 12 entries were submitted by the country’s foremost practitioners of architecture, urban planners, curators, heritage workers, people from the academe, and artists.

With the support of all the cooperating agencies through the PAVB Coordinating Committee, the selected proposal will be realized in the Philippine Pavilion in the Arsenale in Venice to be opened on May 26, 2018 and will run until November 25, 2018.

This is only the second time that the country will participate officially at the Venice Architecture Biennale. The first Philippine Pavilion at the architecture exposition was in 2016 titled, Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City, curated by Sudarshan Khadka, Jr., Juan Paolo de la Cruz and Leandro Locsin, Jr. of  LVLP.***