Return Exhibitions and 'Forecasting Change' at the Ateneo Art Awards 2022
Introduced in 2004 as solely Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Arts, the Ateneo Art Awards (AAA) has been recognizing immense artistry of Filipino contemporary artists and writers along with its Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism introduced in 2014.
In 2020, the recognition was postponed amidst the pandemic and the Prizes for the Visual Arts were reconfigured the following year, to adopt a biennial scheduling which now alternates with AAA Return Exhibition. Apart from the three winners of the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prize for Art Criticism this year, the AAA points to five winners, from its 2016 and 2017 iterations, who have had residency engagements in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore.
(FROM LEFT) Fr. Roberto C. Yap, President, Ateneo de Manila University; Nathalie Dagmang, Returning Artist, Ateneo Art Awards 2022; Cian Dayrit, Returning Artist, Ateneo Art Awards 2022; Costantino Zicarelli, Returning Artist, Ateneo Art Awards 2022; Dr. Maria Luz Vilches, Vice President of the Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University; Ma. Victoria "Boots" Herrera, Director and Chief Curator, Ateneo Art Gallery.
The Ateneo Art Awards Return Exhibition highlights works by Filipino artists Martha Atienza, Nathalie Dagmang, Gale Encarnacion, Cian Dayrit, and Constantino Zicarelli. Here are snippets to their works:
"Kaongkod 11°16’12.0”N 123°45’23.4”E 2019-08-03 Sat 12:14 PM PST 2.03 Meters High Tide" by Martha Atienza, Single-Channel Video, Approximately 15 minutes.
"Tarong 11°16’12.0”N 123°45’23.4”E 2019-08-06 Tue 2:27 PM PST 1.50 Meters High Tide" by Martha Atienza, Single-Channel Video, Approximately 15 minutes.
Martha Atienza presents her video works which echoes her belief on the creative process serving as a formidable mechanism for engaging communities and upholding advocacies. In her two works, Atienza shows Rodgie Malagad, a lad from the coastal area Madrilejos in Bantayan Island, Cebu, one of the many localities affected by disasters. Here, the artists explicates adaptability to extreme changes—“to move with the sea and not fear it”—as seen from Malagad’s clip, diving and resurfacing signifying the courageousness and mutability of the communities developed through time.
"Mayflowers: Virtual Santa Cruzan (Screenshot)" by Nathalie Dagmang, Single Channel Video Projection, 27 Minutes.
The Detail on "Pag-aalay ng bulaklak (Participatory installation, 2022)" by Nathalie Dagmang, Table, Papers, Tablet.
Consistent to Nathalie Dagmang’s artistic process which explores relationships between people and places through the use of ethnographic method, she presents a work deduced from a four-year participatory project with Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). The workers experienced making flowers as they viewed a virtual santacruzan. This has reference to Marian devotion which the artist points: “This project is another iteration of this popular devotion that is adapted to the Filipino migrants’ current conditions and emerging needs during the pandemic”. It is also in this exhibit where museum visitors can try creating paper flowers.
"May Ibon na Kakanta-kanta (2022) by Gale Encarnacion, Kapok, Dry Rice Stalks, and Expanding Foam.
Central to Gale Encarnacion’s body of work is her persistent explorations of the environment and her dwelling. "May Ibon na Kakanta-kanta" is in conversation with the Ateneo Art Gallery collection particularly David Medalla’s untitled monochrome watercolor painting in 1958, which makes her believe in "a certain kind of magic," particularly something mystical pointing to the gesture of saying tabi-tabi po in other-worldy places. Apart from this, Encarnacion takes inspiration from her mentor, the late Leo Abaya, through his words: “Think like an artist—respond to what is there."
Installation shot of "Darkly Seeing the Unseen (2022)" by Cian Dayrit's from the Ateneo Art Awards 2022: Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art Return Exhibition.
Detail on "State of State (2021) by Cian Dayrit, Embroidery on Fabric, Framed Digital Prints (10 pieces), Woodworks and Objects, Collaboration with Henry Caceres and Lito La Union with Support of Oscar Torres, Collection of the Artist.
Cian Dayrit presents collaborative outputs which stem from an “introspective retrospective” proposition bringing together select works displayed in different exhibitions in various local and international spaces within a five-year period. Having a prolific artistic practice, Dayrit has been known to employ “counter-cartography” as evidently seen in his embroidered textiles which echo contemporary social conditions through historic maps. Most important to note, he also follows an archaeological method to dissect visual documents which evoke interconnections between dominance and power.
"The land doesn’t shine on their sun (Apocalypse now) (2022)" by Costantino Zicarelli, Oil on Canvas, Laser Etching on Wood, Laser Etching on Wood Frame.
Installation shot of "Akkan na manawag na davun ta bilag da (The land doesn’t shine on their sun) (2022)" by Costantino Zicarelli From the Ateneo Art Awards 2022: Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art Return Exhibition.
In Constantino Zicarelli’s works, he revisits his childhood memories and familial recollections pointing to meaningful and more relatable context as he begins his own family, and previous works which now “manifest a different energy and meaning in the current socio-political climate”. Crucial to this work is his recalled trips between Isabela and Manila as a child, triggering memories and echoing the past. He shares, “I'm just trying to get a grip on certain difficult realities by retelling them in a language that mimics them, that is, through a combination of hazy memory and fabricated detail, an experiment in fighting sham with sham."
The Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prize in Art Criticism Award this year, on the other hand takes off from the passage “fresh winds and new light” referencing a 1990 anthology of art criticism essays by Kalaw-Ledesma which included entries from the first PKL Prize for Art Criticism organized by the Art Association of the Philippines.
This year’s entries tackled art practice and forms which manifested in both alternative, institutional, and mainstream spaces through varied models. The winning pieces include writer and researcher Nicole Soriano’s The Insistence of Hope (for The Philippine Star and Orange Project Residency in Bacolod City); pathology resident Dondie Casanova’s The Forest Fire at the Brutal Beauty: Jinggoy Buensuceso's KAINGIN (for Art Asia Pacific); and researcher and museum worker Gian Carlo Delgado’s Mga palagay sa panahon, espasyo, at gunita: Pagturing sa eksibisyong "Gintong Liwayway: Sining ng Progresibong Pagbabago" (for Katipunan Journal).
Shortlisted entries were from diverse practitioners and professionals across the arts and creative industries ecosystem namely Francesca Locsin, Nicole Primero, Kaye O’yek, Czyka Tumaliuan, Roy Cagalingan, Jord Earving Gadingan, and Vladimeir Gonzales.
(FROM LEFT, TOP TO BOTTOM) PKL Prizes in Art Criticism winners Dondie Casanova, Nicole Soriano, and Gian Carlo Delgado.
The Ateneo Art Awards 2022: Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art Return Exhibition is on view until March 4, 2023 at the Ateneo Art Gallery, Arete, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City. Essays from the Purita Kalaw Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism, through the years, can be viewed in detail through microsite Vital Points.