Those who were born in the times where library and museums are the only means of research, (Yes, I’m raising my hand.) you know there’s a big difference then and now. Before, old paintings, artifacts and deteriorating books, that seem to speak of its own history, can easily fuel interest and excitement. Now, since we are on a digital age, you cannot just expect that same level of interest from younger generations, which is sad because it actually eliminates the need for libraries or museums. Good thing, Lopez Museum and Samsung partnered to give us a digitally enhanced museum experience as they open its first exhibition for 2015, entitled Propaganda.
Luckily, I together with few bloggers (Thanks to Az), media men and guest artists were the first few to witness the Propaganda exhibit.
Propaganda exhibit fleshes out the idea of myth-making and its capacity to inspire change or derail genuine national progress. Using state-of-the-art Samsung equipment and programming to enhance the museum-going experience thru digital technology, it is an exhibition that challenges not just our notions of art and history, but also how we view museums and libraries.
Before the walk-through began, we first entered a well lit room perfectly designed to feed our minds of the past. Tables covered with old photos of actors like Nida Blanca, Susan Roces and more. On table centers were Samsung tablets. Coffee from Gourmet were also in perfect fit to the ambiance. There’s LVN movies still photographs on the walls, and on the other side was written this question: What quality do you value most in a national leader?
According to Ricky Francisco, co-curator of Propaganda, the exhibition was conceived more than a year ago to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with Don M. Salubayba, 2009 CCP Thirteen Artists Awardee and one of the most promising artists of his generation. Salubayba unexpectedly passed away during the planning process and the exhibition evolved to be also a tribute to him. The exhibition includes a few of his important works such as Pagsasabuhay, Abysmal Abound: Trinity of Passiveness, and his “anino-mation” (shadow puppetry) A Not so Giant Story (Legend of the Philippines) that have been sourced and borrowed with the help of Tin-aw Artists Management.
Also featured are World War II posters, election-related archival materials, LVN movies still photographs, a collection of rare maps, Philippine imprints; a recreation of Santiago Bose's 1983 installation Pasyon at Rebolusyon that has been reinstalled by Kawayan de Guia; commissioned works from social realist and Negros Occidental-based artist Nunelucio Alvarado; 2012 Thirteen Artists awardee Joey Cobcobo; and writer and Gawad Urian awardee film-maker Alvin Yapan. Enriching the exhibit and re-framing the exhibition issues are works by 18th century masters Juan Luna and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo, along with those of national artists Fernando Amorsolo, Jose Joya, Cesar Legaspi, Vicente Manansala, and J. Elizalde Navarro from the permanent collection.
After the presentation, we went on to see the other collections like some of the oldest published books in the Philippine history, maps, paintings by century artists and more.
Our last stop during the tour/exhibit was the room with WWII related posters, comical art expression and news clippings.
Ethel, making this 1943 propaganda poster animated by projecting Samsung tab using an app
Propaganda invites visitors to “reflect on where we, as a country, have been and where we are going” says Co-curator Ethel Villafranca. Francisco adds, “We hope that this would help the public become more critical of all the propaganda they will be exposed to once the nation is plunged into the campaign period for the 2016 elections”. In this way, Propaganda aims to engage the public, challenge them to see the connections in history and culture within the objects in the collection, and be more discerning when presented with information, whether political or otherwise.
Propaganda will run from February 6 to May 30, 2015 and is presented with support from Samsung Philippines, Tin-aw Artists Management, the heirs of Doña Narcissa de Leon (LVN collection), and ABS - CBN Film and Media Archives. For more information, call Tina at 6312417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lopez Museum and Library
Lopez Museum and Library hours are 8-5pm Mondays through Saturdays except Sundays and holidays.
Location: G/F Benpres Bldg., Meralco corner Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.