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What to See At The Metropolitan Museum Of Manila?

Now on its 42nd year, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila has been providing Filipinos local art for several decades, allowing them to further appreciate and understand their culture

To celebrate this milestone, selected pieces from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas collection are displayed at basement of the museum.

The collection is comprised of mostly figures from nature, such as pawikan and monkeys, of toads, and rock sculptures. Some are incorporated into everyday items that we use, such as lampshades made to look like trees with branches and leaves. There are also gold clutches with Filipino animals like the tamaraw adorning the top.

At the main floor of the museum, one can also visit the Chinese painting collection of Hau Chiok, titled Coalescences. He is the founder of the Philippine Chinese Art Center, which he established in 1975. His wife and fellow artist, Sy Chiu Hua (Lin Yu Qi), co-founded the center with him. The talented couple has trained more than 3,500 students from 25 differrent countries

There is a magnificent painting of lions battling it out as their pride looks on, and also a large painting of koi fish, something that art lovers may find more low-key and serene. There are also beautiful paintings of flowers, such as orchids in various pastel colors. A highlight of this collection is the rare painting of a nude woman, whose rawness and vulnerability were captured on canvas.

At the topmost floor is an exhibit devoted to mostly local contemporary art. This collection is reminiscent of those that can be found in Art Fair Philippines and Art in the Park, which feature works from young, up and coming artists.

As art is a reflection of society and its time, you will also find pieces that provide socio-political commentary, including a huge painting of our national heroes during the time of the revolution - from a cartoon of Apolinario Mabini coming up with his writings, to Andres Bonifacio organizing the Philippine Revolution. Old items are also given new breath, repurposed into meaningful art such as the jeepney and homely mannequin, which are also on display at the museum.

With its walls and spaces filled with thoughtful art, one can spend the entire day at the Metropolitan. Truly a visit can enrich one’s mind and heart, and leave one deeply appreciative of Filipino art.

 

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