Yuchengco Museum’s Art Collection
Last Saturday, September 25, it was our professor Dr. Joey Lacson’s turn to show our Communication Behavior class around. His trip of choice: a visit to the Yuchengco Museum.
Honestly, though my line of work involves art exhibit-hopping every now and then, I have actually never been to the Yuchengco Museum. In fact…I didn’t even know that the beautiful RCBC building houses an art museum.
The building itself, designed by the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP and by W.V. Coscolluela & Associates, is a sight to behold. I am not into futuristic looking structures but this is just so beautiful in a Final Fantasy VIII sort of way.
The interiors of the building feature a nice balance of curves and lines. The cold, harsh element of steel is softened by the spiral pathways.
Somehow, this shot reminds me of Salvador Dali’s art. The architects’ circular patterns sort of plays tricks on the eyes. How’s that for visual communication? Hehe.
We couldn’t take photos of the first and second floor. Too bad, because these contain the Yuchengcos’ National Artist collection. I knew, the moment I saw Jose Joya’s name in one of the paintings that the first floor was really something special. I had goosebumps, truly, because I don’t normally just run into Ang Kiukok’s works. I usually find them in picture books and…the Freeway tribute to National Artists.
Anyway, pictured here are the Chinese artifacts that the Yuchengcos have acquired. All these reside on the second floor.
Oriental art is fascinating. This much has been proven in our trip to Seng Guan Temple Binondo. I swear, China really deserves to be called the “Cradle of Civilization” because they have been well-rounded in both the arts and the sciences since time immemorial.
Chinese art collectors would usually have this kind of work in their homes. This is an elephant’s tusk.
Below: Look at the details up close. My naked eyes couldn’t actually see what the fuss was all about because the tusk was encased in glass. It was when I looked into Shin-Chan2’s memory that I gasped at the intricacy of these carvings.
My favorite in the entire third floor: Suspended Garden, an installation by Tony Gonzales and Tes Pasola. I know this is made of paper maché, and for school kids that would’ve sounded easy. Try to picture, however, how this was assembled. And yes, it definitely had to be site specific. (Studio Arts majors, I hope you are taking note of this.)
Our tour guide, Aleth Gayosa, former Communication Research graduate who’s now taking up her MA in Museum Studies, explained that we can lie down on the pseudo carpet (also made of the same material), to gaze at the formation of the fake rocks. Our class definitely had fun with this one!
This seemed to have served as the grand introduction to the PUMAPAPEL: Art in Paper exhibit spearheaded by Tony Gonzales and Tes Pasola. Also participating are Pandy Aviado, Joey Cobcobo, Impy Pilapil, Wataru Sakuma, Asao Shimura and the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA).
Err. This is an untitled work, so Dr. Lacson called it “Alzheimer’s”. He justified that it resembles the brain of a person afflicted with the disease. I’m not really sure when to take Dr. Lacson seriously, though…
I swear, we were like kids in a candy store. I know it’s museum protocol to not touch the artifacts (except, of course, if the artist asked for audience participation), but there were times when we couldn’t help it. It’s those textures! Sorry!
I’ve seen newspaper fashion before. In fact, many of our students have repeatedly used newspapers for pageants and fashion shows.
But I haven’t seen a piece that is as well assembled as this.
The lines are clean, the colors were strategically woven in, and the papers really hugged the wearer’s form. (Of course, the mannequin wasn’t moving. Still.)
This is a trip that I especially appreciate because I had been mostly exposed to contemporary art. I most definitely found myself awestruck at the sight of the works of earlier National Artists.
Aleth mentioned that her undergraduate degree in Communication Research helped her understand the various levels of visual communication involved in museums. I told her that the UP College of Arts and Letters, where she’s taking her MA, can actually provide the most daunting academic challenges. It was a good thing that we have an edge, coming from UP-CMC’s Communication Research department, which had been hailed CHED Center of Excellence. Still, the density of the historical artifacts a UP-CAL major has to contend with can literally make your nose bleed. Even for those with background in research.
Don’t believe me? Pick up anything that Patrick Flores has written.
As for where we ate afterward…