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Art Talk by Maria Victoria Herrera

Me and my classmates participated in a seminar-like-art-talk at the UCC FEU last Feb 21, 2013.

The speaker on this event was miss Maria Victoria Herrera. She teaches Art History and museum-related courses at the University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University. She is a freelance curator and collections management consultant, and served as director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines‘ Visual Arts Unit from 1995 to 1997.

During the talk, she discussed various topics that was very useful to us art students and also other courses related to art. She taught us the venues of interaction which consists of artists run spaces, where there's no stress on selling art compared to galleries, they are self artists, when talking about budget, they look for projects to sustain. Additionally another venue is the world known internet. You can post your artworks there and more people can see and find it. She said that Facebook was the popular choice.

Additionally, she discussed topics about mediators of art and arbiters of taste (e.g. gallery spaces, new approaches in gallery management, active role of auction houses, art competitions which is a really great way to motivate new art students, new generation of art collectors where she discussed that there are young collectors and counting up which is a great sign for the art market, art awards like Ateneo art awards which is also a great big thing in the art world)

Basically, she discussed important points to us which was really helpful. The art market today is large and we, as students who are major in painting, is very happy, but also challenged at the same time.

Moreover, I’ve discovered more contemporary artists like Roberto Chabet, Junyee, Peewee Roldan, Ling Quisumbing, Manny Montelibano, Felix Bacolor, Kiri Dalena, Mac Valdezco, Nona Garcia, MM Yu, Ryan Villamael, and Nilo Ilarde. Ronald Ventura was also featured, and I already knew his works from his exhibit at the Vargas Museum on our Art Theory 2 class. But what I didn't know is that his 40 million peso artwork was auctioned as one of the highest! I respect him very much and he's an inspiration to my career. All of these artists are mind blowing! And they are Filipinos mind you~

This installation art was by Felix Bacolor, and was said to be bought by a Singapore museum. It was said that these wind chimes were bought at Divisoria. Imagine this and the electric fan doing their work, it must've been magical!!! Too bad I wasn't able to see it. This was my most favorite feature during this art talk!

All in all the seminar was very interesting and Miss Herrera was a good talk! I've learned and realized so many things in just a small amount of time. I'm not sure if the talk was an hour, more or less. And most of the artists she featured were not really painters, they were just magnetized by art and can produce art without brushing out paints but colliding objects and doing installation artworks. All of it serves another boost of inspiration to me.

This video is not related about the talk at FEU, it's s a video showing how dedicated she is on her speeches:

This was also not said on her talk, but to get a glimpse of her curate works, view this Exhibition article post. She also has her own book
Thanks for reading!!!


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Protected Under The Sun, An Installation Art Gone Performance Art

Our project was supposed to be an installation art, but due to some unexpected university rules we cannot exhibit our project which was to hang our work at the pavilion of our campus. So our installation art kind of became a performance art where my group mate is holding the umbrella full of pins!!! The experience was priceless though, and was quite fun!

This was our description for our installation art and was also layout by me. It was printed in A3 format so that when we roam around in campus they can understand the meaning behind our project. Full information and readable texts below.

About our concept

These were our inspirations that led us into creating our installation art. At first we were targeting a budget safe project so we tried thinking about some objects within our house, and we made it a point that we’ll use a broken umbrella rather than just throwing it out on the trash bin. When we thought about umbrella the first thing that came to mind was women using it to protect from the sun’s harsh rays that was why the title became “Protected By The Sun.” And then we tried to flick in some issues and the idea of freedom of speech came out, thus the title has its own double meanings.

“Protected Under The Sun”
By Diana B. Santos, Mamaril, Magbitang, Tecuico


Broken Umbrella, Pins, Nylon Ropes, Newspaper cut-outs, Memo Pads, Tapes


The theme of our installation is about freedom of speech under the umbrella. It may sound different but the title is bound to be a double meaning topic. Protected by the sun is yet another myth by most of us, and in our art you are not protected. There are pins that can leave you scars, words that can kill you, truths that we have yet to believe, and many more under that umbrella.

The issues that we want to impart is about how people’s thoughts varies, how we are blinded by the lies, how “protected” we are in the society, and the ideas are countless.

The materials we used are quite simple they can be seen inside our house. The umbrella symbolizes protection from the sun and rain and also from the truth; the newspapers mainly shout our current issues and the journalists’ freedom of speech; memo pad for interaction with the viewers; and the pins are indication of leaving scars both internally and externally to us. We used our materials like this because it’s more meaningful and leaves attraction to our minds. Even though our concept is a mixture of protection, danger, and freedom of speech it somehow still recognizes harmony in our society, without control from the government and from the powerful social classes it would look more like chaos, and without it is a description of impossibility.

Our umbrella is full of pins which is quite edgy and harmful when you’re supposed to be protected, but that’s the case. Since most of us don’t have the freedom of speech we have to go through the needle literally. No pain, no gain. You need to sacrifice to be able to achieve something worth bigger. And participating in our installation art would only do a smaller damage that anyone can participate into, and hopefully this little experience can be a great teacher to an individual. Due to this, we believed we achieved our commentary on the issue we want to impart about freedom of speech.

When we were actually doing the installation art, we discovered that our first plan of material usage didn’t quite went well so we researched our way through and solved some glitches. The process was kind of hard because of the materials, but all was worth it.

We want our audience to receive our installation art as something worthy of importance because each of us has a voice and sometimes you just need to see it to hear and listen to it. We also want them to interact with our installation art and have this in mind, “Would you dare to get hurt just to say your thoughts?

The real deal, walking around with art

This was our finals exam slash project, and it requires comments from the audience so we need to find them to complete our task. We roamed around school and successfully caught their attention!

Our installation art turned performance art! Our work is the one with the umbrella!!!
I was quite shy doing all the speech, but I have to boost myself up. I approached people who were obviously not busy and kindly ask for a little chit chat and my group mates followed thereafter. I informed them about our installation art and what they needed to do. Our installation art was an interactive one and they are required to participate.

This is me talking to the audience! :D
They can write anything on the memo pad, be it about our university, our government, or personal things. We provided memo pads for them to write onto and we also prepared a sturdy board for them to write with ease.
Our first batch of audience was a success! All of them were really engaged with our project. But to our second batch, they were really just an average interest to our work. Nevertheless, it went really well.

“Would you dare to get hurt just to say your thoughts?”


Click picture for higher resolution

These were the written speeches that were hanged onto our umbrella. Quite good messages actually. I'm not sure but some of the memo pads were blown away by the super duper luper wind, too bad but oh well~!

Focus Group Discussion

It was really fun and a great discussion with the participants, our questions were:

  1. Did you understand our installation art?
  2. Do you appreciate installation art?
  3. Were you impressed or upset when you saw our installation art?
  4. How do you feel after interacting with our installation art?
  5. Did we achieved our “freedom of speech” concept?
  6. Did it caught your attention?
  7. Do you have any suggestions or comments about our work?
Most of the answers were positive! And I am proud of our group work because it went well. Also most of them suggested that we should use a bigger and COLORFUL (what?!) umbrella. Anyways, it was really fun getting to know new people and learning their insights!

All in all, it was yet another memorable activity of art and work for our course subject Art Theory II under our most amazing Professor Rosario. I can't help but appreciate all of these activities I never would have imagined written in our curriculum. It was priceless! All the fun, laughter, and workmanship are just some of the numerous evidences of learning this wonderful subject. I'm not overreacting as this would be our last activity. I'm just being overjoyed but sad because it might be the last!

Thanks for reading!

Interpretation: Marxism, Feminism, and Post Colonial Artworks

Spoliarium by Juan Luna. Rome, 1884. A National Cultural Treasure. National Museum Declaration No. 1-2006.


Marxism interprets social change and analyzes class relations within society and it applies in the critique of the development of capitalism. It also defines the dominant and the oppressed people, and social class status.

Spolarium is a very elaborate example of Marxism because it clearly shows the dominant and the oppressed society. There are vaious expressions, emotions, and hardships shown. Personally, the atrocious thing about this is that it's a form of entertainment and nobody seemed to care. I see gladiators dying, women mourning, the tumult of the crowd, the shouts of slaves, whispered prayers, and several more others.

The Spoliarium, often misspelled Spolarium, is a painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna. The painting was submitted by Luna to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid, where it garnered the first gold medal (out of three). In 1886, it was sold to the Diputación Provincial de Barcelona for 20,000 pesetas. It currently hangs in the main gallery at the ground floor of the National Museum of the Philippines, and is the first work of art that greets visitors upon entry into the museum.I admire Juan Luna because he is a great artist with inspiring works and burning passion in painting. He did a significant job in his "Spoliarum"

This was finished after 8 months! It sure is known as an award winning masterpiece! It was a work well done and an inspiration to all of us. Even after staring at the work for uncountable times, I never seem to get tired of it. It truly is an amazing work.

In today's society, this kind of torture is not popularly done anymore. Though the modern version, in my opinion, would be related to corruption. It is by far the those people's current entertainment for themselves and the oppressed would stay silent because of the various consequences, threats, and staying powerless. It cannot be served with justice itself if you don't have the control. Yes, I sadly agree that money is the root of all evil and triumph of guilt.

Las Lavanderas by Fernando Amorsolo. Oil on canvas. 1964. GSIS Collection.


Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

This beautiful painting is likely a feminist art, though not that loud voice about guerillas, independent women, and vice versa, but simply just females at work. During the time this painting was portrayed, I think probably earlier or 1800s, you would never imagine a man being a "lavandera" or doing a household like a househusband. Though I could imagine a society of men without women, and I reckon that would result to something stinky, sorry for the word because I just remembered a cartoon which visions men that lived without any women, and they pretty much looked so disorganized and needs women in conclusion. That's why women are here, but of course that is not the main purpose. Men can sometime cannot do what a woman can. The popular word of advantage of a woman, like said, is their so called multitasking powers.

I love the aesthetics of women showed in here. The composition has the right colors, place, activity, and the precise subject of women with young and fair body.

Personally, this painting mirrors what a woman typically is. They are beautiful, attractive, compulsive, and smart.

My favorite quote about this theory, in my opinion, is “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young

In today's feminism related to this artwork, we can see a big good change. Since today is modern, most of us use washing machines so the load work can be downsized, and many other household chores have been improved for more convenience. Additionally, women can have education and can be employed.

A Tragic Lesson (The Fall of Bataan) by Gene Cabrera. Oil on canvas. 1957. National Museum Collection.

 Post colonial

Post colonialism is an opportunity for the subaltern, which is us, to "speak". And by Gene Cabrera's interpretation about this horrid pain and suffering, he was able to share this atrocious truth successfully which we all needed and for the future generation to not repeat this history.

This is a very deplorable painting as it publicize the ugly truth of war and colonialism. There's nothing good that comes out of it, I believe it serves as a waste of life and energy but I guess that's life. The details and the message of the painting was impeccable.
This artwork deliberately shows the oppressed people, and though without the image of the dominant body of people it can visibly be seen when you analyze the cause and effects of this art's perception.

In our society and the whole world today, people die every single minute not because of war but because of poverty and illnesses, this can be another kind of interpretation about this painting because it shows the horrible interpretation of death.

Thank you for reading!


My conceptualisation about gender

LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex)/ Feminist Theory Related

Usually people can be judgmental, you might have not notice it but a human's mind has infinite words of perception. There are countless issues about LGBTI and feminism ever since, well... a long time ago. Even if we want to shout an equality statement to the world, it might never come true. All we can do is to respect people who they are. Yes. Respect. It is a small word that means something big.

Our activity project for our course subject in Art Theory II was to photograph a member(s) of our group portraying a subject about LGBTI and Feminism during our remaining time in class which is about 20 minutes. It should be printed in a thick paper and ought to look like a real postcard.

The conceptualizing process is always hard for me because I want my idea to speak out loud, and that's personally hard. At first we already thought of a good concept for the LGBTI subject which is gay marriage, but it was actually arduous to compel the boys in our group to do it. Here stands tall of men's ego. I know that it can be hard for straight guys to hold hands in "class" for a photo shoot, but since it was a simple school activity I thought it might be done. Time was running out and here we are sitting ducks, though it's fine because all of the other groups seem to be having a hard time on their own, and have no other else to do except... do nothing. The aura of that is very obvious in the class. Somehow, it was funny and awkward. In the meantime, I was still thinking about a concept for feminism and the only idea I came up with is girls who arm wrestle, also there were fewer ideas from my group mates about it compare to LGBTI. Since the deadline for the post card was next week, we just decided to think of a nice concept later then do the photo shoot the next day.

The day after yesterday came and the concept was still the same. But for a few extra minutes our concept for the LGBTI was final, two men holding hands and then a spark of idea from Denden, our group mate, said that the background should be "Keep of the grass." Perfect! I really love this concept. We had the photo shoot done without problems because we are the only people left in the class room, which means that there's no reason to be shy about.~
Keep of the grass -- It sounds something else right? We know the rules yet we still break them.

On the other hand, in feminism I just found an idea from my surrounding. I saw a ply board painted in brown. Rally. It rang a bell. A female leader running a rally. We thought it just fit in. So we did it, I intentionally didn't think I would be the one to portray it. So it was kinda awkward to pose at the camera holding a ply board... and that I should look like some bad ass woman. Nevertheless, it went well. Furthermore, I did all the editing and layout in Photoshop and I actually spent some time doing it. It was fun! The added quotes on the back was my idea, because it highlights the issue more and it spells "importance of gender" quite well. I researched some post card designs, their required paper sizes, and some information on how to mail it. I also discovered that there were various styles, but I decided to keep our postcard simple.
She's faceless because the society, especially from before, see women as of no importance in the economy. In spite of being faceless, she still strives to shout her thoughts by numbers and by gaining attention.

Activity question: How is it being in control or being the viewer?

I'm one of the members who initialize a move for our group. And being in control is actually fun for me. I like to delegate tasks ever since I was in high school. I remember so well having a concept of doing a story with a script, I was so happy writing a very funny one that made the class laugh! We also get to have a talk show activity, and I always like being the host because I declare all the rules.

Personally, being in control gives you a sense of accomplishment. Truthfully, I always work best when I'm alone, but when it comes to group activity I try my best to get the best results for me and my group. I've come to realize after some quite time that teamwork is an exciting activity to be engaged at. You always get idea you never knew existed!

All in all, our activity for our Art Theory class was fun and quite wholesome. It would be fun to print out these post cards again and actually send them to random persons or a surprise for our friends and relatives.

Thanks for reading!

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Idealism Advertisement: Magical Body Perfectionism

This invented product ad about ideology was made for my Art Theory class.

In today's generation people's perception in beauty have changed. It is defined by slim curvy forms and with a beautiful face. 
Slim is in.
There are countless advantages when you're slim such as being able to dress up on trending fashions, being seen as beautiful, becoming "in" in the society, being praised and more!

In my poster, it has an obvious concept about magical lies. You cannot erase fat in a minute which is the same as you can't be fat in a minute, unless you're not human. There's no magic to this dreamy body. This is also an example of false advertising but in a more literal way. People are blinded by these kinds of products such as teas, anti-aging creams, and such. Some of these people even thought these products would actually work in like... 7 days. The great strategy about these products is that they make life look easier. But reality always happen when we wake up. All in all, people can reach this nice body when they do the magic themselves.

I created my ad using Photoshop and kept minimalism interacted. And I also used these stocks: FREE STOCK Bottle Of Magic by mmp-stock and Stock Request 9 by artforever123. Stocks can be objects, persons, backgrounds, and the like. They are free to use but most of can be found in deviantart and should be given proper credit.
The ideology that I am imparting is about body perfectionism. The voice that my ad is trying to shout is "buy me and be like me." It's trying to talk to the oppressed people who are mentally burdened by the thought of insecurities of comparing oneself to the more sexy body which is accepted in the society.

My supposed audience here are people who are overweight and underweight. They should by now realize the misleading product I have created, and should be laughing right now. Of course I didn't create this ad for the profit of the company "Magic Tea", well literally because this is not a serious business. It's more like a parody scene. I created this ad to make people realize something big, you know that the ingredients in potions are mysterious and magical right? Do people even have the time to research chemicals in slimming drinks? If yes, then they should know the effects or whatsoever. I've heard of slimming coffees, and I've heard some of them as giving a life long illness, because they have magical chemicals that are not worth it. And yes, I've heard of successful true stories, but again... is it worth it? Even if the person beside you uses it and you've seen it yourself, of course the curiosity in you wants to have the same results. But what if it didn't? People have different body types, both inside and out. When you use that one pack which contains 12 pieces of slimming coffees, those chemicals stay somewhere in your body. And remember, they are not BFAD accredited. And again, yes, that's what you call magic.

I give two thumbs up to people who appreciate who they are, who love their skin, who are equipped with beautiful attitudes, who take care of their bodies with a healthy diet, and can walk out of the house with no make-up on.
You can be beautiful as long as you are healthy.
These are examples of advertisements that really inspires me to stay beautiful:
This ad made me smile. It made me think, how did she do it? Why is she so radiant and beautiful? Well... It's because of DOVE!

This picture, kicks realization back! This is a huge difference. And my eyes go right through the Dove real beauty campaign. They look so happy, healthy, and gorgeous. In my art history class, women are supposed to be voluptuous with big breasts and hips like Venus of Wilindorf. Why? Because it's a feature of a real woman and because they are meant to have maternal love to their child from their pregnancy, to the drinking of their milk, and until they grow up. Imagine a slim mother do this?

When I was young I imagined people like Marilyn Monroe in a swim suit and comparing it in today's sexy bodies. I thought we must be more lucky because the old ones weren't that gorgeous. But now when I saw these pictures. I want to take back what I said. 

My conclusion in this ideology is that you can only achieve a healthy body with a healthy diet and exercise, it's never about the magical drink or making excuses. It's about you. What you are defines who you are, few people accept their body types and I salute them because they embrace themselves, even though they aren't slim they look perfectly beautiful! Thanks for reading!

The Strangers Movie

This Christmas season was amazing! For the first time me and my family watched a Metro Manila Film Festival movie at the newly constructed Harbor Point, Subic! We don't usually watch in a cinema because we have home theater. Watching with the family sure is great! We planned to watch "Sisterakas" but due to the popular demand the seats were already full! So we decided to watch the "The Strangers." 

The movie was nice. It kept me guessing who was the real aswang. Me and my mom exchanged whispers about ideas where the story is going. The story takes place about a family who got lost in a province and is said to be haunted by the strangers especially the aswangs. Additionally, this has an unexpected twist, which is kinda cool and gives you an "Ahhh!" expression.

An Aswang is a mythical creature in Filipino folklore. The aswang is an inherently evil vampire-like creature and is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories. Spanish colonists noted that the Aswang was the most feared among the mythical creatures of the Philippines, even in the 16th century.

"Aswang" is a generic term applied to all types of witches, vampires, manananggals, shapeshifters, werebeasts and monsters. The original definition is an eater of the dead, also called the bal-bal (maninilong in Catanauan, Quezon), which replaces the cadaver with banana trunks after consumption. Aswang stories and definitions vary greatly from region to region and person to person, and no particular set of characteristics can be ascribed to the term. However, the term is mostly used interchangeably with manananggal and are also usually depicted as female.

We have many horror and suspense movies about aswangs and more other supernatural stories. There were different kinds of stories about them and also produced countable movies and series that were a great hit in our society. This movie is absolutely out of the box and a very different entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival because the comedy ones were in demand and it overshadowed this wonderful story, needless to say this was still a good one.

Overall, the movie was legit! The actors surely have amazing talents, the effects were applaudable, and the story was brilliant!

The Trailer:

Enchong Dee's acting was impeccable!!! (Image source)