International Exchange Students visit the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG)

This semester’s International Exchange Students (IXS) enjoyed a guided tour of the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) as part of the program of the Office of International Relations (OIR). The students were given tour group slots depending on their availability during the first week of February 2023. 

The comprehensive guided tour experience usually took 1 hour and 30 minutes and each tour covered all exhibits of the 3-storey Ateneo Art Gallery. The guided tour allowed our IXS to learn and understand the historical and cultural backgrounds of the Philippines through the artworks painted and crafted by local artists. 

On exhibit during the tour of the exchange students were: Ligalig: Art in a Time of Threat and Turmoil and National Artists from the Ambeth Ocampo Collection (both on exhibit until 27 May 2023), Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance and Death During Martial Law (on exhibit until 5 April 2023), Ateneo Art Awards 2022: Fernando Zobel Prizes for Visual Art Return Exhibition and Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism Shortlist (on exhibit until 6 March 2023), Recent Acquisitions (on exhibit until 31 December 2023), and Leeroy New: Mebuyan's Colony (on exhibit until 12 August 2023).

On the first floor is the museum’s permanent collection, divided into three main exhibitions. National Artists from the Ambeth Ocampo Collection features works bequest to the AAG by renowned historian and professor Mr. Ambeth Ocampo. In the collection are works created by National Artists Awardees, such as Guillermo Tolentino, Arturo Luz, and Ang Kiukok, among others.

The second exhibition, titled Ligalig: Art in a Time of Threat and Turmoil, features works created in reference to the Martial Law period in Philippine history. The works are a good example of the social realist movement taking root in the Philippines as the country continued to undergo socio-political challenges.

The third exhibition is the Recent Acquisitions, which seeks to include more contemporary art forms that are relevant to present times, such as photographs, fine art prints, and sculptures.

Moving on to the second floor of the museum is the tandem exhibition Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance and Death During Martial Law by Rick Rocamora and Edgar Doctor. The exhibition features photographs and statements of and about Martial Law survivors and their families, taken by photographer Rick Rocamora, as well as never-before-seen works on paper by Edgar Doctor that document the sufferings of the people during those dark times.

On the third floor of the museum are the Ateneo Art Awards return exhibitions, featuring five exhibitions by artists Nathalie Dagmang, Costantino Zicarelli, Martha Atienza, Gale Encarnacion, and Cian Dayrit, whose works seek to showcase the artistic practices these artists have been working on in the last few years since they won the Ateneo Art Awards. Along with these exhibitions are the shortlisted essays for the Purita Kalaw-Ledesma Prizes in Art Criticism.

And finally, the tour culminated at Leeroy New's Mebuyan's Colony, which references Mebuyan, a goddess of death and fertility in Bagobo mythology.

For more information about the Ateneo Art Gallery, you may visit: The museum is open from Mondays to Saturdays, 9AM to 5PM.

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