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Contemporary Philippine Arts from the Regions Study Notes

What is Contemporary Art?
"Contemporary art" refers to art made and produced by artists living today. Contemporary art is the art
of today, produced by artists who are living in the twenty-first century. Contemporary art provides an
opportunity to reflect on contemporary society and the issues relevant to ourselves, and the world
around us.
Today's artists work in and respond to a global environment that is culturally diverse, technologically
advancing, and multifaceted. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and
subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition.
Contemporary art mirrors contemporary culture and society, offering teachers, students, and general
audiences a rich resource through which to consider current ideas and rethink the familiar. Diverse and
eclectic, contemporary art is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform organizing principle, ideology, or
➢ Contemporary Art refers to current and very recent practice. It also refers to works of art made
by living artists.
➢ Contemporary Art tends to be assessed thematically and subjectively, drawing on an expanded
range of theoretical and practical disciplines.
➢ Contemporary Art can be driven by both theory and ideas, and is also characterized by a
blurring of the distinction between art and other categories of cultural experience, such as
television, cinema, mass media, entertainment and digital technology.
Characteristics of Contemporary Art
a. It is not confined to the museum. The production process gives meaning to art making and
originality is not issue
b. Traditional artist perfects their art by practicing mimesis or copying the model exactly as it is
(contemporary artist deliberately broke the rules of traditional art)
c. The essence of art relies on the art making. It is the process/experience
d. The work of contemporary artists is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and
subjects that challenges traditional boundaries and defies easy definition.
e. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform organizing
principle, ideology, or -ism. In a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing
world, contemporary artists give voice to the varied and changing cultural landscape of identity,
values, and beliefs.
f. Contemporary art reflects a wide range of materials, media, and technologies, as well as
opportunities to consider what art is and how it is defined. Artists today explore ideas, concepts,
questions, and practices that examine the past, describe the present, and imagine the future.
Various Contemporary Art Forms
Painting - is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface
(called the "matrix" or "support").
Architecture - the art and science of designing buildings and (some) nonbuilding structures. It is
also the style of design and method of construction of buildings and other physical structures.
Literature - refers to writing; considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have
artistic or intellectual value, and sometimes deploys language in ways that differ from ordinary
Music - art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or
emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and, in most
Western music, harmony.
Film - a motion picture made primarily for aesthetic reasons rather than commercial profit, often
of an experimental nature or having an unconventional or highly symbolic content, aimed
typically at a limited audience.
Performing Arts - Performing arts refers to forms of art in which artists use their voices, bodies or
inanimate objects to convey artistic expression.
Contemporary Artists
National Artist Award
The National Artist Award is the highest distinction bestowed upon Filipino Artists whose body of work
is recognized by their peers and more importantly by their countrymen as sublime expression of
Philippine music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literature, film and media, arts, architecture and design.
These are artists who have promoted Filipino cultural identity and dignity through their art.
President Ferdinand E. Marcos through proclamation no.1001 dated April 2 1972, confers the award to
deserving individuals as recommended by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National
Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
List of National Artists in the Philippines
Legend: (+) deceased; (++) posthumous conferment.
Fernando Amorsolo
Paco, Manila
1972 (++)
Carlos V. Francisco
Angono, Rizal
1973 (++)
Victorio C. Edades
Vicente S. Manansala
Dagupan, Pangasinan 1976 (+)
Macabebe, Pampanga 1981 (++)
Jeremias Elizalde Navarro Antique
1999 (++)
Jose T. Joya
2003 (++)
Cesar F. Legazpi
Tondo, Manila
1990 (+)
Hernando R. Ocampo
Sta. Cruz, Manila
1991 (++)
Arturo R. Luz
Ang Kiukok (Ang Hwa Shing)
Davao City
2001 (+)
Benedicto R. Cabrera (BenCab)
Abdulmari Asia Imao (painting/sculptor) Siasi, Sulu
Federico Aguilar Alcuaz
Sta. Cruz, Manila
2009 (+)
Francisco V. Coching
Buting, Pasig
2014 (++)
Antonio J. Molina
Jovita Fuentes
Quiapo, Manila
Capiz, Capiz Province
Antonino R. Buenaventura Baliuag, Bulacan
1973 (+)
1976 (+)
1988 (+)
Lucresia R. Kasilag
San Fernando, La Union 1989 (+)
Lucio D. San Pedro
Angono, Rizal
1991 (+)
Felipe P. De Leon
Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija
1997 (++)
Jose M. Maceda
1997 (+)
Daisy H. Avellana
1999 (+)
Severino R. Montano
Laoag, Ilocos Norte
2001 (+)
GaMaBa Awards
(Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan)
The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, or the National Living
Treasures Award, is conferred on Filipinos who are at the
forefront of the practice, preservation, and promotion of the
nation’s traditional folk arts.
Formalized in 1992, through Republic Act No. 7355, the
Manlilikha ng Bayan Act.
The National Commission for the Culture and the Arts oversees
its implementation.
The main objective of the award is to honor and support traditional folk artists and to see to it
that that their skills and crafts are preserved.
The award is tied with a program that ensures the transfer of their skills to new generations and
the promotion of the craft both locally and internationally.
In 2014, the Senate of the Philippines adopted Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 765 aimed at
recognizing the accomplishments of the country’s living treasures.
The award logo is a representation of the human form used in traditional cloth. Below the logo is
the phrase “Manlilikha ng Bayan” written in Baybayin, an ancient Filipino script used in the
Philippines in the 16th century.
List of Awardees
Ginaw Bilog is a Hanunoo Mangyan poet from Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. He is considered as a master
of the Ambahan poetry. This wisdom is his key to the understanding of the Mangyan soul. In 1993, he
was given the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan award.
Masino Intaray was born near Makagwa Valley. He was a skilled and proficient player of the basal
(gong), aroding (mouth harp), and babarak (ring flute). He was also well-versed in kulilal (songs) and
bagit (vocal music). In 1993, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Samaon Sulaiman is kutyapi master and teacher of his instrument in Libutan and other barangays
of Maganoy town, Mindanao. He is proficient in kulintang, agong, gandingan, palendag, and tambul. In
1993, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Lang Dulay is a T'boli artist from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. She is considered as a traditional weaver of
"t'nalak" or "tinalak" cloth. Her art is considered excellent because of the “fine even quality of the yarn,
the close interweaving of the warp and weft, the traditional forms and patterns, the chromatic integrity of
the dye, and the consistency of the finish” In 1998, she was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan”
Salinta Monon was a Tagabawa-Bagobo weaver from Bansalan, Davao del Sur. She was cited for
demonstrating the creative and expressive aspects of the Bagobo abaca ikat weaving called inabal at the
time when it was threatened with extinction. In 1998, she was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan”
Alonzo Saclag is a Kalinga master of dance and the performing arts from Lubuagan, Kalinga. He has also
mastered the dance patterns and movements associated with his people’s ritual. He is the founder of the
Kalinga Budong Dance Troupe. In 2000, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Federico Caballero is a Sulod-Bukidnon epic chanter from Kalinog, Iloilo. He ceaselessly work for the
documentation of the oral literature, particularly the epics, of his people. He is considered as a bantugan.
He strives to dispense justice in the community through his work as a manughusay – an arbiter of
conflicts. In 2000, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Uwang Ahadas is from Lamitan, Basilan. He is a Yakan, a people to whom instrumental music is of much
significance, connected as it is with both the agricultural cycle and the social realm. He is a hands-onteacher to those who wants to learn playing Yakan instruments including the kwintangan, kayu,
and tuntungan. In 2000, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Darhata Sawabi is a weaver of pis syabit -the traditional cloth tapestry worn as a head covering by
the Tausug of Jolo, from Barangay Parang, in the island of Jolo, Sulu. In 2005, she was given the “Gawad sa
Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
Teopilo Garcia is a hat weaver from San Quintin, Abra. He is known for tabungaw, which can last up to
three to four generations if taken care of properly. In 2012, he was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng
Bayan” award.
Magdalena Gamis a Filipino master weaver who makes “inabel”, an Ilokano handwoven cloth. In 2012,
she was given the “Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan” award.
a. Appropriation -traditional Art (i.e. Paintings and Portrait); appropriated/ used/ placed in t-shirts,
mugs and the likes. When you see t-shirt with the image of a significant person wearing shades or the
walls of Intramuros in canvas bags, existing artworks are “appropriated” to form another. By
appropriation, the contemporary artist revives the interest the existing form of art.
b. Performance - the depictions of ordinary events/activities into socially relevant themes. Performance
artist have tried to interpret various human activities, form ordinary activities such as chores, routines,
and rituals, to socially relevant themes such as poverty, commercialism, and war.
c. Space - transformation of space (sculpture, installation in malls and parks, flash mobs, presentations).
These are examples of site-specific art form is performed and position ed in specific spots, especially in
public places
d. Hybridity - the mixing of unlikely materials to produce an artwork (sand, mud, coffee and the likes).
e. Technology - the use of video and social media/ internet (YouTube sensations, Instagram/Facebook).
Contemporary artists have used video and Internet as a way of propagating art
Local Materials in the Philippines
Abaca belongs to Banana family. Its fiber has a natural
luster with colors ranging from pure white to ivory and
dark brown.
Bakbak is the outermost covering or leaf sheath of the
abaca stalk. It is a flat thick durable sheath as twine or
braided. The strong brown fiber used to make furniture.
Bamboo is used a raw material in creating many
products. It is used in construction, textile, musical
instruments, weapons, and many more.
Buntal is a cylindrically shaped fibers. The supple ivory
white strands are quite durable, pliable, and have good
dyeing qualities
Buri is extracted from the matured leaves of the buri
palm. The fiber is durable and resistant to moisture.
Coir is the fibrous material surrounding the fruit of the
coconut tree.
Nito is a plant belonging to the fern family that grows
abundantly in the hinterlands of Mindanao.
Pandan is a tropical plant. It is processed and
transformed into splints that are being used as raw
Raffia is a fiber extracted from unopened buri leaf in 3
stages. It is loom woven into fabrics or used as wall
coverings, upholstery material, folding doors and
window hangings.
Rattan belongs to the palm family. There are different
types of rattan palms, such as high or low climbers,
single stemmed or clustered rattan species.
Tikiw is a large, erect, and aquatic or marshy herb plant.
It is found in central Luzon to Mindanao. It abounds in
fresh water swaps, and in newly opened rice land at low
Tikog belongs to sea grasses. It is a native reed plant
used as a raw material for mat weaving.
slippers, ropes, twine, hammock, frame,
display jar, jars, Chelsea chair
mat, bangkuay bin, boxes, bin, display, jar,
Cecilia dining table, and arm chair
kubing, bungkaka, tongatong, angklung,
pateteg, gabbang,
bags, shoes,desk accessories like pen holder,
picture frames, file trays, wallets, place mats,
braide, lampshades, window blinds
hats, bags, baskets, memorabilia boxes,
perfume tray, & other woven products
indoor or outdoor fiber carpets, wall
covering, doormat, trellises, and geo textiles
bags, bread tray, lampshade and decorative
baskets, hats, picture frames and bags
hats, placemats, folder, shoes, slippers, boxes,
portfolio and ladies bags, placemats, circular,
boxes, document boxes.
baskets, picture frames, furniture and other
novelty items, Zoya lounge chair,
Valencia queen size bed, Rest divan.
baskets, hampers with lids, bags, rugs,
carpets, placemats, jar, and other decorative
bags, decorative mats, hampers, newspaper
racks, table mat, waste bin, tower candle
holder, wall décor.
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