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12.01.2010 - Early mornings is not the usual kind where I started my day.

It's great to get up and have that feeling of being one of the early people to see the city. Unless you encounter traffic everywhere.

On my way to the EXTENSIONS Lopez Museum and Library I was almost late on arrival.

A first museum trip in a long time was definitely worth the hassle going through the city. Basically the current gallery has given me the perspective how creative a Filipino can be.

(Please CLICK on the title for the full article)

When I was there the first gallery I saw was that panorama of colorful art depicting a plane by Maya Munoz. It doesn't say much to impress but it gives you the idea of travel with the title Coming It Going. Seeing the area where her work is hanged in the other side of the wall reminds you of the Calendar (Another Goes By), that gives you a reminder of the days we move ahead much like traveling.

There were several pieces in the Hallway like Fernando Zobel's oil on canvas art. Most noticeable that struck my attention is the huge carpet hanged on the wall with multiple colors, Afternoon in the Swamp.

Upon leaving the hallway and entering another room we get to see something that is embracing the local art scene. If anyone is not familiar with street art or graffiti art then this might be something to your interest. Mainly it's bordering Pop Culture Art with designer toys painted by well known artist in this field. This was a project of Pilipinas Street Plan which was launched last month.

Not to mention well known Filipino artists that depicts the image of legendary action star Fernando Po Jr. down to the eight-time weight division champion boxer turned congressman Manny Pacquiao. The unique non-traditional art style is a fresh take of an awesome perspective, which is a definite favorite for me. It’s the most colorful gallery so far as we thread down to the other rooms ahead.

The next pieces of art work hanged on the wall are in the third gallery featuring Nena Saguil's Landscape, Abstract, and Blue Gray Abstraction. More serious with the colors it invokes the titles of each art pieces.

Following to the next room we get inside Rotunda, where old comic strips during the times of Martial Law are exhibited. The black and white comic strip that has political innuendos has given us ideas of what it was told back then. This would probably the second favorite that I would like to come back and take a matter of perspective from the past.

Most intriguing and eye opening area is Loob at Labas (In and Out), where past and current inmates express themselves through art. We stayed inside the Inmate Room to see the history, and the past life of people in prison through photo perspective. There was also a documentary video produced by Gang Badoy of Rock Ed giving us the eye opener on how our justice system is all about.

You'll see that a part of EXTENSIONS is not about exhibiting artworks, but also giving us a look on what is happening to our country through art. How things happen by expressing it through pictures, letters, and videos inside the inmate room.

The next door we see is through the Library, where archives from the Lopez family are archived for the museum. This dates back to the Spanish occupation, and they are currently being archived now in digital format by scanning the old newspapers as well as any material that would be readily available online. There are some pieces unrelated to the Lopez that would be interesting such as Jose Rizal's letters he sent to his family and relatives while being held in prison prior to his execution.

There are also books from the past that they try to preserve for future generations. Interesting enough the Library is sort of a gallery within the museum that exhibits a huge painting as well as bust statues of Geny Lopez and his father.

It now has a huge database that you will find something interesting to do research for school or just want to look at the history of our country. I find it interesting to see a part of history, which has links Lopez to my old high school dating back almost a hundred years ago. I went to high school at the Philippine Christian University, and we tried searching for its history that the Lopez database might have.

We found an old photo from the 1900s where the current high school building is still standing today. Back then it carried a different name, and it was being managed by the Americans at that time.

The next room featured small video screens as well as contemporary art. There was a piece of the museum that was constructed with dirt, which projected a video screen from the ceiling. This featured the old museum in Manila and how it was remembered today. Then crossing to another room we see the video slides showing the direction where to find the Lopez Museum.

The few remaining pieces in the last gallery featured artists in EXTENSIONS, which will be still on display and on exhibit until April 2011.

The first trip to the Lopez Museum was quite an interesting time capsule with the library. A fresh new perspective in taking non-traditional art and accepting it to the mainstream is extending our belief, that we are not only limited to our traditions. By accepting new ways to express ourselves in other ways thought impossible.

Something I look forward to return and look for inspirations, which the Lopez Museum has provided that in a matter of a bold way of perspective.

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Jimmy Roa said...

For me, the best part of going to museums is traveling back in time. The Lopezes are an integral part of Philippine history, whether it be in business or otherwise. Nice read.

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