(UP Diliman Information Office) In memorializing the centenary of the University of the Philippines (UP), the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA) of UP Diliman, the UP College of Fine Arts (CFA), the UP Alumni Association and the Philippine permanent delegation to UNESCO, with support of UNESCO in Paris, present Monochromed Memories: UP Landmarks Centennial Exhibition from November 4 to 14, 2008 at the Salle de Pas Perdus, Maison de l’UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, Paris.
UNESCO includes the UP centenary in its 2008-2009 biennium together with 66 other anniversaries worldwide. These milestones pertain to “personalities of genuinely universal stature, nominated posthumously, and works or events of genuinely worldwide or at least regional significance that reflect the ideals, values, the cultural diversity and the universality of the Organization.”
Included in the UNESCO biennium are the 400th anniversary of the discoveries of Gailileo of Italy, the 400th anniversary of the poet John Milton of the United Kingdom, the 200th death anniversary of the composer Joseph Haydn of Austria, the 200th birth anniversaries of the inventor of the reading system used by the visually impaired, Louis Braille of France, the writer Gogol of Russia and the Ukraine, and the naturalist Charles Darwin of the United Kingdom, the 150th birth anniversary of the physicist Max Planck of Germany, and the 100th birth anniversary of the playwright Eugene Ionesco of Romania, among others.
Monochromed Memories consists of paintings, prints, sketches, and drawings of landmarks in the University campuses done by alumni artists of the CFA—the oldest school of fine arts in the country and one of the pioneering units of the University. The exhibit commits in visual form their remembrances of the University in this most auspicious time of the UP centenary.
Twenty-two artists are participating in this historic exhibit led by José Joya, National Artist for painting and one-time dean of the CFA. Three other former deans of the CFA are included, namely, Dominador Castañeda, Neil Doloricon ’74 and Nestor Olarte Vinluan.
Eight are members of the faculty, Leo Antonio Abaya, coordinator of the graduate program, Jigs Almonte, former chairperson of the department of studio arts, Philip Alpajora and Bim Bacaltos ’72 of the department of visual communications, Reynaldo Concepción, former chairperson of the department of studio arts and graduate program coordinator, Anton del Castillo of the UP Integrated School, Noli Garalde, former college secretary and Jamel Obnamia, chairperson of the department of studio arts.
Two are working as digital designers in the University, Denes Dasco and Jefferson Villacruz. Five are all prizewinners in several national art competitions and have represented the country in international exhibits and festivals, namely, Alfred Rey Capiral, Ferdie Montemayor, Leeroy New, Vincent Padilla, José Santos III (also one-time member of the CFA faculty) and Randy Solon. The remaining two are student artists, Rudolph Barredo and Alab Pagarigan.
The curatorial team is headed by Rubén D.F. Defeo, professor of art history, theory and criticism and concurrently OICA director, assisted by Florentina Colayco, CFA dean and professor of art history and design, and Dakila Fernando, professor of art history and curator of the CFA Corredor.
The vintage drawing of the old Fine Arts building in Manila, the Villamor Hall now the Supreme Court of the Philippines, done by Castañeda c. 1930 in pencil ushers in the exhibition’s remembrances. When the school moved to its present site in Diliman, Castañeda became director of the school from 1955 to 1962. The 35 drawings comprising the collection are portraits of the University that generously depict its vastness and illustrious history. Handsome and historical wall texts are generously integrated with the works.
The timely exhibition is a visual legacy of the country’s oldest secular learning institution. The collection foregrounds the University as a rich heritage site of buildings, landmarks and artworks which are of national import and renown. As one of the activities to cap the UP centennial commemoration, it affords the international audience glimpses of a heritage educational environment in the Philippines.