Contemporary Art in a Modern Philippines

Seb Chua Sculpture


For the most part, many galleries seem to be inching further and further away from realism and more towards abstract genres- at least within our local art community. The Philippines is a home to several painters and a handful of talented sculptors, but the recent years have shown that the tides are changing for many of the traditionalists in the community. Ever since the time of the 13 moderns led by Vic Edades, the Filipino people have moved towards a new direction in terms of sculpture and art.

This shift in the pattern of mannerisms can only reflect on the growing and evolving taste in both the patrons and the artists. Several of the galleries at the SM Megamall Artwalk (the largest permanent congregation of galleries in the country) already showcase many of the nations modernists sculptors and painters. Regular exhibits at the ‘Art Circle’ along the walkway showcase groups of young and budding painters that seek to create a new and contemporary style for themselves within the community. Some artists have turned to surrealism to match their thirst for deeper art, while others have turned to primitivism to obtain influence from cubism’s great master Picasso himself.

All in all, the scene is changing, quite rapidly I might add. I have to stop and wonder if in the long run, more and more artists will turn to the contemporary side of creating art, and less will run by the traditionalist genres… Only time will tell.