MET Museum’s Latest Exhibition Spotlights Ronald Ventura

The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (MET) recently launched a major exhibition on internationally-acclaimed Filipino artist Ronald Ventura. Ongoing until March 4, 2017Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations showcases a variety of Ventura’s works, from his lithograph prints during the nineties to his life-size mechanical carousels in 2016.

Curated by art scholar and critic Patrick D. Flores, Shadow Forest presents Ventura's complex and ever-evolving style that mixes figurative images, folklore, graffiti and pop culture, and incorporates a wide array of techniques and material explorations. Trained as a painter, this leading Filipino contemporary artist has ventured into three-dimensional art forms, further exploring his iconic figurative hyperrealism and multi-layered compositions.

Occupying the MET's ground floor galleries, the exhibition is highlighted with an installation of a monumental carousel at the heart of the Tall Galleries. While being surrounded by kaleidoscopic illumination, it is perforated with a fusion of animals, mythological characters, human-animal hybrid creatures, and even a religious effigy. All the excitement of an inner-child to a frolicsome reality has been fulfilled. The carnivalesque elements of the work is an appeal to the audience in nostalgia. It brings us back to our fancy childhood; without any care in the world but to jump and play. By moving round and up, this carousel reflects so much of our lives as we go along.

Aside from highlighting Ventura's adept technique and graphic intelligence, this exhibition looks into contemporary issues that have touched the artist’s sensibility, such as the country’s multi-faceted identity, global warming and earth’s diminishing resources, among others.

Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations is the most comprehensive solo exhibition to date of the Ronald Ventura’s oeuvres. Mounting over 100 works of Ventura underscores the MET's efforts to amplify the Filipinos' sense of artistic and cultural heritage from the past, to the present and beyond, in contemporary global contexts and experiences. The collection is divided into 10 sections: Early Prints, Light box Series, the Carousel, Human Study Series, Constellation Series, STPI Prints, Small Sculptures, Drawings in Cloud, Bulul Series and Early Sketches.

The exhibition is complemented by a special walkthrough, an interaction activity with the artist, a storytelling activity for kids, free guided tours and special offsite projects.

The MET is located at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila. Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays. For more information, email info@metmuseum.ph or contact (02) 708-7829.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Manila, Philippines in 1973, Ronald Ventura studied painting at the University of Santo Tomas, where he taught for several years before becoming a full-time artist. He held his first solo exhibition in 2000 at the Drawing Room in Manila, and since then, due to his detailed compositions, evolving artistic style and willingness to take on other media and art forms, participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the country and abroad.

Today, Ventura is one of Southeast Asia’s leading contemporary artists. His long list of awards include the Thirteen Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2003, the Ateneo Art Award in 2005, and the Award of Excellence in the 9th OITA Asian Sculpture Exhibition Open Competition (Japan) in 2008. He has also participated in art residencies in Sydney and Singapore.

Prior to Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations, Ventura held a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan in 2016. The artist currently works and lives in Manila.



ABOUT THE CURATOR
Patrick D. Flores is a Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003. Flores is also Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila, and Adjunct Curator at the National Art Gallery, Singapore. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art (2000), and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010) and a member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council (2011).
Prior to Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations, Flores curated the MET’s permanent exhibition The Philippine Contemporary: To Scale the Past and the Possible in 2013.


CELEBRATE ARTS MONTH AT THE MET!

In conjunction with new exhibitions in February, including ‘Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations’, the MET offers an exciting line-up of educational activities and public programs that will engage the public and enrich their museum experience:  


February 5 (Sunday) | The MET joins PASINAYA Festival
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
For the 4th year, the MET joins PASINAYA Festival (Extra Mile Program), an annual multi-arts open house event, organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Get a change to view the current exhibitions at the MET by joining the museum tour and watch special performances by several groups and invited artists of the CCP.

Museum gates open at 9:00 a.m.
For more information, you may contact education@metmuseum.ph


February 11 (Saturday)
2 PM
Artist Interaction: Maria José Arjona, MET-Latin American Roaming Art (LARA) Project International Artist in Residency 2017
            Learn more about performance art as Mara José Arjona (Bogota, Colombia) talks about her body of work that emphasizes the discipline of long durational practice.
            Arjona will be in the country for a residency program hosted by the MET, from February             03 to 16, 2017.

Registration Fee: Php. 150 for regular guests (Php 120.00 for students)
To register, email education@metmuseum.ph


February 16 to 19 (Thursday to Sunday)
MET Off-site Exhibition of Ronald Ventura at the Art Fair Philippines 2017
Level 5, The Link Carpark Ayala Center, Makati City
Ronald Ventura’s ongoing exhibition Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations at the MET goes offsite at Art Fair Philippines 2017 with imaginative and transcendental journeys and flights. The main installation of Ventura’s “Waves” sculpture, a large boat made of fiberglass, wood and metal with illuminated by projections, is accompanied with a sample of  the artist’s new works including images viewed through a lightbox and new digital prints.

February 18 (Saturday) | Artist Interaction: Ronald Ventura
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Join a guided tour of the Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations exhibition to be followed by a conversation with exhibiting artist Ronald Ventura, as he discusses his creative process and his works, spanning his early years as an artist to his continuously maturing and explorative present.

Registration Fee: Php 150 for regular guests (Php 120.00 for students)
To register, email education@metmuseum.ph


FOR A LIMITED PERIOD ONLY* l Ronald Ventura’s CAROUSEL Rides
            Experience Ronald Ventura’s CAROUSEL installation, an interactive ride at the MET         Tall Galleries.

This installation piece is a highlight of the Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations exhibition that has been recently created by the artist and will be first exhibited at the MET in its full scale. This interactive piece features unique animal figures, toys, folk and religious images that will offer a one-of-a-kind experience to the museum audience. For interested participants, you may register by sending an email to info@metmuseum.ph.

*Operating schedule is still for confirmation, kindly wait for an official announcement from the MET through our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/metmanila/


FREE Guided Tour of the Shadow Forest: Encounters and Explorations exhibition
Saturdays of February at 2:00 p.m.


FREE Admission Tuesdays
from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


For more updates on the MET programs, visit our official online platforms:
            Website: www.metmuseum.ph
            Facebook: @metmanila
            Instagram: @metmuseummanila

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