Philippine exhibition opens at Quai Branly Museum in ParisBy Walter Ang
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Musee du quai Branly (Quai Branly Museum) in Paris, France will host “Philippines: Archipel des échanges” (Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange), an exhibition featuring artwork and artifacts from the country’s pre-colonial period.
“To date, this is the biggest exhibition in scope dedicated to the Philippines in Europe,” said museum president Stéphane Martin.
The exhibition aims to show the Philippines’ Austronesian roots and maritime culture before the arrival of Europeans through selected pieces such as sculptures, pottery, textiles and personal ornaments from various collections in the Philippines, United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.
The exhibition will be at the museum’s Garden Gallery and contains three sections: the traditional works of the northern highlands of Luzon; the textiles, costumes and ornaments of warriors from Mindanao; and the influence of the shipping network on the items produced by the southern coastal societies such as Palawan, Mindanao and Sulu.
The exhibition opens on April 9 and runs until July. Curated by anthropologist Corazon Alvina and Constance de Monbrison, the exhibit is mounted in collaboration with the National Museum, Central Bank of the Philippines, and Ayala Museum.
Anthropologist Alvina is a former director of the National Museum of the Philippines, and a trustee and consulting curator of the Metropolitan Museum in Manila. Art historian Monbrison is in charge of Quai Branly’s insular Southeast Asia collections.
Martin explained the choice to put the Philippines as the focus of the exhibit. “The arts of the Philippines are little known in France and rarely shown in their entirety and diversity,” he said. “We pay homage to these multiple artistic expressions.”
Not just for French visitors
Located on the banks of the Seine River at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the Quai Branly Museum is considered one of Europe’s premier museums dedicated to the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, housing a collection of over 400,000 objects, 700,000 photographs 3,500 artworks, and 10,000 musical instruments on permanent display.
The museum receives an average of 1,400,000 visitors annually. French Ambassador Gilles Garachon said, “The museum will promote Philippine culture not only to the French public, but to its visitors from all over the world.”
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited the Philippines last year and signed, together with President Benigno Aquino, an accord for the loan of Filipino artifacts to France for this exhibition.
The museum will host a Philippine week from April 27-May 5, offering cultural performances and workshops on Filipino language, music, dances, cuisine and traditional martial arts.
Several side events throughout France featuring Philippine contemporary art are also scheduled.
Alliances en Résonance will be held April 10-May 10 in Paris, featuring music, photography, and cinema under the auspices of the Fondation Alliance Française.
22 Filipino artists will be featured in Musee International Des Arts Modestes ((International Museum of Modestes Arts) in an exhibition opening on April 12 and will run until October.
Located in Sète in southern France, the museum is a repurposed wine cellar designed by architect Patrick Bouchain. Curated by Manuel Ocampo, this exhibition features contemporary artists such as Poklong Anading, Bea Camacho, Lena Cobangbang, Louie Cordero, Maria Cruz, Kawayan De Guia, Dina Gadia.