It just so happens that for November this year, some of the most notable exhibits in Manila are by women creators
On your next trip around the Manila gallery circuit, you can start with a group show of seasoned female painters at León Gallery International in Makati. Next, head to the gallery route of converted warehouses along Chino Roces Avenue. Afterward, unwind in Poblacion to catch a show that matches the lively pulse of the city.
Wherever you go in the metro, for this month of November, you’re bound to encounter the unique talents of women artists in the Philippines—each of whom makes a big impression by opening up new artistic ways of expression.
1. Group Exhibition, Transitions, a project of DF Art Agency at León Gallery International
In every time of life, there are seasons. In this group exhibition by Filipina artists, Transitions tells the story of the shifting waves of life, with paintings by Connie R. Quirino, Mei Afable-Avanceña, Sal Ponce Enrile, Tessa Mendoza, and Tina Periquet.
Each series of work are specific to the artist’s own world, such as Tessa Mendoza’s dramatic black-and-white “Meditation Series” which urges viewers to contemplate the quiet, yet grand presence of God in their lives.
Transitions is on view from October 26 to November 9, 2023. León Gallery International is at 1E La Fuerza Plaza Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
2. Arianna Bongato, Sip Slowly at White Walls Gallery
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The sensation of sipping a warm drink slowly opens up not just the pleasures of flavor, but to the company surrounding you at the time. Sip Slowly is the second one-woman show by Arianna Bongato at White Walls Gallery.
The emerging artist continues her practice of painting in a style that references the Baroque period. She continues to take advantage of her Major in Sculpture to create a multi-dimensional perspective.
In this latest series, she portrays the figures of ladies in tea party settings, immersed in languid conversation that invites viewers to take the same slow pace.
Sip Slowly is on view at White Walls Gallery from October 28 to November 18, 2023. Located at Warehouse 12A, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Chino Roces Ave, Makati City.
3. Ciane Xavier, Construct and Deconstruct the Invisible Landscape at Modeka
Since moving to the Philippines, the Brazilian-model-turned-artist has developed an artistic practice that stands at the forefront of the physical and digital art world.
She now takes a step further with advancing work in animatronics. With such striking humanoid sculptures, Xavier paints the human body in a way that reflects the “internal conflicts and the complex realities of existence” (James Luigi Tana).
Each piece continues to explore the theme of navigating one’s identity in a world that we don’t immediately see—the prominent theme in Construct and Deconstruct the Invisible Landscape.
Construct and Deconstruct the Invisible Landscape is on view at Warehouse 20A La Fuerza 1 2241, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City.
4. Valerie Chua, Youth at Finale Art File
In a series of poignant pieces, Valerie Chua uses oil paint in dreamlike colors to transform personal and public footage into ethereal compositions.
The viewers travel with the artist through what feels like memories: There are images of a young child at play, amidst hummingbirds and towers. Many of the scenes show movement in nature, bicycling down dirt lanes or jumping into playful pictures of ponds. A single painting shows a dried-up shoreline with white-haired figures that suggest the passage of time, while with a sense of calm.
Chua continues her practice of showing life through a filtered lens. She creates stirring observations of our shared experience of life, all with a sense of innocent remembrance.
Youth is on view from October 27 to November 24, 2023. Located at 2241 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City.
5. Madeleine Humphries, blossom or decay at Cloudscape Poblacion
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Upon entering the exhibition you would find a letter from a young Madeleine to her present self, poetically written in French, Tagalog, and English.
Madeleine Humphries’ debut show featured twenty works in a range of media. She exhibited a symbolic dollhouse that traveled with Humphries since she was five years old from San Francisco to Paris to Manila. There was a violin painted with an olive branch, as well as ten collages sketched throughout ten years. Most notably she exhibited paintings with a range of themes, from the childlike ambiance of Puppet Show to the revelation-wrought work Lovers.
The deeply personal show which ran for two days symbolizes the artist’s decision to take a leap of faith as a painter who finds great joy in art-making. As she shares a part of herself not yet exposed, we see a different side of the artist in the spotlight.
With much gratitude to the close-knit art community, the artist shares, “I’ve been in the public eye for so long but I don’t know if I’ve felt as seen as much as tonight.”
blossom or decay is on view from November 5 to 6. Located at 5382, Matheus Bldg, Stall 01 General Luna, Makati City.
6. Olivia D’aboville, IMPRESSIONS OF LANDSCAPES at Altro Mondo Creative Space
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French-Filipina artist Olivia D’aboville first rose to recognition for her early sculptural and installation work promoting sustainability, especially in the oceans. With a long-cultivated specialization in textiles, she has since brought her practice to the canvas but in a different way—creating wall-mounted work with fabric.
In her latest exhibition, D’aboville continues experimenting with color and texture, now with smaller pieces of fabric that fan out to create impressions of landscapes, bringing to mind mountain ranges, flora, and grand skies, while hinting at memories of her time in Mindoro.
IMPRESSIONS OF LANDSCAPES is on view from November 11 to December 23, 2023. Located at 1159 Chino Roces, San Antonio, Makati City.
7. Winnie Go, Unearthed at Artinformal Makati
Remember the iconic apples at Art Fair Philippines back in 2018? Ceramicist Winnie Go has been a longtime favorite in the art world for her porcelain-stoneware sculptures that appeal to a person’s love for lightness and the natural world.
In her latest solo exhibition Unearthed, she creates after organic items found on the forest floor, capturing “the myriad details already present in nature: banded rocks, coiled shells, layered nests, and hollow exoskeletons” (Stephanie Frondoso)—all in the vibrant, spontaneous style unique to Winnie Go’s practice.
Unearthed is on view from November 9 to December 3, 2023. Located at C1, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Ext, Makati City.