Cordillera Suite: Homage to Apo Ben




Whenever foreign artists come to the Philippines looking for active and dynamic contemporary art communities, inevitably, Baguio and the Cordilleras would be a major destination point. For within the beauty of the northern mountains was a creative community fired by friendships and the dynamics of artmaking, creative thinking, and exchange. Art was not contrived but stemmed from a deep indigenous tradition of the various peoples, inspired by a worldview attuned to nature and the cycles of Life, made colorful by the issues of globalization—encroaching and reinterpreting traditional culture.

A major force of this community was Benedicto Cabrera, or Bencab. Introspective, almost patriotic in its clarity, was Bencab’s mindset when he arrived from London and chose to live in Baguio. His international stature, contemporary style, and easygoing personality fuelled the local community to action and interaction.

Cordillera Suite not only features highland-inspired artworks by the National Artist for Visual Arts, but also tributes to Bencab by painters Leonardo Aguinaldo, Ged Alangui, Jojo Elmeda, Jordan Mang-Osan, Rishab, and John Frank Sabado, as well as the works of photographer Wig Tysmans and artist Ross Capili.


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