Eloquent Simplicity in Wood and Fiber at Yuchengco Museum

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byCassie Cheng

Two intertwined exhibits exploring the versatility of wood and fiber as materials for furniture and everyday objects, collectively entitled Eloquent Simplicity in Wood and Fiber, will be on view at Yuchengco Museum from August 14 to September 25. These parallel exhibits aim to highlight eloquent samples of sculptural forms and functional objects that are either traditional in form or contemporary in design.

Wood is a precious natural resource that is already becoming scarce. Traditional carvers, sculptors, and designers often use wood for its natural beauty to create practical objects. A piece of wood carved with creativity or incised with design and intent can be small and intimate, or huge and stable, asserting a formidable presence in its functionality or meaning.

The basic fibers for making baskets or basketry—bamboo, nito, pandan, palm leaves, and rattan—are all drawn from materials growing in forests adjoining rice fields. These materials are preferred for basketry due to their durability and strength, or for their thinness and portability. Oftentimes men and sometimes women weave baskets from these fibers to create items for household, livelihood, personal, and ceremonial use.

The foreground exhibit of works showcases contemporary sculptural forms and functional objects & furniture by National Artist Napoleon Abueva and Claude Tayag. Abueva, the pioneering modernist sculptor, has worked with a variety of materials, such as stone, wood, and metal. Claude Tayag—a painter, sculptor, furniture designer, writer, and chef—has been designing streamlined traditional Filipino furniture. He continues his exploration and innovation with wood laminates putting “art” into everyday objects which he calls “functional sculpture.”

The partner exhibit entitled Functioning Wood, Protective Fiber features everyday objects from the Cordilleras primarily from the collections of Floy Quintos and Armand Voltaire Cating. The show seeks to define the aesthetic sensibilities of the people of the Cordillera mountains and how natural materials such as wood and fiber are used to create unique utilitarian and ritual objects.

Eloquent Simplicity in Wood and Fiber will be open to the public from August 14 to September 25. Yuchengco Museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to book a group visit, call (632) 889-1234 or visit www.yuchengcomuseum.org.


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