Portraits de chaussures–Histoires de pieds

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byCassie Cheng

(Portraits of shoes–Stories of feet)

Alliance Française de Manille, Yuchengco Museum and the French Embassy in the Philippines with the support of Cultures France, Air France-KLM, Essilor and Sofitel Philippine Plaza recently inaugurated at the Yuchengco Museum “Portraits de chaussures – Histoires de pieds”, an exceptional and remarkable exhibit curated by Yves Sabourin (the same French curator who came to Manila in 2006 to mount the highly prestigious and glamorous exhibition “Christian Lacroix Dialogues” at Ayala Museum).  The exhibit presents an exceptional collection of 62 pairs of shoes dating from the 18th to the 21st centuries from the International Shoe Museum of Romans in France.  Manila has the distinction of being the first stop in the international tour of this exhibit which will travel to Thailand, South Korea, France, and Russia.

The opening night’s program featured brief speeches by the curator Yves Sabourin, AFM director Olivier Dintinger, and Yuchengco Museum curator Jeannie E. Javelosa in which they highlighted French-Filipino collaboration, the promotion of cultural diversity, and the friendship between the two countries. It was the occasion as well to showcase outstanding local shoe creations by Filipino designers such as Lila Almario, Cesar Gaupo, Emi Jorge, Brian Tenorio, Ann Pamintuan, Maco Custodio, Joanna Litton, and Kermit Tesoro, and several pieces from the Marikina Shoe Museum. Complementing the exhibit, film maker Kidlat Tahimik and German artist Hans Hangerer, with the support of Goethe Institut, created an installation composed of 180 pairs of shoes made by 42 woodcarvers from Baguio and environs.

During the cocktail, guests had the occasion to move around and view the wide variety of distinctive and exceptional shoes from around the world, from different époques, from old to modern, produced from various techniques and materials, linking diverse cultures and histories. Outstanding contemporary examples came from renowned French fashion house collections such as Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Adidas, Marithé and François Girbaud, Repetto, and numerous others.

The exclusive assortments of shoes are generally presented in glass covered pedestals, but some are completely exposed, the better for guests to view and appreciate directly the artistic quality and the beauty of the one-of-a-kind specimens. In addition, several pieces are shown with drawings, photographs and video and audio installations to provide a more interactive presentation.

The opening night was attended by more than 400 people from Manila society: artists and fashion enthusiasts, members of the diplomatic corps and expat communities, press and media personalities.  Among the guests who graced the opening night were Olivier Dintinger (AFM Director), Deanna Ongpin-Recto (Vice-President – AFM Board of Director), Georges Gaston Feydeau (the French Cultural Counselor), Aurelio “Gigi” Montinolla III, Hubert and Ara D’Aboville, Grace Glory Go, Evelyn Lim Forbes, Virginia Moreno, Geraldine Araneta, Mara Pardo de Tavera, Heart Evangelista, Emi Jorge, Richard Kunzel of Goethe Institute, Jose Rodriguez of Instituto Cervantes Manila, and many more.

In conjunction with the Portraits de chaussures exhibit, Filipino sculptor Pete Jimenez will open on May 28 at the Water Dragon Gallery at the 2nd floor of the Yuchengco Museum, his own take on shoes in an interesting and witty exhibition entitled “If the Shoe Fits”  in which he plays with wooden shoe moulds and his favorite medium – scrap iron.

The Yuchengco Museum is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 6pm. The museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corners Ayala and Senator Gil Puyat Avenues, Makati City. For details and group tours, please call 889-1234.

For more high resolution event photos, or images of the shoes and further details about the said exhibit, kindly contact Mr. Earl Parco (Cultural Officer) at 895-7441/895-7585 or email at [email protected].


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