Remix: Santiago Bose Opens at Yuchengco Museum on February 11

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byCassie Cheng

Contemporary Visual Artists Create New Work from Bose’s Unfinished Canvas
More Than 30 Writers Present Their Take on Bose’s Rendering of Anting-Anting

The Yuchengco Museum and the Santiago Bose estate proudly present Remix: Santiago Bose, a postmodern retrospective of the late, internationally acclaimed Baguio visual artist and cultural provocateur Santiago Bose.

WHEN:    The opening reception will be on February 11, 2010, Thursday, at the Yuchengco Museum at 6:30 p.m. The museum is at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati City.

WHY:       Visual artist Santiago Bose (1949 – 2002) created many memorable works in mixed media: he was a painter, performance artist, set designer, and installation artist who often used indigenous media in his work. He was also an educator, community organizer, and art theorist. His work communicated a strong sense of folk consciousness and religiosity, and the strength of indigenous cultures amidst the constant barrage of foreign influences. Bose’s work in mixed media and assemblage is also a social commentary on the Philippine aesthetic.

Seven years after his unexpected death, his influence on contemporary Filipino art remains to be recognized. His contributions have been co-opted by modern artists who continue to create in the wake of Bose’s ideas, forms, and ideology across various media. His influence is evident in the works of Kawayan de Guia and Alwin Reamillo; Pat Hoffie, who collaborated with him; Jordan Mangosan and Perry Mamaril who apprenticed with him; John Frank Sabado and Leonard Aguinaldo who worked with him in the Baguio Arts Guild; and touches even artists who barely knew him, such as Filipino-American artists Mel Vera Cruz and Kwatro Kantos, who work in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Remix: Santiago Bose is an exhibit born out of the vestiges of Bose’s legacy. The show explores his roots through his biography in self-portraits, and contextualizes his impact on Philippine art through modern takes—or remixes—of his research by more than 50 visual, literary, and multimedia artists.

  1. Biography in Self-portraits. Santiago Bose’s development as an artist is explored brilliantly by his own hand. Bose’s self-image is concretized in a visual medium, with clues to his personality and thoughts executed in paint, color, and other mixed media. From his iconic self-portrait on a door at the age of 27 to one of his last paintings where he contemplates his mortality over a cemetery, Bose’s role in Philippine art is reflected in his diverse collection of self-portraits, which also illustrate Bose’s remarkable artistic range and fluency in multimedia works.
  2. Reinterpreting the Anting-Anting Collection. One of Bose’s last projects was a series of drawings of anting-anting—Filipino amulets or talismans—that he mounted on handmade paper and bound in a book. The drawings—59 in total—were culled from Bose’s research in the 1990s. Bose realized the importance of anting-anting as someone who believed in them and as an artist. He used these amulets liberally in much of his work. He said: “Anting-anting [have undergone] a process of empowerment … These objects and symbols give people hope through difficulties. They are a material reflection of the Filipino people’s collective psyche that have been used for centuries to protect them from cultural domination.”
  3. Literary Remix. On display are works of poetry and prose by 30 internationally recognized writers, historians, and cultural purveyors, including Krip Yuson, Jessica Hagedorn, Imo Quibilan, Bino Realuyo, Luis Francia, Howie Severino, and John Silva. Each writer drew literary inspiration from Bose’s anting-anting drawings, in effect bridging visual and literary art forms, while breaking cultural barriers using Bose’s drawings.
  4. Multimedia Visual Remix. Also on view is a multimedia installation that features works by renowned artists influenced, mentored, inspired, and challenged by Bose—Alwyn Reamillo, Arnel Agawin, Mark Justiniani, Leonard Aguinaldo, Kawayan de Guia, Jordan Mangosan, Ged Alangui, and John Frank Sabado. The visual artists took the three anting-anting drawings and made completely new works that showcased their own artistic statement, producing at least three mixed-media renderings of new work.

The eight artists also collaborated on Bose’s version of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. Bose left the massive canvas—12×12 feet in size—unfinished when he died in 2002. In creating the mural, the artists went full circle and literally completed what Bose left behind.

Additionally, footage of Bose’s art performances compiled by filmmaker Rica Concepcion will be screened throughout the exhibit.

Remix: Santiago Bose will run until March 31 at the Yuchengco Museum, which is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenues, Makati City. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 889-1234 or visit

Artists and writers are available for interviews. For more information, contact Lilledeshan Bose at (63939) 5911425, (632) 564-0796, or at [email protected].


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