Yuchengco Museum Celebrates Rizal @ 150 with Pop Culture Exhibit

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byCassie Cheng

RIZALizing the Future opens June 3 – October 29, 2011

National Hero Jose Rizal (1861 – 1896) is an integral part of the Filipino psyche, with his iconic image and enduring spirit seen in all aspects of our culture, landscape, and daily life. Rizal’s writings are taught in schools; his face is on currency and stamps; roads, parks, and monuments around the Philippines commemorate him; and companies, brands, and awards are named after him.

To mark the 150th anniversary of Rizal’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the Yuchengco Group of Companies, the Yuchengco Museum presents RIZALizing the Future, an exhibit rendering Rizal in a more popular light. The show surveys the industries, brands, movements, and directions that have pointed to Rizal as their root of inspiration. Drawing from a wide variety of artwork, memorabilia, archival photographs, and costumes to bring Jose Rizal closer to a larger audience, RIZALizing the Future is on view from June 3 to October 29, 2011.

Rizal’s presence in Filipino pop culture has been demystified, hero-worshipped, taken at face value, packaged, and branded, allowing his persona to transform through time. Visitors to RIZALizing the Future will explore sections on the different ways Filipinos have paid tribute to Jose Rizal—whether it is through spiritualizing him, honoring him with a monument, institutionalizing an organization in his name, collecting memorabilia with his likeness, portraying him in art, popularizing him in mass culture, branding a campaign of his values, or falling in love with the women in his life.

Notable objects on display include sketches by Jose Rizal, jewelry worn by Rizal’s childhood sweetheart Leonor Rivera, art by Team Manila, and banknotes and coins bearing Rizal’s image. Other highlights of the exhibit are a short video looking into Rizal’s essay Filipinas Dentro de Cien Años (The Philippines a Century Hence) and He Ain’t Perfect, a special gallery drawing attention to Rizal’s strengths and weaknesses. Rizal family members have collaborated with the museum to bring to the public, Rizaliana memorabilia never exhibited before.

RIZALizing the Future then caps off with an installation featuring a circular, walking area of meditation. Visitors are encouraged to walk around a floating garden, and ponder on excerpts from Rizal’s letters, novels, and poems reflecting his values.

In line with RIZALizing the Future, the museum is presenting Nights of Rizal, an exciting lineup of public programs and events that reflect the many dimensions of our National Hero. On June 3, Friday, be one of the first to see RIZALizing the Future with a street party and bazaar at the RCBC Plaza Courtyard at 8 p.m. Enjoy an evening of DJ music, images, wine, cuisine inspired by Rizal’s first novel Noli Me Tangere, and a Rizaliana book and merchandise fair.

Other upcoming events include Rizal chillout tapas nights, fundraising dinners, performances of excerpts from Noli Me Tangere: The Musical by Tanghalang Pilipino, book launches and other collaborative events with embassies of countries Rizal set foot on, historical storytelling and lectures, a Bench fashion show of contemporary apparel inspired by Rizal, and even a reading of the hero’s astrological birth chart. Check the museum’s website at www.yuchengcomuseum.org or follow the museum on facebook.com/yuchengcomuseum and twitter.com/yuchengcomuseum for schedules and updates.

The Yuchengco Museum’s Book & Gifts Corner is stocking on Rizal pop merchandise related to Rizal and his times to compliment the exhibit. The museum shop range will include books, notecards, t-shirts, personal accessories, 19th century-inspired gold jewelry from Camarines Norte, and a special RIZALizing the Future coffee blend.

RIZALizing the Future is on view through October 29 at Yuchengco Museum. The museum is located at RCBC Plaza, corner Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues, Makati City. Museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (632) 889-1234 or visit www.yuchengcomuseum.org.


Join Curator Jeannie Javelosa for a press preview and tweetup at the Yuchengco Museum on June 2, Thursday, at 7 p.m. See the exhibit a day before it opens to the public, gather photos and interviews, and enjoy refreshments with fellow members of the press, bloggers, and twitterers. Please RSVP by May 31, Tuesday, to Information Associate Carla Martinez at 889-1234 or [email protected].


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