Press Release
January 8, 2018

Legarda Urges Public to Patronize PHL Contemporary Art

Senator Loren Legarda called on the public to support Philippine art and visit the newly-launched Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN) at the Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

The PCAN, which was made possible by the guidance, vision, and support of Legarda, serves as a venue for research, exhibition, curatorial exchange, public engagement and publication.

Based in the state university's Vargas Museum, it was launched last December 8, 2017 with its initial project, "Place of Region in the Contemporary," that will run until January 27, 2018.

"It all started with a vision to have our own permanent institute for contemporary art that will fully develop the skills of the country's talented artists and curators. With the help of Dr. Patrick Flores, this vision has finally turned into reality," said Legarda, who has been actively advocating for the development of Philippine art and is the visionary behind the return of the Philippines to the Venice Biennale in 2015 after a 51-year hiatus.

Dr. Flores, director of PCAN, explains that PCAN's inaugural project was built through three nodes in a network: Knowledge Production and Circulation; Exhibition and Curatorial Analysis; Public Engagement and Artistic Formation. "The project endeavors to activate a network to coordinate a range of interventions in contemporary art in the Philippines and to cast a sharper profile for it on an inter-local and trans-regional scale. It is keen to confront the requirements of research and discourse; curate art and subject the curatorial gesture to critique; and propose modes of catalyzing the public sphere of art and in the process harness the energies of its agents."

The three nodes were coordinated by Roberto G. Paulino, Renan Laru-an, and Tessa Maria Guanzon, who was a participant of the Curatorial Intensive in Manila last November 2016, a project supported by Legarda with the New York-based Independent Curators International (ICI).

Legarda said she hopes that through PCAN, we can create a vibrant forum for the discussion and development of contemporary art in the Philippines.

"The country has a wealth of talented artists and curators and we are now seeing a renaissance in Philippine art. With sustained government support, as well as initiatives from the private sector, we can do more and we can show that to the world. This is just the beginning of a vision to put the Filipino talent in its rightful place in the world," Legarda concluded.

The PCAN's Place of Region in the Contemporary is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm, except declared holidays. For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (telefax) or vargasmuseum@gmail.com, or visit their website at http://vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph.

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