Pintô Art draws Manhattan society

/ 03:44 PM May 30, 2017

Dr. Joven Cuanang, founder of Pintô Art Museum, with Rockefeller Foundation’s David Rockefeller, Josie Natori, Korina Sanchez-Roxas and Pintô Art Director Luca Parolari. ANNIE WATT

NEW YORK — In a 24-hour exhibit of contemporary Philippine art, Dr. Joven Cuanang’s Pintô Art collection drew Manhattan’s art patrons, all for the benefit of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) and the Pintô Art Museum in Manila.

The venue was Donna Karan’s Urban Zen on Greenwich Street. It was an opportunity for young artists to meet the benevolent sponsors of the event on a rainy evening last May 22.

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Luca Parolari, director of Pintô Art beamed, “This was a great launch for Pintô International, which will curate more shows of these and other artists in New York, Tokyo, Milan and Paris. The event helped us to raise funds for the Asian Cultural Council, to provide fellowships to Asian artists to live and work in the US, and for the Pintô Art Museum foundation, to establish an international art residency and foster the bidirectional cultural exchange between US and Philippines.”

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Patrons Susan Rockefeller, Donna Karan and Mercedes Zobel. Guests Ambassador Teddy Boy Locsin, Carol Shuttleworth, Tami Lawry and Louie Locsin. ANNIE WATT

More than 200 works of sculpture, painting and installations wowed the A-list crowd. The collection illustrates how Filipino artists fuse academic traditions with their personal interpretation, influenced by both international and cultural experiences of being Filipino. Such works by artists Elmer Borlongan, Manny Garibay, Neil Manalo, Mark Justiniani, Antonio Leano, Ferdinand Montemayor and Jose John Santos III reflect the challenges of empowerment in the 1990s and are inspired by Spanish colonial art.

Fernando Zobel De Ayala and his wife Catherine, were among the patrons admiring the collection. RACCO MARISTELA

Other artists who participated in the exhibit include, from the first generation of contemporary artists: Manuel Ocampo, Gil Batle and Joy Mallari. From the second generation: Ronald Ventura, Kawayan de Guia,Alfredo Esquillo, Nona Garcia, Gregory Halili, Riel Hilario, Geraldine Javier, Erwin Leano, Ian Quirante, and Pam Yan-Santos. From the third generation: Jogger Cruz, Rodel Tapaya, Marina Cruz, Raffy Napay, Leeroy New, Dexter Fernandez, Winner Jumalon, Joven Mansit, Martha Atienza, RG Habulan, Ryan Villamael, Jaypee Samson, Reynaldo Samson and Dexter Sy.

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Wooden art by Ronald Ventura. Mother of Pearl painted in oil: Vestige III by Gregory Halili. INQUIRER/Carol Tanjutco

And Magandang Balita (The Good News) by Jaypee Samson, oil on canvas. Safe by Raffy Napay, thread and printed fabric on canvas. INQUIRER/Carol Tanjutco

The exhibition was curated by Federico de Vera, in collaboration with Dr. Joven Cuanang, the art historian Patrick Flores and Dr. Luca Parolari. The second floor of Urban Zen Foundation held a special programming throughout the night featuring skype conversations between New York and Manila. Guests milled around the garden patio setting, a place of calm amidst the chaos of the city jungle. The upper wooden structure held a limited capacity, hence, guests interchanged visiting the relaxed atmosphere of the garden built by Donna Karan.

Dr. Cuanang, a neurologist, relates how he studied at Harvard through the help of China Medical Board, which was supported by Rockefeller Foundation. And now he is supporting the Asian Cultural Council which was initially funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, chaired by Wendy O’Neill.

The presence of David and Susan Rockefeller has been truly symbolic. ACC awards fellowship grants to artists and scholars in three categories of cross-cultural exchange: Asia to the U.S., U.S to Asia, and inter-Asia. Information is available at AsianCulturalCouncil.org

Other attention grabbers were the “garapata” (flea) stickers laid out at the entrance of the exhibition hall, an idea by Dex Hernandez from Caloocan City, inspired by his childhood fascination with the pernicious flea.

It was a fun-filled night flowing with wine and prosecco sponsored by Wayne Purville of W Beverage Group, matched with the Ilocano native “tupig,” a banana leaf-wrapped sticky cake prepared by Purple Yam.

Coordinating the event are partners Edwin Josue and Jerry Sibal, also seen with philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis and other Fil-Am community leaders.

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TAGS: art exhibit, Asian Cultural Council (ACC), David Rockefeller, Dr. JovenCuanang, Filipino visual artists, Pinto Art, Rockefeller Foundation
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