Two new exhibits this weekend will make you fall in love with Manila even more

Get your art fix this Saturday through Manila's past and present.


( You can always count on Manila to be one of the best venues for the flourishing local art scene. This Saturday, December 12, two art exhibits open to tackle subjects inspired by places in the city: Escolta and Bangkal. Rediscover Manila through art with Crystal Opus and Bangkal Paintings this weekend.



Back in the 1930s, shopping was already one of the best things to do in Manila. Before there were SM, Robinsons, and Ayala Malls, Crystal Arcade—the first shopping mall in the Philippines—was the place-to-be. It was one of the most modern buildings in the main business district at the time: Escolta. It opened in 1932, flaunting Art Deco style and resembling a shimmering crystal. Like most establishments in Escolta, it was ruined by World War II, and in 1960, was demolished.

This weekend, ESC Projects and 98B present Crystal Opus by Kitty Kaburo. Crystal Opus is a tribute to the gleaming memory of Crystal Arcade, an architectural oeuvre by Andres Luna de San Pedro, and to the city that lives on to this day. The fleeting nature of ice and the untouchable aspects of light are used as a prism to refract, project, or distort both the joys and pains of transforming visions into a tangible reality. The exhibit seeks to answer whether the lack of endurance means defeat.



Crystal Opus is happening on December 12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at G/F First United Building, Escolta Street, Manila ( For more information, visit 98B’s website


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Meanwhile, sandwiched between the cities of Makati and Pasay, Bangkal is a haven of little stores for those who love thrift shopping. The trade district is brimming with antique furniture, secondhand designer bags, discarded artifacts, and what-have-you. These stores have been passed on to different owners and carry their own history.


“There are many ways to look at the action of painting over an existing work authored by someone else.” That is the concept behind Bangkal Paintings at Underground Gallery, which is curated by conceptual artist Nilo Ilarde. For the exhibit, Ilarde and the gallery bought existing paintings from Bangkal and asked 27 artists to paint over them. It's an unorthodox practice because smearing over another work of art can become controversial. We're curious to find out how artists such as Mariano Ching, Soler Santos, Joseph Serrano, and other participating artists added their own mark to these supposedly finished pieces.



Bangkal Paintings opens on December 12, 6 p.m. at Underground Gallery. Underground is at L/G and 2/F, Makati Square, 2130 Don Chino Roces Avenue, Pio Del Pilar, Makati City (833-7817 or 0920-564-6075). For more information, visit Underground’s Facebook page.


Also read:
10 Art Exhibits You Should See This December
HOHOL with zines this Saturday at Post Gallery, Cubao X

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