Phylogeny of Desire

Various Artists

Allan Balisi, Anthony Arbias, Bea Aspiras, Blew David, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Dina Gadia, Elaine Roberto-Navas, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Geraldine Javier, Gregory Halili, Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan, Idan Cruz, Isabel Santos, Jason Dy SJ, John Rey Callado, José Santos III, Lena Cobangbang, Linnaea Co, Lisa Ito, Louie Cordero, Luis Antonio Santos, Mariano Ching, Marionne Contreras, Mawen Ong, Michael Calaramo, Milo Alto Paz, Mona Santos, MM Yu, Nannette Matilac, Neo Maestro, Nona Garcia, Pam Yan-Santos, Pardo de Leon, Patrick Gozon, Poklong Anading, Raena Abella, Raxenne Maniquiz, Robert Langenegger, Roberto Chabet, Rolf Campos, Romeo Lee, Ronald Achacoso, Rocelie Delfin, Soler Santos, Tanya Villanueva, Ulysses Ferreras, Wally Suarez

Allan Balisi, Anthony Arbias, Bea Aspiras, Blew David, Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, Dina Gadia, Elaine Roberto-Navas, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Geraldine Javier, Gregory Halili, Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan, Idan Cruz, Isabel Santos, Jason Dy SJ, John Rey Callado, José Santos III, Lena Cobangbang, Linnaea Co, Lisa Ito, Louie Cordero, Luis Antonio Santos, Mariano Ching, Marionne Contreras, Mawen Ong, Michael Calaramo, Milo Alto Paz, Mona Santos, MM Yu, Nannette Matilac, Neo Maestro, Nona Garcia, Pam Yan-Santos, Pardo de Leon, Patrick Gozon, Poklong Anading, Raena Abella, Raxenne Maniquiz, Robert Langenegger, Roberto Chabet, Rolf Campos, Romeo Lee, Ronald Achacoso, Rocelie Delfin, Soler Santos, Tanya Villanueva, Ulysses Ferreras, Wally Suarez

12 November – 05 December 2022

Curated by 

Ronald Achacoso

12 November – 05 December 2022
Phylogeny of Desire | MO_Space

The first flowering plant emerged over a hundred million years before the earliest human ever gazed on the alluring symmetry of their floral architecture. The explosion of botanical diversity which appeared on the fossil records was described by Darwin as the ‘abominable mystery’ and belies the anthropocentric conceit that their beauty exists for our sole appreciation.

The German philosopher, Goethe, imagined the archetypal proto-plant and labelled it urpflanze, a Protean plant that contained within it all possible permutations and future expressions a plant can assume.

Phylogeny of Desire is an art exhibition showcasing a selection of works from artists, botanists, and plant enthusiasts who draw inspiration from the astounding morphological diversity and the intriguing ecological complexities of the plant kingdom—particularly the unique assemblage of Philippine flora—and draw resonance in the fundamental processes of art making.

The exhibit also pays tribute to and commemorates the late Dr. Leonardo Co, arguably the most important field botanist and plant taxonomist the country has produced in the last few generations and whose tragic, untimely demise 12 years ago left a gaping unquantifiable void in the world of Philippine Botany at this critical juncture in time.

Co was a consummate scientist who expressed the need for art in botany and its vital role in curing ‘plant blindness’, a seemingly contemporary urban malaise. Plant blindness is the inability to see or recognize the presence of plants in our surroundings and our incapacity to acknowledge its invaluable role in the environment.  

This estrangement and affliction grow exponentially as the natural world incrementally recedes beyond the horizon; and as we envelop ourselves with controlled, artificial constructs that we supplant and label as reality.

The representation of plants in the art world is largely peripheral; ie. in landscape paintings as components of a larger composition or as subject matter for still life, as fruits foliage or more often as memento mori, a severed flower symbolizing the fleeting transitory nature of existence or the fragility and ephemerality of beauty.

Artists are naturally drawn to the magnificent morphological structures and patterns that occur in the botanical realm and seek to define or interpret the underlying beauty on their terms. They create poetic fiction to fill the gaps of understanding with metaphorical concepts that approximate a representation of the natural world.

The sensuous discerning eye of artists and taxonomists is an essential instrument that both heavily rely on to distinguish subtle nuances in form. The botanical representations in the exhibit  provides the substrate for the artworks to gain traction and provide a counterpoint in viewing the works individually and the show in its entirety.

The selection of works traces the polarity and the tenuous relationship between art and science and harness the oscillating force of attraction and repulsion between the two disciplines and seek a common fertile ground for the cross pollination and synthesis of form, imagery, and ideas.

Ronald Achacoso

Exhibition Documentation

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  • Stalk
    Allan Balisi
    Oil on canvas
    18" x 20"
    2022
  • Scholar's Tree
    Bea Aspiras
    Acrylic on paper
    8.1" x 9.6"
    2022
  • Constellations and the Harmonica
    Bea Aspiras
    Acrylic on paper
    8.1" x 9.6"
    2022
  • Pag-ibig sa Palanan
    Bea Aspiras
    Acrylic on paper
    8.1" x 9.6"
    2022
  • Diliman's Herbarium
    Bea Aspiras
    Acrylic on paper
    8.1" x 9.6"
    2022
  • Tahanan ng Pagbabago
    Bea Aspiras
    Acrylic on paper
    8.1" x 9.6"
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 1
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 2
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 3
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 4
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 5
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 6
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 7
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 8
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Sibol (Sprout) 9
    Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
    Wood scraps and found objects
    Size variable
    2022
  • Land Poetics (Putting Together)
    Dina Gadia
    Acrylic on canvas
    28" x 24"
    2022
  • Fairy Tales
    Elaine Roberto-Navas
    Oil on canvas
    12" x 9" (work); 16.25" x 13.25" (frame)
    2022
  • Each Other
    Elaine Roberto-Navas
    Oil on canvas
    9" x 12" (work); 13.25" x 16.25" (frame)
    2022
  • Fall/2018 (Colors)
    Gary-Ross Pastrana
    Human skin, makeup, superglue, armature components, acrylic glass
    Variable dimensions
    2018
  • Remembering Leonard
    Geraldine Javier
    Wood, chicken wire, preserved leaves, gold leaf; Variable dimensions
    Preserved leaves, paper, thread, encaustic; 48" x 34"
    2022
  • pause, search, and gather
    Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan
    Pen and ink, and watercolor on paper
    12" x 18" (work); 18" x 24" (frame)
    2022
  • Sa Pagitan ng Paglimot at Paggunita
    Idan Cruz
    Edition of 12
    2021
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Exhibition View

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Video Catalogue

About the Artist

About the Artists

Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan

Artist portrait courtesy of Tin-Aw Art Management Inc.
Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan

Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan (b. 1994) lives and works in Cavite, Philippines. Drawing on the composition and aesthetic qualities immanent in natural history illustrations, she explores the narratives behind both the mundane and indispensable objects to document and examine our history and material culture. Using pen and ink and watercolor as her primary medium, Henrielle creates illustrations of objects arranged in specific schemes of order that depict how the numerous configurations of categorization of our everyday items form narratives that reflect our knowledge and experiences, which may either be personal or collectively shared. An active member of the Association of Pinoyprintmakers (A/P), she also works with monotype and drypoint prints.

Henrielle received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2015. She won the Grand Prize in the Don Papa Rum Art Competition which granted her a one-month residency.

Isabel Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of Joseph Pascual
Isabel Santos

Isabel Santos (b. 1991) is an artist and illustrator based in Manila, Philippines. She graduated at Ateneo de Manila University and Carls Duisberg Centruim, Germany. Santos had various group and solo exhibitions at Silverlens Gallery, West Gallery, Univers, Secret Fresh Gallery, and also participated in Art Fair Philippines. She also had artist residencies in New York, France, and Germany in 2016.

Luis Antonio Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of JL Javier
Luis Antonio Santos

Luis Antonio Santos (b. 1985) lives and works in Quezon City as a visual artist working primarily with painting and photography. His practice revolves around the tension between contradictions and engages with themes relating to identity using time, space, and memory as points of departure. Oil painting, screenprinting, and digitally manipulated photography as aesthetic strategies are often employed along with the use of everyday utilitarian materials as subject matter to examine these ideas. He has been exhibiting since 2010 with solo shows at West Gallery, Silverlens Gallery, Blanc Gallery, Finale Art File, MO_Space, Artinformal and the Drawing Room. He has also been included in several group exhibitions in Manila, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Athens, and Malaysia. He has been shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards twice (2014, 2015) and has been nominated for the Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum (2018).

Marionne Contreras

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist
Marionne Contreras

Marionne Contreras (b. 1992) is a mixed-media artist based in Manila. Her current focus is on yarn and fabric-based works. These are often with themes of memory, its persistence, its purity, its vulnerability to tampering, taking visual inspiration from textures and forms found in nature while maintaining an aesthetic of the synthetic.

The “unnaturalness” in appearance of her works is intended as an exaggeration and fictionalization of the real, but the boundaries of the real remain blurry as fantasies and embellished accounts of events always tend to spill over. This blurry boundary is where Contreras positions herself for a panoramic view of what that boundary supposedly divides.

Primarily, Contreras worked with an array of materials producing eclectic output, from fiberglass sculptures to acrylic paintings on wood to assemblages to works on paper. As a self-taught visual artist, Contreras draws influences and knowledge of materials from the experience she gained from her trysts with different fields – taking up Doctor of Dental Medicine in College, and then Fashion Design, until eventually she decided to practice as an artist full time.

Her hand on different materials was used in her 2018 one-person exhibition in the Cultural Center of the Philippines entitled, A Collection Of Bruises, Curses, Baby Teeth. She has presented different works, such as fiberglass installations, mixed media assemblages, textile based soft sculptures, drawings, neon signage, using them as a means to tell a personal narrative which is always present in her works despite her conscious decision to highlight their ornamental nature – to always stage them as a showcase of beauty given the parameters in which the very idea of “the beautiful” is meant to work. This is evident in her Plant Series, an ongoing series of work which was started in 2018.

Marionne Contreras’ shift of focus to yarn and fabric-based works was a conscious decision to veer away from the use of toxic materials in her work, having borne a child in 2019. Her current works, including her Plant Series, span from embroidery, hand-woven tapestry, and soft sculptures. She employs different textile making techniques, such as weaving, crocheting, knitting, tufting, and needlework.

Contreras’ works have been regularly exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines. She also does writing work.

MM Yu

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist
MM Yu

MM Yu (b. 1978) lives and works in Manila, Philippines. Her photographs evoke the ever-changing cultural texture and topology of Manila as seen through its inhabitants, the city’s infrastructure and its waste product as it archives not only the economy but also the ecology of life in the myriad forms it takes in the city. 

These recorded static scenarios show through their thematic variety the artist’s interest in discovering and valuing the fleeting moment present even in its simplest components. The diverse elements in her works not only underscore the inability of photography to account for fractured temporality. Through her ongoing interest in deciphering the enigma of the unseen landscape of ordinary things, they also force us to rethink what our minds already know and rediscover what our eyes have already seen.

The impact lies in how photography is employed to investigate another subject namely that of memory. By consolidating a series of routine snapshots traversing the streets of Manila. The hybrid and density of MM Yu’s subjects remind us of how objects and signs are not necessarily self-contained but take part in larger systems of interaction.

MM Yu received her BFA Painting from the University of the Philippines and completed residencies with Big Sky Mind, Manila (2003), Common Room Bandung Residency Grant and Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France (2013). She is a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines 13 Artist Award (2009), the Goethe Institute Workshop Grant (2014), and the Ateneo Art Awards (winner in 2007, shortlisted in 2011). She was also a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2010).

Mona Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of Joseph Pascual
Mona Santos

Mona Santos (b. 1962), wife of Malang’s son Soler Santos, is among the Philippines’ premiere contemporary artists. Notable for her depictions of luscious flora in close, intimate proximity, which combine rigor of hand, with a feminine sensibility.

Santos’ mastery of the medium has in the past created an entire collection of floral paintings—technically adept and aesthetically delicate renderings that can instill a sense of wonder at the creations of nature. Her portrayals of blooms have long gone beyond the technically photorealistic. Instead, they capture the grace and luminosity of her floral subjects with sensual precision, in ways that not all photographs can.She documents not just a literal transition from one subject to another, but also merges two disparate images by consciously stripping the medium down to its barest essentials through lines. Such visual cues perhaps also hint at formal and stylistic transitions in Mona Santos’ process and repertoire of art-making.

Santos had various solo exhibitions in local galleries, and her works have been featured in various group shows and in publications such as 20th Century Filipino Artists, Homage to the Masters and 1+55: Perspective on Corporate Art Patronage among others.

Neo Maestro

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist
Neo Maestro

Neo Maestro (b. 1991) is a visual artist living and working in Manila, Philippines. He graduated with a degree in BFA Painting in 2016. His works range from video, installation, sculpture, and painting. Alongside his independent practice, he is part of Walang Kikilos, a collaborative project that observes the absurdities of urban life in Metro Manila and of Lost Frames, an artist collective that makes and facilitates video screening programs in and outside Manila. 

Neo Maestro exhibits his work regularly in Metro Manila and has participated in exhibitions and programs in Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. He has participated in artist residency programs in Japan, AIR-H in Hachinohe (2019), and Vietnam, live.make.share. in Hanoi and Bac Ninh (2019). 

He has an ongoing project, titled Don’t Sweep at the Wake, in which he collects ghost stories from people he encounters from different localities. He collects, shares, and explores these stories and experiences through different means such as casual discussions, workshops, and exhibitions.

Poklong Anading

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist
Poklong Anading

Poklong Anading’s (b. 1975, Manila, Philippines) practice utilizes a wide range of media from drawing, painting, video, installation, photography and object-making. Taking a more process-oriented and conceptual approach, his continuing inquiry takes off from issues on self-reflexivity, both of himself and others, and site-specificity in an ongoing discussion about society, time and territory.

He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in painting from the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines (1999). He completed residencies with Big Sky Mind, Manila, Philippines (2003 to 2004), Common Room, Bandung, Indonesia (2008), Bangkok University Gallery, Thailand (2013), Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2013), Philippine Art Residency Program - Alliance Francaise de Manille in Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, Centre Intermondes, La Rochelle in France (2014) and das weisse haus, Vienna Austria (2018). He had solo exhibitions in Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, Graz, Austria (2010, 2012 and 2020), Taro Nasu in Japan and Athr Gallery in Jeddah (2016), 1335MABINI in Manila, Philippines (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019). He has been included in notable group exhibitions such as: Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2002 and 2012), No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, the first exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore (2013 to 2014), 5th Asian Art Biennial: Artist Making Movement, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2015), The Shadow Never Lies, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, Afterwork, Para Site, Hong Kong, China and in the Architecture Biennale for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Philippine Pavilion: Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City at Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy (2016), disco nap, ‘We Didn’t Mean To Break It (But It’s Ok, We Can Fix It), Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon, Portugal (2019), Far Away But Strangely Familiar’, Danubiana Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia (2019), Normal scheduling will resume shortly, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila (2019) and Arts in Common Artjog MMXIX, Jogya Nationa Museum, Jogyakarta, Indonesia (2019),

Anading lives and works in Manila.

Pam Yan Santos

Pam Yan Santos

Pam Yan Santos (b. Manila, Philippines, 1974) lives and works in Pasig, Philippines. Yan Santos received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) degree from the University of the Philippines (1995). She was a faculty member at the UP College of Fine Arts from 1997 to 2001. In 2003 she won first prize in the print category of the AAP Annual Art Competition. In 2009, she received the CCP’s Thirteen Artist’s Award and was short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards.

Yan Santos has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Finale Art File, Makati City, Philippines; Pinto Museum, Antipolo City, Philippines; The Drawing Room, Makati City, Philippines; Bencab Museum, Baguio City, Philippines; Artinformal, Mandaluyong City, Philippines; Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City, Philippines. Her works have been exhibited at Silverlens Gallery, Philippines; 5th Mondial Triennale of Small-Sized Prints, France; Nunu Fine Art, Taipei; Art Stage, Singapore; Block 6 #02-09 Gillman Barracks, Singapore; Art Basel, Hong Kong; Asia Now, Paris; and Danubiana Muelensteen Art Museum, Slovakia.

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About the Artists

About the Artist

Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan (b. 1994) lives and works in Cavite, Philippines. Drawing on the composition and aesthetic qualities immanent in natural history illustrations, she explores the narratives behind both the mundane and indispensable objects to document and examine our history and material culture. Using pen and ink and watercolor as her primary medium, Henrielle creates illustrations of objects arranged in specific schemes of order that depict how the numerous configurations of categorization of our everyday items form narratives that reflect our knowledge and experiences, which may either be personal or collectively shared. An active member of the Association of Pinoyprintmakers (A/P), she also works with monotype and drypoint prints.

Henrielle received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2015. She won the Grand Prize in the Don Papa Rum Art Competition which granted her a one-month residency.

Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan

Artist portrait courtesy of Tin-Aw Art Management Inc.

Isabel Santos (b. 1991) is an artist and illustrator based in Manila, Philippines. She graduated at Ateneo de Manila University and Carls Duisberg Centruim, Germany. Santos had various group and solo exhibitions at Silverlens Gallery, West Gallery, Univers, Secret Fresh Gallery, and also participated in Art Fair Philippines. She also had artist residencies in New York, France, and Germany in 2016.

Isabel Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of Joseph Pascual

Luis Antonio Santos (b. 1985) lives and works in Quezon City as a visual artist working primarily with painting and photography. His practice revolves around the tension between contradictions and engages with themes relating to identity using time, space, and memory as points of departure. Oil painting, screenprinting, and digitally manipulated photography as aesthetic strategies are often employed along with the use of everyday utilitarian materials as subject matter to examine these ideas. He has been exhibiting since 2010 with solo shows at West Gallery, Silverlens Gallery, Blanc Gallery, Finale Art File, MO_Space, Artinformal and the Drawing Room. He has also been included in several group exhibitions in Manila, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Athens, and Malaysia. He has been shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards twice (2014, 2015) and has been nominated for the Signature Art Prize, Singapore Art Museum (2018).

Luis Antonio Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of JL Javier

Marionne Contreras (b. 1992) is a mixed-media artist based in Manila. Her current focus is on yarn and fabric-based works. These are often with themes of memory, its persistence, its purity, its vulnerability to tampering, taking visual inspiration from textures and forms found in nature while maintaining an aesthetic of the synthetic.

The “unnaturalness” in appearance of her works is intended as an exaggeration and fictionalization of the real, but the boundaries of the real remain blurry as fantasies and embellished accounts of events always tend to spill over. This blurry boundary is where Contreras positions herself for a panoramic view of what that boundary supposedly divides.

Primarily, Contreras worked with an array of materials producing eclectic output, from fiberglass sculptures to acrylic paintings on wood to assemblages to works on paper. As a self-taught visual artist, Contreras draws influences and knowledge of materials from the experience she gained from her trysts with different fields – taking up Doctor of Dental Medicine in College, and then Fashion Design, until eventually she decided to practice as an artist full time.

Her hand on different materials was used in her 2018 one-person exhibition in the Cultural Center of the Philippines entitled, A Collection Of Bruises, Curses, Baby Teeth. She has presented different works, such as fiberglass installations, mixed media assemblages, textile based soft sculptures, drawings, neon signage, using them as a means to tell a personal narrative which is always present in her works despite her conscious decision to highlight their ornamental nature – to always stage them as a showcase of beauty given the parameters in which the very idea of “the beautiful” is meant to work. This is evident in her Plant Series, an ongoing series of work which was started in 2018.

Marionne Contreras’ shift of focus to yarn and fabric-based works was a conscious decision to veer away from the use of toxic materials in her work, having borne a child in 2019. Her current works, including her Plant Series, span from embroidery, hand-woven tapestry, and soft sculptures. She employs different textile making techniques, such as weaving, crocheting, knitting, tufting, and needlework.

Contreras’ works have been regularly exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in the Philippines. She also does writing work.

Marionne Contreras

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist

MM Yu (b. 1978) lives and works in Manila, Philippines. Her photographs evoke the ever-changing cultural texture and topology of Manila as seen through its inhabitants, the city’s infrastructure and its waste product as it archives not only the economy but also the ecology of life in the myriad forms it takes in the city. 

These recorded static scenarios show through their thematic variety the artist’s interest in discovering and valuing the fleeting moment present even in its simplest components. The diverse elements in her works not only underscore the inability of photography to account for fractured temporality. Through her ongoing interest in deciphering the enigma of the unseen landscape of ordinary things, they also force us to rethink what our minds already know and rediscover what our eyes have already seen.

The impact lies in how photography is employed to investigate another subject namely that of memory. By consolidating a series of routine snapshots traversing the streets of Manila. The hybrid and density of MM Yu’s subjects remind us of how objects and signs are not necessarily self-contained but take part in larger systems of interaction.

MM Yu received her BFA Painting from the University of the Philippines and completed residencies with Big Sky Mind, Manila (2003), Common Room Bandung Residency Grant and Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France (2013). She is a recipient of the Cultural Center of the Philippines 13 Artist Award (2009), the Goethe Institute Workshop Grant (2014), and the Ateneo Art Awards (winner in 2007, shortlisted in 2011). She was also a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2010).

MM Yu

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist

Mona Santos (b. 1962), wife of Malang’s son Soler Santos, is among the Philippines’ premiere contemporary artists. Notable for her depictions of luscious flora in close, intimate proximity, which combine rigor of hand, with a feminine sensibility.

Santos’ mastery of the medium has in the past created an entire collection of floral paintings—technically adept and aesthetically delicate renderings that can instill a sense of wonder at the creations of nature. Her portrayals of blooms have long gone beyond the technically photorealistic. Instead, they capture the grace and luminosity of her floral subjects with sensual precision, in ways that not all photographs can.She documents not just a literal transition from one subject to another, but also merges two disparate images by consciously stripping the medium down to its barest essentials through lines. Such visual cues perhaps also hint at formal and stylistic transitions in Mona Santos’ process and repertoire of art-making.

Santos had various solo exhibitions in local galleries, and her works have been featured in various group shows and in publications such as 20th Century Filipino Artists, Homage to the Masters and 1+55: Perspective on Corporate Art Patronage among others.

Mona Santos

Artist portrait courtesy of Joseph Pascual

Neo Maestro (b. 1991) is a visual artist living and working in Manila, Philippines. He graduated with a degree in BFA Painting in 2016. His works range from video, installation, sculpture, and painting. Alongside his independent practice, he is part of Walang Kikilos, a collaborative project that observes the absurdities of urban life in Metro Manila and of Lost Frames, an artist collective that makes and facilitates video screening programs in and outside Manila. 

Neo Maestro exhibits his work regularly in Metro Manila and has participated in exhibitions and programs in Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. He has participated in artist residency programs in Japan, AIR-H in Hachinohe (2019), and Vietnam, live.make.share. in Hanoi and Bac Ninh (2019). 

He has an ongoing project, titled Don’t Sweep at the Wake, in which he collects ghost stories from people he encounters from different localities. He collects, shares, and explores these stories and experiences through different means such as casual discussions, workshops, and exhibitions.

Neo Maestro

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist

Poklong Anading’s (b. 1975, Manila, Philippines) practice utilizes a wide range of media from drawing, painting, video, installation, photography and object-making. Taking a more process-oriented and conceptual approach, his continuing inquiry takes off from issues on self-reflexivity, both of himself and others, and site-specificity in an ongoing discussion about society, time and territory.

He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in painting from the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines (1999). He completed residencies with Big Sky Mind, Manila, Philippines (2003 to 2004), Common Room, Bandung, Indonesia (2008), Bangkok University Gallery, Thailand (2013), Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2013), Philippine Art Residency Program - Alliance Francaise de Manille in Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, Centre Intermondes, La Rochelle in France (2014) and das weisse haus, Vienna Austria (2018). He had solo exhibitions in Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, Graz, Austria (2010, 2012 and 2020), Taro Nasu in Japan and Athr Gallery in Jeddah (2016), 1335MABINI in Manila, Philippines (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019). He has been included in notable group exhibitions such as: Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2002 and 2012), No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, the first exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS Map Global Art Initiative in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore (2013 to 2014), 5th Asian Art Biennial: Artist Making Movement, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2015), The Shadow Never Lies, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, Afterwork, Para Site, Hong Kong, China and in the Architecture Biennale for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Philippine Pavilion: Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City at Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy (2016), disco nap, ‘We Didn’t Mean To Break It (But It’s Ok, We Can Fix It), Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon, Portugal (2019), Far Away But Strangely Familiar’, Danubiana Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia (2019), Normal scheduling will resume shortly, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila (2019) and Arts in Common Artjog MMXIX, Jogya Nationa Museum, Jogyakarta, Indonesia (2019),

Anading lives and works in Manila.

Poklong Anading

Artist portrait courtesy of the artist

Pam Yan Santos (b. Manila, Philippines, 1974) lives and works in Pasig, Philippines. Yan Santos received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) degree from the University of the Philippines (1995). She was a faculty member at the UP College of Fine Arts from 1997 to 2001. In 2003 she won first prize in the print category of the AAP Annual Art Competition. In 2009, she received the CCP’s Thirteen Artist’s Award and was short-listed for the Ateneo Art Awards.

Yan Santos has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Finale Art File, Makati City, Philippines; Pinto Museum, Antipolo City, Philippines; The Drawing Room, Makati City, Philippines; Bencab Museum, Baguio City, Philippines; Artinformal, Mandaluyong City, Philippines; Tin-aw Art Gallery, Makati City, Philippines. Her works have been exhibited at Silverlens Gallery, Philippines; 5th Mondial Triennale of Small-Sized Prints, France; Nunu Fine Art, Taipei; Art Stage, Singapore; Block 6 #02-09 Gillman Barracks, Singapore; Art Basel, Hong Kong; Asia Now, Paris; and Danubiana Muelensteen Art Museum, Slovakia.

Pam Yan Santos

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