Imparting awareness through artistry, the Center for Campus Art (CCA) launched its newest contemporary art exhibit titled “#artnow: The Poliform Collection of International Contemporary Art”—in partnership with the Industrial Design program. Formally opening the event on Feb. 9 at the 12th floor Gallery of the Design and Arts Campus (DAC), a diverse collection of thought-provoking artworks is featured, highlighting the artists’ personal stories and endeavors.
In collaboration with Poliform, one of the country's leading distributors of Italian furniture and lighting, the exhibition unveils an assemblage of around 25 paintings and sculptures created by esteemed Southeast Asian and Western talents in the field of arts and design.
Acquired by businessman Tim Tan, one of the owners of Poliform, the vast range of works was deliberately handpicked from art fairs, pop-up shows, auctions, and commercial galleries worldwide. CCA Director and architect Gerry Torres later curated the items. Being a mutual friend of Tan, they both desired to publicly display the works of art for the benefit of the Benildean community.
Centered on emphasizing the mishaps and flaws of today’s society, Tan yearns for the new generation of Filipino innovators to be artistically inspired by sparking positive change by enriching their creative skills and capabilities. The event allows viewers to witness and experience the original pieces with their own eyes and to realize the limitless and untapped potential of art and design as means of self-expression.
An evening of art and exploration
For the welcoming speech, Ar. Torres shared how the conceptualization of the gallery stemmed from a mere coincidence when meeting with Tan and seeing the artworks first-hand. He expressed his gratitude towards Poliform for allowing Benildean student-artists to be stimulated by the impact of the curated pieces.
“As they embark on their path as future artists and designers, we hope this exhibit may have some lasting impact that can positively influence their work in the future.”
In an exclusive interview with The Benildean, Ar. Torres emphasized that looking at a piece of art personally and up close evokes a greater understanding and appreciation of the overall craft.
“To be able to see the artworks in reality and not just on screen; it’s different when you see a painting up close. You can see the strokes and you can see the textures. I hope they will realize that art should be appreciated in real-life, and that is the reason why I really pushed for this exhibit because these [artworks] are original.”
Next to give their opening remarks is Benilde President Br. Edmundo “Dodo” Fernandez FSC, where he expressed his great interest in being able to experience the wonders of contemporary art.
“When I began to understand, it just blew my mind. Part of the art was the process, and what I saw was the end product. Contemporary art presents us with different perspectives. It questions our view of things and in the end, breaks open our minds and [expands] our horizons.”
Also present during the event launch was the notable architect Ed Kalma, who was delighted that Benildeans could easily access an exhibit put up by the College.
In another exclusive interview with The Benildean, Kalma highlighted the importance of exhibits, especially for the student-artist community.
“Exhibits are always good spaces wherein people are in places of education. This particular exhibit is in the middle of the academy so there is more exposure. Students can really see what they normally see in art galleries so it’s good that they have it here.”
Contemporary artists Takashi Murakami and George Condo, together with fashion designer Virgil Abloh, are headliners of the showcase through a public display of their unique and innovative crafts. The lineup also comprises many other practitioners who have taken a step to elevate the current global art landscape through provocative and unorthodox designs.
In addition, several Benildean students from the Industrial Design program could join in on the exhibition as they conceptualized and created their very own soft toys. By integrating their learnings from the exhibit, the finished figures are to be presented with the help of their mentor, designer-educator Budji Tresvalles.
On top of that, CCA will host an online competition via Instagram where the winners can get vinyl figures from American artist and designer KAWS. More details will be posted on CCA’s official Facebook page.
“#artnow: The Poliform Collection of International Contemporary Art” is open Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., running until May 5, 2022. The exhibit is available to all Benildean students, associates, and the general public.
For those interested in visiting the “#artnow” exhibit, you may book your visit by filling out the appointment form here.