Gone In A New York Minute

Pintô’s 24-hour-only New York exhibit compels two multicultural nations to confront each other without leaving any room for reluctance.

by Emil Hofileña, photo by PINTÔ MANHATTAN MANILA

Urgency in the art world is admittedly more often felt on the artists’ end than on the audience’s. Museums and galleries have become popular spaces for meditation and contemplative strolls; if something is at stake in an artwork, it is usually felt internally instead of being announced for all to hear.


Artist: Jaypee Samson


Pintô International, however, knows when it is appropriate to challenge that which people are familiar with. Works from over thirty contemporary Philippine artists will be exhibited at Pintô Manhattan Manila, a limited show that will be on display for only twenty-four hours, from May 22 to 23 at Urban Zen, New York City. The artworks at the exhibit will be sold for the benefit of the Pintô Art Museum and the Asian Cultural Council’s Philippines Program.


So for at least twenty-four hours, American audiences may experience more explicitly the rush that art offers, and encounter more viscerally Filipino narratives through art.

Artist: Elmer Borlongan

The themes explored by the three generations of featured artists are not novel or exotic in the way that some might expect — but, of course, they offer a perspective that can only come from living through the Philippines’ specific history, culture, and geography. Works from Alfredo Esquillo and Dexter Sy comment on the Philippines’ deep connections to religion, Kawayan de Guia and RG Habulan integrate pop culture into their pieces, and still others investigate everything from nature to our own Filipino identity. (The results are as varied as there are islands in the archipelago; Jaypee Samson’s portrait of an elderly couple outside a Christian Church stands in sharp contrast to Elmer Borlongan’s image of a Muslim woman reaching for a large serving of Jollibee French fries.)


Frequently described as a melting pot of cultures in Southeast Asia, our country shares the traits of multiculturalism with New York and America as a whole, even while the two countries remain an exceedingly different from each other. Pintô Manhattan Manila then allows a conversation between the two to proceed, not with hesitation but with the urgency that some would say is lacking in intercultural dialogue. This urgency to converge as one community for as long as this twenty-four hour window remains open shines a spotlight on a minority community living in the United States — allowing the Filipino to announce themselves through art, even for just one day.



Artists L-R: Joven Mansit and Kawayan De Guia


PINTÔ MANHATTAN MANILA’s 24-Hour Exhibition of Contemporary Philippine Art is from May 22 to the 23rd at Urban Zen, 711 Greenwich Street, New York City. The show will be open to the public from Monday May 22 8PM until 8PM the next day, Tuesday, May 23


Artist: Erwin Leano