Out and About with Las Casas Craftsmen!

A FULL-DAY TOUR AROUND METRO MANILA’S ART SPACES WITH THE LAS CASAS FILIPINAS DE ACUZAR CRAFTSMEN.

Last 6 September 2018, craftsmen from Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, who collaborate with BAP artist residents and contribute to our past and current exhibitions, were taken to a day-tour in select art spaces around Metro Manila. As mentioned by RJ Camacho, residency manager of Bellas Artes Projects, “It’s been a very productive and successful year collaborating projects with our Las Casas craftsmen. They’ve been really helpful to all our projects. Bellas Artes Projects wouldn’t be where it is now without their hard work. We’ve been very grateful working with and learning from them.”

The craftsmen come from a wide range of traditional practices—from wood carving to tile mosaic—specializing in these crafts that restore and maintain the historical houses at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac Bataan. In our current exhibition at BAP Outpost, Paul Pfeiffer:Incarnator (runs from 7 July 2018 - 6 October 2018), the artist collaborated with them to create the wood sculptures.

As a form of gratitude, our team organized a day tour around Metro Manila’s art spaces. The first stop was at the National Museum of Fine Arts where the group viewed works by the masters, many of them for the first time. In gallery XII, they were delighted to be able to see up close details of the sculptures by National Artist Guillermo E. Tolentino. But what mostly fascinated them was the Old Senate Session Hall where the decoration in the Hall was created by one of the most celebrated Filipino sculptor of the time, Isabelo Tampinco – a contemporary of Juan Luna and José Rizal – and his sons Ángel and Vidal.

The next destination was at BAP Outpost where they saw the product of their collaboration with Paul displayed in a gallery setting. The craftsmen were interested to see how Paul presented the sculptures in exhibition form. But what thrilled them that most was seeing the children from Bataan featured in Paul’s video work, Incarnator. Before heading out, they were additionally given a tour at the neighboring gallery, 1335Mabini, where they saw Forms Please, a group show that included paintings, drawings and sculptures by Gus Albor, Anna-Maria Bogner, Miggy Inumerable, Kanchana Gupta, Klaus Wanker, Ian Woo. This grouping explored materiality and explored our physical encounter with objects.

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We are so grateful for the contributions of the Las Casas craftsmen and we hope that this tour has nourished their creative spirit and inspire their future work!

Bellas Artes Projects