Reasons why you should see the Manila Biennale

What's all the fuss with this Biennale? What is a "Biennale" even?

"Biennale" pronounced as been-ya-le (but it's always changing) is a large art exhibition or music festival, usually held biennially (or every other year.)  Its been a popular word since the Philippines made its comeback to the Venice Biennale in 2015 which is pretty much the art Olympics of the world.

Here on the other hand, we have exponentially embraced the idea of large art festivals as we've seen Art Fair Philippines grow its manic crowds. Meanwhile The Manila Biennale guys are doing us all a favor by holding our very own Biennale in Intramuros (no stop entries here!)

Its the first of its kind in Manila

If you haven't visited Intramuros in ages now is the best time to go. See how lovely Fort Santiago has become. What was then the ruins of San Ignacio Church is now a massive exhibition space.
Manila Biennale: OPEN City 2018 proudly presents: The OPENCITY EXHIBITION featuring: ROBERTO CHABET (Philippines) Onethingafteranother 2011 G.I. sheets, halogen lights Arguably the most influential Filipino artist of the postwar generation, Roberto Chabet led a movement grounded on conceptualism and experimentation. Using mostly ordinary and found material, he insists on a more inclusive approach to art, a search for the sublime not just in abstract ideas but also in the immediacy of the quotidian and the commonplace. In this installation, abstraction and the everyday collide, illuminating our presence in the greater continuum of time and space. RB The Manila Biennale 2018: Open City Exhibition is curated by Ringo Bunoan with Con Cabrera, Cocoy Lumbao, and Alice Sarmiento. February 3 – March 5 All over Intramuros, Manila Photo by: Kath Gonzales #MNLBNL2018 #manilabiennale2018 #opencity2018
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Which artists are here? Mostly the same artists you might find inside Art Fair Philippines or even art fairs abroad. You don't need to go far to see world class art. Find Alwin Reamillo's Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House in Fort Santiago. (its also moving around Intramuros bayanihan style)

Memorial art pieces

Ever heard of the Battle of Manila? If you can't identify with anything history related about Manila let the artworks give you a glimpse into those days. Most of the installations are rooted on the last stretch of the three-year Japanese occupation in Manila. You'd be surprised to find poignant artworks that reflect on the dark days of Manila.

Manila Biennale: Open City proudly presents: The OPENCITY EXHIBITION featuring: BONI JUAN (Philippines) Kaming Mga Busabos: Ang Kundiman ni Mariano Dimalanta 2018 Photographs, bottles, water, sound Kaming Mga Busabos (We, the Oppressed: The Ballad of Mariano Dimalanta) is a work by PETA member and grandson of a sarsuwelista, Boni Juan. Having been part of numerous productions of the theater institution in Intramuros, Juan knows the landscape like the back of his hand. The installation is anchored on his grandfather Mariano Dimalanta’s experience of incarceration inside the dungeons of Intramuros, being a guerilla during the Japanese occupation. Dimalanta recounts the dungeons being submerged in water when it rained hard. The faces are representations of the countless lives lost as effect of wars and how fleeting history has become, subjecting it to neglect and revisionism. Writer: Con Cabrera LOOK for Boni Juan's work at Intramuros! Clue: Listen carefully. Do you hear it? Kundiman from a dungeon. The Manila Biennale 2018: Open City Exhibition is curated by Ringo Bunoan with Con Cabrera, Cocoy Lumbao, and Alice Sarmiento. February 3 – March 5 All over Intramuros, Manila Photo by: Rache Go #MNLBNL2018 #manilabiennale2018 #opencity2018
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Here's a video about the Battle of Manila. I suggest that you take a guided tour by Carlos Celdran or Manila for A Day to get a better grasp of what really took place during the battle of Manila.

if you have time here's a lengthy film on the battle of Manila.

Festivities and open markets almost every weekend

If you feel like you'll miss out on all the fun throughout the Manila Biennale there are key events happening on the weekends so that's the ideal time to visit when you can. I also heard from the grapevine that there will be a closing party on either March 3 that you shouldn't miss (apart from the fact that we will be there.)

Get a passport to see the entire event. Click here for a day pass or buy a passport here.

I hope to see you folks inside the walled city one of these days!


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Name: Marz Ren | AKA: 認馬摯
​Marz is a handmade stamp artist turning things and people into stamps since 2013

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