Machete Poster and sculpture by Paloy Cagayat. Photo: Lakan Sining. The town of Paete, Laguna in the Philippines is an artisanal community famous for its living tradition of wood carving of religious santos. In 1580, the town came under the administration of Spanish friars Juan de Plasencia and Diego de Oropesa, who encountered a native… Continue reading Machete of Paete and other Petrified Idols of Underdevelopment
Ballet Philippines’ Rama Hari (1980), Cultural Center of the Philippines In November 2017, the Times of India published a story about Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauding a ballet performance based on the Ramayana during the opening of the ASEAN Summit in Manila. According to Modi, the event which was attended by Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe,… Continue reading Rama Hari
Tabing temple painting depicting 'TheAbduction of Sita' from the Hindu epic,'Ramayana'. Painted probably by artistKak Lui (c.1860-1930) in 1930s inKamasan. AM Balinese Collection E74186.Image: Howard Hughes/ Australian Museum This brass cylinder is made distinctive by the incisions of figures that resemble reliefs from temples or medieval goblets. Roughly a meter high, the object is shaped… Continue reading Mystery Object
David Medalla with a Cloud Canyons work at Cornwall Gardens, London, 1964. Image copyright Clay Parry, England & Co, London. Peripatetic Filipino artist David Medalla, a pioneer of kinetic sculpture and participatory art performance, died in Manila on Monday, December 28. He was 82. He developed an early reputation as a poet and wünderkind during… Continue reading David Medalla (1938-2020)
Carlos IV monument in Plaza Mayor, Intramuros c. 1898. Photo: John Tewell Collection. The statue of Carlos IV is one of few colonial era monuments that stand today in the old city of Manila called Intramuros. The original purpose of its commission, who made it, and the story of its construction have been largely forgotten,… Continue reading The Furnace of Kings
Over the summer break, I visited Montauk Point on the easternmost end of Long Island and I was intrigued by the information written on a tourist pamphlet that lighthouses were the very first public works project undertaken by the United States. The lighthouse along with the one at Camp Henry, as pointed out in “Conjuring… Continue reading A decent photo of Montauk Point
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In the New York Times today: the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, the former president of the United States who declared the end of the Philippine-American War in 1902, will be removed from the steps of the Museum of Natural History. The Museum maintains that it is removing the statue not because of Theodore Roosevelt's… Continue reading Brief notes on Teddy Roosevelt’s statue being removed from the steps of the Museum of Natural History