Santiago Bose: Residency

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VII, no. 4, p. 6, March/April 1996:

Reception and video installation on Sunday, April 14

The art world has only too recently been awakened to the strength of contemporary art emanating from South East Asia. Aided by rapid economic growth and post-cold war optimism, the cultural self-confidence of the region has encouraged a new generation of artists. Santiago Bose, an established artist in mid-career, has been a leader in the renaissance of arts activity in the Philippines, both as a contributor to important exhibitions and as an active organizer of events. His projects have animated the local community and brought artists to the Philippines from around the world.

Operating at the crossroads of post-modernism and post-coloniality, his work employs traditional crafts, local materials and elements of the Filipino “black economy” to take a position on the struggle for cultural self-determination in the face of a long and continuing history of colonialist challenges. This work takes the form of graphics, painting, sculpture and installation, but has also expanded into large collaborative events that involve the community, combining contemporary cultural issues with the atmosphere of a fiesta. The largest such event was the Baguio Arts Festival of 1993 which enjoyed the participation of artists from several countries. In the last two years he has completed a number of teaching residencies, installations and commissions in Australia.

“Imaginary Museum” is the title of his video project for the Western Front. Based on the footage he has shot in a variety of museums in the Philippines, this will be Santiago Bose’s first formal production of an installation employing computer graphics and video. “It is the retelling of our story in a contemporary sense of how artifacts and symbols affect our ‘seeing’ and our identities.”

The artist will be available to meet with artists and students during his residency.

Supported by the Foreign Visiting Artists Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

A six-channel video installation, entitled Jaguar, was produced as part of this residency.