Bulwagang Roberto Chabet opens for ‘out-of-the-box’ art

While the Tanghalang Pambansa (CCP Main Building) is undergoing its much-needed rehabilitation, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has been looking for exhibition spaces and performance venues in and outside of Metro Manila and maximizing its existing spaces in the CCP Complex to continue with its programming.

The premier arts institution has partnered with various museums and galleries in Metro Manila and provinces outside the capital region. Aside from that, the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division has been rolling out traveling exhibitions, the latest of which is the ongoing Woman: Thesis and Antithesis in partnership with the Yuchengco Museum in Makati City.

Ariel Yonzon, head of the CCP Production and Exhibition Department.
Pandy Aviado, printmaker.

For its visual arts programs and projects, the CCP transforms the third floor of the Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez (CCP Blackbox Theater) into a gallery and exhibition space, called Bulwagang Roberto Chabet.

The new gallery will complement the philosophy guiding CCP’s Blackbox Theater, which was designed to cater to new works that are “out-of-the-box.” This thrust the Bulwagang Roberto Chabet or CCP TIG Gallery also aims to uphold. In time, the new gallery will host contemporary and experimental exhibitions, as well as innovative collaborations.

“As its mandate, the CCP creates a balance between being in touch with Philippine art history and making space for contemporary methods of artmaking. We hope to accomplish and fortify that responsibility through Bulwagang Roberto Chabet,” said CCP president Margarita Moran-Floirendo.

The new exhibition space aims to extend the CCP’s thrust of promoting artistic excellence and nurturing of art making and appreciation while the Main Building undergoes rehabilitation.

The CCP plans to utilize Bulwagang Roberto Chabet as artistic space for young artists with limited exposure as well as fresh and innovative ideas that artists and curators would like to explore through the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division’s Exhibition Venue Grant program.

“We hope the new gallery will become a dynamic space to showcase works from the CCP 21AM collection, reframed and recontextualized to respond to the interests and concerns of a wider audience. The CCP has been encouraging explorations and innovations in artmaking and exhibition-making by providing not just space but also curatorial assistance,” said Moran-Floirendo.

The new gallery is named after a Filipino conceptual artist recognized as one of the most influential Filipino artists in the post-war generation. Naming the exhibition space after Chabet honors the significant contributions of the late visual artist in the Philippine art community. It represents his recognition of the potential and energy young and emerging artists bring and contribute to the trajectory of local contemporary art.

Known for his works that sought more diverse methods to arts, Chabet was the first museum director of the CCP from 1967 to 1971. A Gawad CCP Para sa Sining recipient, he was instrumental in acquiring some of the pieces included in the current CCP 21AM Collection, as well as in establishing the CCP Thirteen Artists Awards in 1970 as a curatorial project. The stage curtain of the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) is based on the painting of Chabet, rendered on a tapestry made in Kyoto, Japan.

Benjie Torrado Cabrera, printmaker.
The featured printmakers for the opening exhibit ‘Space/Place’ of Bulwagang Roberto Chabet.

Bulwagang Roberto Chabet officially opened to the public with “Space/Place,” an exhibition by the Association of Pinoyprintmakers, on 16 May.

The Tanghalang Ignacio B. Gimenez is located at the CCP Complex, across the Philippine International Convention Center.