Unleashing women printmakers’  power and promise at ILOMOCA

The Cultural Center of the Philippines brings together prints by women artists from different generations who represent potential and potency from the CCP 21st Century Art Museum (21AM) Collection for a special exhibition, on view from 7 October 2023 to March 2024, at the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) in Iloilo City, Iloilo.

The title for “Potential, Potency, and Women Printmakers: Selection of Prints from the CCP 21st Century Art Museum (21AM) Collection” comes from the essay written by visual artist Imelda Cajipe Endaya for the fiftieth anniversary show of the Association of Pinoyprintmakers held at the CCP Main Gallery in 2018. In her essay, she recalls the involvement and contribution of women printmakers in the founding of the Philippine Association of Printmakers and evaluates how female labor and sensibilities inform and deepen the artistic practice of printmaking.

The featured women artists are Ambie Abaño, Glenna Aquino, Ivi Cosio-Avellana, Kristen Cain, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Petite Calaguas, Evelyn Collantes, Yas Doctor, Brenda Fajardo, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Ileana Lee, Lenore R.S. Lim, Araceli Limcaco-Dans, Hershey Malinis, Flora Mauleon, Caroline Ongpin, Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan, Imelda “Impy” Pilapil, Christina “Ling” Quisumbing Ramilo, Rhoda Recto, Suchin Teoh and Phyllis Zaballero.


‘The Tightening World, 10/13’ by Petite Calaguas.


The prints from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were initially shown at the exhibition “Woman: Thesis and Antithesis” held at the Yuchengco Museum in March 2023. The works from the “Women Expressions” section of the past exhibit were created using a wide range of printmaking techniques and reflect the artists’ different concerns of their times.

The exhibit also highlights artist Ileana Lee’s conceptual and abstract explorations in printmaking to illustrate practices by women that visually capture the tactility of the artistic process. Lee, born in Negros Occidental in the late 1970s, made an installation work using dotted tapes to demarcate a space in various spaces such as Shop 6, the Museum of Philippine Art, and the CCP. This was described by a critic as “an act of reclaiming the space of women artists in the art world.”

The earlier artworks converse with the recent prints from the 20/30: A Limited Edition Print Portfolio, made in celebration of the CCP’s fiftieth founding anniversary. The print folio project, while ideated before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a channel for the participating artists to deal with the difficulties of our time and to give back to the institutions that support printmaking practice.

“Potential, Potency, and Women Printmakers” is part of Proven and Printed: ILOMOCA Print Festival, together with two other exhibitions, “Bakas: Filipina Imprints” at the Hulot Gallery and “Print Exchange + @ILOMOCA” at the museum’s ground-floor lobby.

The exhibit opened on 6 October with guided tours conducted the following day. Con Cabrera and Desi Tolentino of the CCP Visual Art and Museum Division held a two-part discussion on how prints are curated and collected by the CCP on 7 October at The Box, part of the CCP’s commitment to engage its audiences and develop art appreciation. “Curated and Collected: Prints at the Cultural Center of the Philippines” tackled the curatorial process for the retrospective exhibitions of Gelvezon-Tequi in 2020 and Endaya in 2022, botwh held at the CCP Main Gallery, in the first part of the public program. The retrospectives included a significant number of prints with different display strategies and themes, and utilization of digital ways of documenting and educational platforms that extend the artworks and materials as visual learning tools.

The second part presented the history, information, condition, and trajectory of the 21AM Collection, with focus on the print section. From a collections management standpoint, the discussion included a sharing of the gaps and challenges and how the web platform and framework of the CCP 21AM theorizes, enlivens, and sustains multiple contemporary art practices and trajectories.

ILOMOCA, located at Casa de Emperador Festive Walk Parade, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo, is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.