New Additions to the Inventory - The National Gallery of Singapore

Detail from España y Filipinas (Spain and the Philippines) by Juan Luna.Image courtesy of National Heritage Board, Singapore.

We are excited to introduce the Mapping Project's first ex-patria inventory addition from a collection based in Asia. After a brief visit to the National Gallery of Singapore on the 1st of December 2022, a standing agreement with the Gallery quickly became real-time mapping within a few weeks.

This is also the first time that the inventory addition is wholly comprised of late 19th and mid-20th century Philippine visual art. Because of the Mapping project's date range, we could only include the National Gallery's paintings up to 1959, excluding more than three-fourths of the Gallery's entire Philippine collection. Nevertheless, the cut off date allowed us to include Juan Luna’s (1857-1899) magnificent España y Filipinas from 1884, Fabian de la Rosa’s iconic 1904 Portrait of Jose Rizal, and a series of all-time greats in Philippine Modern Art, including five paintings by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (1892–1972).

Ms Malyanah Manap, Manager for Information Systems and Rights with the Mapping Project Lead, Dr Cristina Juan at the National   Gallery in Singapore , December 1, 2022.

The inventory addition was also unique in that the Gallery's curators and staff worked to bring the list together for the Mapping project. Ms Clarissa Chikiamco, who worked as a curator in Manila before moving to Singapore, reviewed the metadata and provided contacts for the licensors. Mohamad Shahfeeq compiled the images and Wong Jia Min edited the  catalogue content with Horikawa Lisa co-editing the introduction to Gallery’s Collection with Ms Clarissa Chikiamco and Ms Malyanah Manap. And most importantly, Ms Malyanah Manap, the Gallery’s Manager for Information Systems and Rights, orchestrated the entire endeavour from start to finish.

The National Gallery continues to actively acquire modern and contemporary work from the Philippines and this current inventory is constantly evolving. The National Gallery has also  produced several exhibits that have showcased Philippine artists, including the very well-received Between Worlds: Raden Saleh and Juan Luna exhibit from November 2017 to March 2018. The exhibit explored the extraordinary life stories of these two artists and  drew together more than 40 of Luna’s works for the first time —  including La Muerte de Cleopatra from the Museo del Prado, and a reunion of two of the six known versions of the España y Filipinas (one from the National Gallery collection and the other from the Lopez Museum in the Philippines).

Explore the Philippine collection at the National Gallery Singapore here.

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