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April 30, 2013


Musee du quai Branly (Quai Branly Museum) in Paris, France hosted “Philippines: Archipel des échanges” (Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange), an exhibition featuring 310 artwork and artifacts from the country’s pre-colonial period including sculptures, pottery, textiles, personal ornaments.

The exhibition opened on April 9 and runs until July at its Garden Gallery. The exhibit is divided into three sections: the traditional works of the northern highlands of Luzon; the textiles, costumes and ornaments of warriors from Mindanao; and the influence of the shipping network on the items produced by the southern coastal societies such as Palawan, Mindanao and Sulu.

Philippines Vice-President Jejomar Binay opened the exhibit along with high-level officials from different Philippine government offices like the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Agriculture and the Bangko Sentral, the National Museum and Ayala Museum, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts headed by Chair Felipe de Leon, Jr. and the private lenders whose collections were part of the exhibit.

French officials including French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Culture Madame Aurelie Filippetti, along with other government officials and cultural experts were also present in the event.

The exhibit is curated by anthropologist Corazon Alvina, former director of the National Museum of the Philippines and Constance de Monbrison person in charge of Quai Branly’s insular Southeast Asia collections.

This is the first major exhibition dedicated to the Philippines showing the Philippines’ Austronesian roots and maritime culture before the arrival of Europeans through selected pieces from various collections in the Philippines, United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.

The exhibit is mounted in collaboration with the National Museum, Central Bank of the Philippines, and Ayala Museum.

On April 28, visitors to the museum listened first hand to the performance of National Living Treasure artist Uwang Ahadas accompanied by the Maguindanao ensemble, who played the kulintang (a percussion instrument composed of eight to twelve small gongs) and the gabbang (bamboo xylophone). Officials of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts accompanied the group of Ahadas.

An equally significant side event is the exhibition of 22 Filipino artists in Musee International Des Arts Modestes ((International Museum of Modestes Arts), which opened on April 12 and runs until October in Sète (southern France).

Curated by Manuel Ocampo, this exhibition features contemporary artists such as Poklong Anading, Bea Camacho, Lena Cobangbang, Louie Cordero, Maria Cruz, Kawayan De Guia, Dina Gadia.


For more details on and photos of the exhibit “Philippines: Archipel des échanges” (Philippines: An Archipelago of Exchange), please see this link: