Pintô Art Museum founder Dr. Joven Cuanang is intent on spreading the word about Filipino art and creating a platform for it be seen around the world.
The idea of starting Pintô International, which introduces the works of Filipino artists abroad, spring from the success of Cuanang's local endeavor in Antipolo.
"YNDIA" by Joven Mansit
On December 1, Cuanang's plans are coming to fruition with the inaugural exhibit of Pintô International's new permanent showroom as 431 East 12th Street in the East Village in Manhattan.
Dubbed “Bukás” to signify the opening of its doors (pintô), it also refers to the part the institution plays as an active “threshold for artistic awareness and cultural diplomacy” between East and West.
“It’s very important for us to be able to enhance the presence of Filipino art in the big city,” he says. “I feel our artists are definitely more international in approach and very anchored in their culture… so we had to push this agenda.”
Similar to the exhibit Pintô hosted in New York in May, the launch has garnered the support of patrons Dedes Zobel, Josie Natori, and the Rockefeller family.
Over 10 contemporary Filipino artists will be showcasing their work. The roster of artists includes Elmer Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay, Joven Mansit, the Samson brothers Jerson, Reynaldo or “Pogs,” and Jaypee, Iara Diaz, and Jana Benitez. New York-based designer Federico De Vera, whose own exhibit is ongoing at the Ayala Museum, helped curate.
"Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko 2" by Jaypee Samson
So far, Cuanang has been impressed by the reception of Westerners to Filipino work. “They were pleasantly surprised that we had such high-level art in the Philippines,” he says. “There are also a lot of Americans who frequent the original Pintô Art Museum. The reception is phenomenal and it’s authentic because I hear [the same reactions] all the time.”
Cuanang believes that the West has become more inclined toward installations and abstract art. “They’re doing a lot of technology-based art. [In the Philippines], we're modernist in approach but we’re just starting on things to do with technology.”
"New York Studio School" by Jana Benitez
Next year, Pintô International will host a show in Tokyo on June 18 to 25, and will be called “Pintôkyo.” Cuanang says he's partnered with the Asian Cultural Council of the Philippines in Japan and timed the show to