Roldan, Ocampo join top Asian artists in SF Asian Art Museum show

/ 01:36 AM September 16, 2015

Norberto Roldan’s Everything is Sacred #1 (2009).

SAN FRANCISCO — Two Filipino contemporary artists whose works are hailed and collected across the globe are represented at the Asian Art Museum’s First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian, an exhibition of highlights of its contemporary art collection acquired over the past 15 years.

On view September 4–October 11 and organized by guest curator Allison Harding, the exhibition presents 57 artworks, many on view for the first time at the museum, that spark connections to Asia’s histories and traditions with the immediacy of contemporary ideas.


“To truly understand the contemporary, you must understand the tradition from which it emerged,” says Harding. “First Look embodies how tradition can inspire new works in the present and continue to impact contemporary life.”

Norberto Roldan’s work is in the Osher Gallery and “explores Filipino history through his assemblages of found objects relating to the Philippines’ colonial past and Catholicism in his installation piece Everything is Sacred #1 (2009).


Roldan is known as one of the top ten contemporary artists in the Philippines and has represented the Philippines in various international exhibitions in Asia, Europe and the United States. His works are in the collections of the Guggenheim, Singapore Art Museum, Louis Vuitton Foundation, Banko Central ng Pilipinas, Ateneo Art Gallery and the U.S. State Department. For information on the Filipino Fund at the Asian Art Museum, email [email protected].

WATCH: Manuel Ocampo at SF Asian Art Museum
Manuel Ocampo’s An Object at the Limits of Language—Necromantic Kippian Emancipator: No. 2. (2000), is displayed at the Lee Gallery: Thinking Though History. Ocampo references German artist Martin Kippenberger, whose work has inspired Ocampo’s practice and examines the many ways that Catholicism, colonialism and popular culture have shaped Filipino identities.

Throughout First Look, visitors will experience artworks that explore the natural world and relationships between landscape and body, push the limits of material histories, showcase innovations in ink tradition and refer to history with a contemporary vocabulary. These themes connect to threads that run throughout the museum’s collection galleries and activate the museum’s collection in compelling new ways.

First Look introduces visitors to the Asian Art Museum’s expanding collection of contemporary art by some of the leading artists from Asia and America today. In First Look, you’ll see works by artists from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United States,” says museum director Jay Xu. “Contemporary art is an integral part of the museum’s artistic vision and brand promise: awaken the past and inspire the next.”

Visitors are encouraged to start their journey in Osher Gallery: Exploring Nature & Mastering Material, followed by Vinson Gallery Re:depiction, Hambrecht Gallery: Innovating Ink, and then Lee Gallery: Thinking Through History to fully appreciate the varying use of medium, presentation of images, play of colors and technique intermingled with culture and history.

Filipino Fund at the Asian

Carmen Colet, Chair of the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee and a board director of the Asian Art Museum, announced that SFMSCC is holding an exclusive celebration of the first contemporary art acquisition by the Filipino Fund at the AAM. Venue will be at the Peterson Room at the AAM on Sunday, September 27.


Norberto Roldan’s work, Everything is Sacred #1 (2009), was chosen by the group as it’s first contribution to the permanent contemporary art collection of AAM.

October is Filipino Heritage month. However, the Asian Art Museum started its Filipino art exhibits early in September. On the 24th, the “Hinabi Project” The Art of Philippine Testile” will be launched and run till October 12. It illustrates the process of extracting pineapple fiber, separating these into fine threads for weaving, embroidery and other embellishments.

On October 4, Sunday, starting at 10:30 a.m., the museum will have a special Filipino Day exhibit, and performances starting September 24 to October 12 with the “Hinabi Project.”  General admission is FREE to all on Target First Free Sundays (the first Sunday of every month).

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TAGS: An Object at the Limits of Language—Necromantic Kippian Emancipator: No. 2. (2000), Asian Art Museum’s First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian, contemporary Asian art exhibit San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Everything is Sacred #1 (2009), Manuel Ocampo, Norberto Roldan
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