This month at the UP Vargas Museum — Viay nu Ivatan: Ivatan Lifeways

Here’s what’s in store for you at the Jorge B. Vargas Museum in the University of the Philippines, Diliman, this month.

Viay nu Ivatan Batanes

Olan Gonzales and Francisco Datar
15 May to 9 June 2018
3F Galleries

UP Vargas Museum presents Viay nu Ivatan, a project by visual artist Olan Gonzales and anthropologist Francisco Datar, on 15 May, Tuesday, 4 PM at the 3F Galleries.

Through painting, photography, and illustration, the daily life of Filipinos inhabiting the northernmost island of the country is portrayed and annotated in this exhibition. According to Datar, the Ivatan culture is shaped by strong typhoons, rough seas, and meager resources. He explains that it exemplifies a particular relationship of a people with their environment.

As depicted in Datar’s and Gonzales’s works, the exceptionally beautiful terrain of the province is accented by equally beautiful and highly industrious people. Datar further states that each household is oftentimes self-sufficient, enjoying a considerable degree of independence, and that the beauty of the province lies in its relative isolation and the uniqueness of its culture.

The Men Behind Ivatan Lifeways

Olan Gonzales is a visual artist from Itbayat, raised in Vasay (Basco), Batan Island. His encounters with anthropologists and students of anthropology encouraged him to focus on documenting Ivatan culture through his art. In 2001, he was the artist-in-residence for the UP Anthropology Fieldschool in Itbud, Uyugan, Batanes. His scientific illustrations of Itbud’s cultural materials are at par or would even surpass those done by professional scientific illustrators.

Francisco A. Datar, PhD is an anthropologist who started doing fieldwork in Batanes in 1994. He was introduced to Batanes by Dr. Maria Mangahas in 1994 and has conducted four UP Anthropology Fieldschool seasons in Batanes (1994-1995; 1995-1996; 1997-1998; June-October 2001). All these field school seasons were conducted in Itbud, Uyugan, Batanes. Except in 1999 and 2003, he would religiously visit Itbud every year to document the culture and celebrate the fiesta with the people of Itbud. He has photo-documented Itbud’s activities from farming, fishing, rituals, life cycle and other daily activities all through these years.

Viay nu Ivatan runs at the 3F Galleries until 9 June 2018.

Contact UP Vargas Museum

For more information, contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 928-1927 (direct line), (+632) 981-8500 local 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (fax), or send an e-mail to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

Janis

Is a digital marketer in a firm in Makati who loves locally sourced coffee, a bowl of zesty pho, and rusty old trains. She likes to write about the places she’s been to and the places she wants to see.

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