By Saul Hofileña Jr.
NOW, let me tell you why I want to write about one of the august
buildings around the Padang of Singapore, a historic place and
ceremonial ground in that island republic. Padang means field in Bahasa
Melayu, and the building I am referring to is the National Gallery
Singapore, the only gallery and museum outside of our archipelago that
regularly and consistently presents to the world works by Filipinos. Dr.
Eugene Tan, the director, is a brilliant but humble and self-effacing
man who has given Filipino artists the chance to show their prodigious
talents in Southeast Asia's First World economy.
Chikiamco, a Filipina, is the curator there who helps bring Philippine
art to the world and who is completely immersed in the study of art,
from dawn to dusk. She is a famous face, regularly appearing in social
media to broadcast what the National Gallery Singapore has that we
should be appreciating here. A recent addition is Patrick Flores who
joined the National Gallery as deputy director of Curatorial and
Research; our loss but Singapore's gain. Patrick is a well-known curator
here in the Philippines; he has a PhD, was a professor and former
chairman of the Department of Art Studies at the University of the
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