Tag: museum

Bravura of Hagia Sophia

VoucherCloud, a money-saving app, last year released a world map that identifies each country’s most popular tourist destination based on TripAdvisor’s top-rated “things to do” feature.  Surprisingly and with a bit of disappointment, the stand out for my country, the Philippines, was Kayangan Lake.  But where is that?  I wonder how this lake beat and knocked out world-class destinations like El Nido, Boracay and Bohol.

spectacular especially at night
massive indoor view
impressive minbar, the pulpit where the imam stands to delivers sermons
grand calligraphic panes!
selfie muna
monolithic marble cubes: these massive liquid container is used to distribute juice to the public for holy nights and prayer celebrations

But when I checked Turkey, I was super happy to know that this beautiful country’s top destination was the Hagia Sophia.  Though they seem to be a flop in the Philippines, VoucherCloud and TripAdvisor are so correct with the Turkey result.  I have recently been to Turkey and only a stupid, puny and absurd tourist will miss the majesty, grandeur and beauty of the great Hagia Sophia.

As one of Turkey’s most celebrated landmark, the great Hagia Sophia was a Byzantine church for 916 years. It was later converted into an imperial mosque by a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and stayed as such for 482 years.  Then in 1935, it was transformed into a museum and was later considered to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It may have a turbulent past but because of its rich and significant historical background, Hagia Sophia easily earns respect from all religions and occupations.

Though every nook and corner of this building seem to have an intense and loud story to tell and despite being the busiest and most visited attraction in Turkey, the Hagia Sophia still maintains its calm and peaceful effect towards its visitors.

I don’t have a tip on how to explore this ancient structure.  The only advice I can give to all those who will be fortunate to visit this top Turkish destination is to breathe, digest and admire the bravura of the rich stories of this spectacular structure.

mother mary with baby jesus in the middle. to the left is emperor john komnenos while to her right is empress irene
theotokos! apse mosaic
lovely dome
ancient deisis mosaic treasure…
at awe!

Nakakamangha!

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Stepping Into the Good Olden Days of Osaka

Only now that I realized that in the past 7 times that I have travelled to Japan, only few times did I went to a public art museum.  Reason maybe is because Japan in itself is one whole country of a public museum.  Everything you see, touch and feel seem worthy of being preserved, collected and exhibited.

When I go to a foreign country, I often set aside a day to visit either an art, cultural or historical museum.  I call it my “cultural day”.  A day when my soul is fed with art, history and culture.  But being in Japan, everyday seem to be a “cultural day”.

LIFE doesn’t come with an instruction manual, it comes with a MOTHER!

 

Though it is my 8th journey to Japan, this visit is still something different.  It is because I got to go and check on an actual museum.  And what is so unique about it is that I myself seem to be part of the museum’s exhibit.

While my nieces and nephews settled to go to Osaka’s Universal Studios, accompanied by one of my nieces, I, my sisters and Nengkoy went to Osaka Museum of Housing & Living.

super fun dressing up!
i love this shot!
what’s cooking?
gabi na! hahaha!

 

i call this the “rabbies shot”! hahaha!

The whole museum is a replica of an old Japanese town, specifically during Japan’s Edo period.  The cool thing about this museum is you got to rent and wear clothes of people during that era.  Thus, visitors donned in kimonos and yukatas can interactively feel how it really was 200 years ago in Osaka.

Adding up the modern Japanese technology, the lighting and sound simulations of the whole museum would shift, in which visitors would get to witness how it is to be during early morning dawn, daytime and nighttime period of the Edo era.   The awesome feeling was like stepping into  the good olden days of Osaka!

super fun peeping back into some japanese history…

Ang galing!

Traveling In Strange Circles by William Allan

I am in San Francisco.  And in keeping with my personal tradition of visiting a museum every time I travel abroad, I went to SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts).  Like what I personally do in the past inside a museum, I let those pieces of art feed the cultural facet of my soul.  And the one that most moved me will be featured in the Nengkoy blog.

one of the iconic works of andy warhol

I thought that it would be the works of Andy Warhol that will most fascinate me.  Though seeing his works is one of the highlights of my San Francisco adventure, it was actually this that nudged a silvery spur into my little brain:

traveling in strange circles by william allan
great shot by the equally entranced lady

I was easily entranced by the work of William Allan.  This big piece of acrylic painting on canvass is entitled Traveling in Strange Circles done in 1973.

An old lady who was with me inside the gallery, I guess saw some glow spilling out from my body, she involuntarily volunteered and asked if I would want a photo with the piece of beautiful art.  I of course obliged.  She too was so impressed by the works of William Allan it took quite a lot of time before both of us left that specific section in SFMOMA.

Before I left the William Allan gallery, I told the old lady, “I want that piece in my room!” while pointing to the great piece of art.  The lady then smiled and told me,”You then need quite a lot of fortune before you can own such an excellent piece of work”.  Both of us laughed and bid each other goodbye.

Traveling in Strange Circles though made in 1973 is very modern and is very on with the times.  It is a happy painting.  I never imagined liking a piece of painting that centers a pair of sneakers in it.  Or maybe the painting in a way represents me, a person who loves to travel.

Akong ako ang peynting na ‘to. Kalyehero!  

A Refreshing Day at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

hunter's moon 2007 by jim dine
hunter’s moon 2007 by jim dine

 

With the rich and complex history and events that took place that resulted to a worldwide belief, culture and conviction, Israel in itself can be revered as a living or breathing museum.  Every street corner seem to have a history connected either to Islam, Judaism or Christianity.  Every crook, bend or junction seem to have something interesting to tell.

And when I was in Israel, I thought visiting a museum seem no longer noteworthy unlike the way I would usually require myself to visit at least one museum every time I got to go to a foreign country.  The feeling of being in Israel itself was like being in a museum 24/7.

But when I got a good window of a time to go to an actual museum, I was hesitant at first but nevertheless, pursued with my commonly known “cultural day”.  I did visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The vibrant mix of pieces featured in Tel Aviv Art Museum are poles apart from the arts and artifacts seen in the old streets of Israel.  The art pieces were not of a biblical, dogmatic or spiritual in nature.  Instead, featured art were more of an intense personal expression, more of an eclectic retrospect and view and more of a strange emotional articulation.  Its novelty-ness, freshness and innovation are awesomely high!

awesome collection!
awesome collection!
super pop art entitled "shit boy showers" part of the rosenfeld gallery collection
super pop art entitled “shit boy showers” part of the rosenfeld gallery collection
sensory overload!
sensory overload!
refreshing!
refreshing!
cool ink works by justine frank. i want these printed on shirts and wear it!
cool ink works by justine frank. i want these printed on shirts and wear it!
my personal favorite entitled: "construction workers" by moshe matosovsky
my personal favorite entitled: “construction workers” by moshe matosovsky
the hallways of the museum are already a modernism form of art itself
the hallways of the museum are already a modernism form of art itself
the massive entrance hall along with some of the awesome art pieces!
the massive entrance hall along with some of the awesome art pieces!

The modernism are so breath-taking I could not control myself from saying “Wow!”  The visual art pieces were so cool and fresh, I want it printed on shirts and wear it!  Tel Aviv Museum of Art indeed is a remarkable representation of modern Israel.

Kakaiba ka!

Brain Break (Part 2)

Here are three additional tangible pieces that are the end results of my recent brain breaks.

beautiful!!!!
beautiful!!!
my first mandala
my first mandala
tree & the owls
one tree and eight owis

These can be the additional art pieces which can be exhibited in my imaginary museum.

Humanda ka nashonal myusiyum, hir ay kam… balang araw…

The Abe Wing of the National Museum

Last Tuesday night, the few pieces of artistic neurons present inside my cranial cavity were happy to have witnessed one historical event in the “Philippine art scene”.  I was present during the formal turnover ceremony of artworks of Emilio Aguilar Cruz to the Philippines’ National Museum for Fine Arts.  The event was coined as the biggest donation in the history for an art collection by an artist to the country’s national museum.

And from the poignant speeches I heard during the ceremony, this generous and selfless act was decided upon so that future generations of the Philippines would be able to see and appreciate contemporary yet refined works of Filipino visual art. This is aside from the fact that these valuable pieces would definitely be protected, preserved and maintained by the state.

EAC Gallery (Abe Wing) photo grabbed from National Museum FB page
EAC Gallery (Abe Wing)
photo grabbed from National Museum FB page

Aside from the formal turnover of donation of EAC art pieces, the program also includes the formal inauguration of the Emilio Aguilar Cruz Hall. Also known as the Abe Wing inside the National Museum, this hall exhibits the donated paintings, sketches and water colors done by EAC.

Activating the art connoisseur in me, from among all the art pieces hanged inside the Abe Wing, the two works of art that charmed and bewitched me were:

portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)
portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)

This painting is a true representation of a Filipina beauty.  Though the only color used was the varying colors of brown, the monochromatic shades – from lighting, to the clothing and to the color of the woman’s skin – were all so fascinatingly beautiful and captivating.

Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)
Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)

This watercolor is small but very engaging.  The colors are so alive you would wonder whether such piece was recently been done when in fact it is already 35 years old. Onlooker would be able to appreciate it more if seen from a considerable distance (which for me is a typical EAC style).

Like any other great works of art found in the museums around the globe, EAC’s art pieces would someday, in some foreseeable future, shall become valuable tools for the next generation to better understand its past.  Kudos to the family of Emilio Aguilar Cruz for such a generous donation!

Koloring buk ko kaya tanggapin kung i-doneyt ko sa nashonal myusiyum? 

Good Art at the MET

cultural day at the met
cultural day at the met

I am no authority on classifying what is good art and what is not.  But good art for me is like porn.  You just know it when you see it.  It is the piece from across the room that is full of art pieces yet you’re attention gets sucked by it.

Good art is personal.   It is the piece that commands gaze, shake your brain cells and delivers pleasant feelings even after days has passed.  It is the piece that does not need your convincing by anyone to appreciate it.

These are exactly my thoughts during my “cultural day”, the day of my traditional visit to a museum every time I got the chance to travel out of my country.  And during my stay in New York, my “cultural day” of course ensued at no less than the largest art museum of the United States, the world renowned, MET or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

With the vast selection of superb art pieces featured in the MET, the pieces that commanded my gaze, sucked my attention and shook my brain cells were the following:

pix-cell deer by kohei nawa
pix-cell deer by kohei nawa
dvarapala (doorman with a bow from pakistan)
dvarapala (doorman with a bow from pakistan)
petrus scriverius by frans hals
petrus scriverius by frans hals
chinese mural with some spectators... i love my instagram shot...
chinese mural with some spectators… i love my instagram shot…

Though my New York journey has concluded weeks ago, these are the very art pieces that got stuck in my brain which emits lingering feelings of pleasantness.  So I guess, these are my self-classified “good art” pieces found at the MET.

Grabe! Super hay-end ang Kuchural Dey kong yan!