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13 December 2008 marked the opening of MANILA CONTEMPORARY, a new art gallery, in Metro Manila. The exhibition space is initiated and managed by Valentine Willie, a long time art connoisseur, who runs several sister galleries in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Yogyakarta. Nestled within the strip of Pasong Tamo Extension, MANILA CONTEMPORARY is majority owned by a group of Filipino art lovers.

Valentine Willie is no stranger to the Philippine art world.  He stayed in San Lorenzo, Makati for several years in the mid 1980's and in 2000, he curated a survey of contemporary Filipino art entitled Faith + The City which toured Asean regional capital cities. In 2002, he hosted National Artist BenCab in Ubud, Bali which culminated in an exhibition of drawings by the exceptional Filipino draughtsman himself. More recently, he was on the advisory committee of the Amorsolo Retrospective currently showing in 7 museums in Manila.

Valentine Willie curated numerous gallery and independent projects and is responsible for several major exhibitions on regional art in the Malaysian National Art Gallery and Galeri Petronas Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. In 2003 he as appointed as the Exhibitions Curator for the opening festival of the Esplanade in Singapore, as well as Imagining Prometheus for the Salon di Mobile in Milan. Most recently, in 2005, he curated and organised Botero for the Singapore Art Museum and Sophia Vari in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian National Art Gallery, a major first for both these international artists in Southeast Asia. Valentine's twenty year working knowledge of contemporary art in the region is mirrored best in his galleries.  Group exhibits by artists from various countries are constantly propelled. Such endeavor gives works a broader reach outside their borders, cross-pollinating and developing a wider collector base.

MANILA CONTEMPORARY is a large high-ceiling space of 300 sq meters located in White Space Manila, once the BMW showroom on 2314 Pasong Tamo Extension. A section of the gallery is devoted to private showings and sales of classic paintings and objects which is headed by the gallery’s resident consultant, John L. Silva.

 

 

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