A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Bose, Santiago


"The Philippines today is a novel blend of Western tradition and Filipino originality. In this part of Asia, folk art proliferates but in unexpected forms-from jeepneys to nose flutes. The Philippines culturally gained and lost in her 400-year adoption by Spain and fifty-year marriage to America.

As the Filipino may have a Spanish name, an Asian face, and an American vocabulary, so does his art, both fine and unrefined, reflect him as a cultural accumulator always open to foreign influences. The Filipino remains uniquely Filipino.

Contemporary artists have transcended the familiar schools to produce a wide and varied body of provocative expressions. Along with other Filipino artists, we try to create visual statements of Philippine national life with indigenous artistic influences.

The current economic crisis in the Philippines has greatly affected the way of life of the Filipino artist. The ban on the importation of non-essential items such as art materials has made their prices prohibitive. Some artists are beginning to look back to ethnic roots and local crafts as renewed medium for expression.

In my new works I have explored the possibilities of local materials in contemporary forms. I used local fibrous plants such as cogon, banana, abaca, rice straw, etc. to make this paper. I also used local vegetable dyes in most of the art works, and kerosene mixed with soap as medium for transfers. The drawings consist of picture stories and images of national life.

'Archives of a Lost Revolution' is a series of 37 drawings inspired by the Filipino-American war at the turn of the century."

Santiago Bose, [1987?]

Gallery of Selected Works