Brown stone steps attached to white walls? That’s probably in Pinto Art Museum. These distinctive stairs is so famous to the point that almost every guest takes a photo of it or with it. This explains why, before visiting, the only thing I know about the museum was these stairs. I even asked myself why they didn’t name it Hagdan Art Museum since its stairs are more acclaimed than its doors. I was curious because I knew that Pinto is more than just those stone steps. My friends who had been here said that the place was indeed beautiful. Therefore, I jotted Pinto Art Museum to my to-go list.
I attempted to visit last All Saint’s Day since we spent the first day of November in Antipolo. Sadly, Pinto was closed that time. Guards told us that owners were out of the town. Just last week, my mother invited us to Antipolo so I grabbed the opportunity to bring the company to the art sanctuary with me.
At first, I didn’t appreciate the place that much. Upon entering, I could only see a usual garden with swimming pool and roof deck that doesn’t really capture the city. But when I entered each galleries and walk farther, I can see the beauty of the museum and understood why people, even from faraway provinces, come here.
Aside from the exhibits inside, the exterior of the museum is a work of art itself. It gives a Mediterranean vibe with white structures in cycladic architecture. It’s so aesthetic especially the Pinto Academy since it’s quite isolated from the other buildings making its facade a clear view to everyone. Speaking of Pinto Academy, this is open to those who wants to learn visual art, dance, theater and literature.
In a sea of people who believes that tattoo is a sign of rebellion, it’s good to know that Pinto Art Museum considers tattoo as a work of art as they built a gallery that focuses on the famous Kalinga tattoo artists like Whang-od. I even heard that they brought a Kalinga native to Antipolo to offer tattoo services. And yes! Customers are inked through the ancient method.
For the Ifugao people, craft has always been a product of their way of life and an extension of their customs and traditions. Today, this distinct expression of artistry and skill keeps the Ifugao culture and heritage alive. Thanks to Pinto Art Museum for showcasing the indigenous art created by the tribes of Ifugao.
The Mindanao collection is mostly comprised of the musical instruments and costumes of the people living from the Southern part of the Philippines. There are also huge rocks inside which makes us wonder how they put it there. Anyway, it looks like my boyfriend’s enjoying the instruments while showing the musician side of him.
Apart from the tattoo shop and the display rooms for Mindanao collection and indigenous art, there are six more galleries that consists of two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks designed by Filipinos. If the first three rooms I showed displays native masterwork, the galleries reveals modern art. The photo above is taken in gallery two.
Gallery six is the farthest and I guess, the biggest display room in the sanctuary that reveals mostly two-dimensional art. It’s a high-ceilinged room with walls that can post two paintings at a time. My favorite in here is Panalo by Ferdie Montemayor wherein it features the sport events of triathlon. The painting is in black and white yet colorful.
One of the installations I enjoyed the most is Mark Justiniani’s Praxinoscope. At first, we had faces like what-the-heck-is-this? But after understanding how it works, we can’t hide our amazement to its uniqueness and creativity. Praxinoscope is an interactive structure that has a strip of pictures placed around the inner surface of a cylinder. Once spinned, the objects in photos will look like they’re moving.
Wow! Just wow! My friends know how I love hand stitches since I’m also a crafter of needleworks myself. But this kind of tatting is not just an ability but a real talent. As you can see, Geraldine Javier’s brainchild features a lady figure. But the spotlight goes to her coat and the ground where she is sitting. Look! They are made through tatting and knitting!
One of the most interesting installation in Pinto Art Museum is The Hollow Man by Alab Pagarigan. This empty man sitting on a swing reminds me of the hollow men shown in movies. I know it’s possible to make a hollow man through graphic designing and animation but to make a concrete one, that’s complicated! It takes talent and passion in art to build such thing. Kudos to the designer.
Ducati is also created by Alab Pagarigan. Well, it’s obvious since the materials used in Ducati is the same as the materials used in his other works like The Hollow Man. This unique style is already identifiable as his own already. But aside from this sculpture, the graffiti behind it attracted me. It’s simple yet striking. I actually think this graffiti and the Ducati goes well together.
I guess, only a few would notice the room called Forest by Antonio Leano. With a not-so-special door, many will think that it’s just a room for authorized personnel or such. But little did we know, this door would lead us to another work of art. The artist just turned the room into a forest. From the bamboos erected, replica of ponds, loamy ground to the sound of trees and birds, the Forest seemed real.
This sofa set situated at the museum’s roof deck reminded me of Kenneth Cobonpue, a multi-awarded Filipino designer who makes furniture out of natural materials. This sofa room set in Pinto is just as sophisticated as Kenneth Cobonpue’s masterpieces. But I think, it is not durable enough to carry a person. Perhaps, it’s only for exhibit purposes.
It was a tiring stroll because aside from having a big area, 1.3 hectares to be exact, visitors has to climb a lot of stairs. But I guess, the owner already heard this comment because chairs, sofas and beds with pillows are scattered everywhere just in case they need a rest. And with wonderful creations around me, I think I could relax here all day.
With this vast land, maybe you’re wondering what’s more inside this museum because a space this wide can’t only contain galleries, right? Well, surrounding these rooms is a garden called the Silangan Garden. I also consider this garden as an art for it features the beauty of flora and fauna. Upon seeing the birds and cats, I immediately love Pinto Art Museum.