Bayanihan in the Venice Biennale’s Philippine Pavilion: Structures of Mutual Support Exhibition

May 6, 2021



Shan Arcega

The Venice Biennale (or la Binneale di Venezia) is most accurately described as the Art Olympics. Started in 1895, the Venice Biennale is one of the longest-running cultural festivals in the world and serves as a cross section celebration of art and architecture. If a professional’s art piece has themes revolving around politics, contemporary cultural, and social issues, they are explored through thought-provoking performances, sculptures, and many other installations. 

This year, the Biennale Archtiectura section (which highlights the theme of “How Will We live together”) features the Philippine Pavilion’s Structures of Mutual Support exhibition, which centers on the familiar theme of mutual support or Bayanihan and was shown through the completion of a library previously installed at barangay Engkanto in Angat Bulacan. The installation was curated by Framework Collaborative which composed of barangay Engkanto’s GK Enchanted Farm Community, and architects Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. and Alexander Eriksson Furunes. 

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“We were able to discuss a little bit about the problems that they [the community] experience,” says architect Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. “We were already beginning to get that understanding of how those problems might be solved by an architectural intervention.”

Eventually, this collaboration resulted into a library and hangout space for the community’s kids.

Just yesterday, the library originally built at the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Community has finally been installed in Arsenale, one of the main exhibition venues of the Venice Biennale.

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Here’s a sneak peek of the project posted on La Biennale Di Venezia’s website on January 25. 

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