Philippine Pavilion to Highlight Soil as a Living Force at Venice Architecture Biennale 2025

June 4, 2024

|

By 

Rick Formalejo

The Open Call for Curatorial Proposals for Philippine participation at the 19th Venice Architecture Biennale has culminated in the selection of “Soil-beings (Lamánlupa)” by curator Renan Laru-an, featuring the work of Christian Tenefrancia Illi.

Distinguished Panel of Jurors

Deliberations of the Philippine participation in the 19th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia was held on May 30, 2024 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, where the international panel of jurors joined live at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and via Zoom. Clockwise from top center: NCCA Chair Victorino Mapa Manalo and Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion, Senator Loren Legarda, Yel Buencamino Borromeo, Edson Cabalfin, Ph.D and Peter Cachola Schmal. | Photo courtesy of NCCA-PAVB

The rigorous deliberation process on May 30, 2024, was overseen by a distinguished panel of jurors. The panel included Peter Cachola Schmal, architect, architecture critic, and Director of the German Architecture Museum (DAM) in Frankfurt; Edson G. Cabalfin, Ph.D., curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the Biennale Architettura 2018, and an esteemed architect, designer, and historian; Yael Buencamino Borromeo, co-curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2022 and consultant of the Lopez Museum in Manila; Victorino Mapa Manalo, Chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion; and Senator Loren Legarda, the project principal and visionary behind the Philippines’ participation at the Venice Art and Architecture Biennale since 2015.

Provocative and Universally Resonant

The jury described the exhibition as “provocative, and has the potential for universal resonance.” Rooted in the rich soils of the Philippines, “Soil-beings (Lamánlupa)” honors soil as the central element of architectural understanding. It immerses architectural ambitions and technologies in the texture, acidity, fragrance, and inherent messiness of soil, promoting “soilness” as a lived, cyclical experience.

Project principal and visionary since 2015 Senator Loren Legarda. | Photo courtesy of NCCA-PAVB

The facilitation of the selection process was led by Dr. Patrick Flores, educator, curator, and Deputy Director at National Gallery Singapore.

Senator Loren Legarda, a fervent advocate for Philippine arts and culture, and the visionary behind the Philippines’ participation in the Venice Biennale, stated, “This year’s submissions have shown an incredible depth of creativity and insight. The selected proposal not only represents the ingenuity of Filipinos but provokes dialogues on global challenges and the future of architecture.”

Deliberations of the Philippine participation in the 19th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia was held on May 30, 2024 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, where the international panel of jurors joined live at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and via Zoom. | Photo courtesy of NCCA-PAVB
The esteemed panel of jurors for the deliberations of the  Philippine participation in the 19th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia joined the event live at the NCCA and via Zoom. | Photo courtesy of NCCA-PAVB

Victorino Manalo, Chair of the NCCA and Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion, emphasized the significance of the event: “Being at the Venice Biennale once again gives the Philippines another remarkable opportunity to showcase its immense talent and creative vision. This significant platform allows us to present the innovative and thought-provoking work of our architects and creatives in a wider discussion space.”

About the Curator

Renan Laru-an, curator of Soil-beings (Lamánlupa), selected proposal to represent the Philippines at the 19th Venice Architecture BIennale | Photo courtesy of Savvy Contemporary

Renan Laru-an is the artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin since 2023, a leading independent contemporary artistic institution in Germany. He has an extensive background in curating significant exhibitions, including the 2022 Biennale Matter of Art, the 2019 Singapore Biennale, and was a curatorial advisor to the 58th Carnegie International between 2021 and 2022. He has contributed significantly to contemporary art discourse as a writer and editor, with notable publications including “Meridians of Region: Writing Art History and Curating Contemporary Culture in the Philippines and Taiwan.” Renan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

About the Exhibitor

Christian Tenefrancia Illi, exhibitor of Soil-beings (Lamánlupa), selected proposal to represent the Philippines at the 19th Venice Architecture BIennale | Photo courtesy of Renan Laru-an

Christian Tenefrancia Illi is a German-Filipino multidisciplinary artist and creative director who has studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. He has received numerous scholarships and awards, including the 1st jury prize in the Europe-wide EDGE East Side Competition (2021) and the 2nd prize in the international Art in Architecture competition (2022) in Berlin. Christian is the co-founder and director of KIM/ILLI, an innovative studio working across art, architecture, and design. His work has been exhibited internationally, with recent displays at the Japanisches Palais, part of the Dresden State Art Collections.

The sustained participation of the Philippines in the Venice Biennale is a collaborative undertaking involving the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.

Designing Tomorrow: The Crucial Role of The UAP, PIID, and PALA in Building Communities Through Collaboration

In urban development and public spaces, architects, interior designers, and landscape architects play pivotal roles in crafting environments that foster safety, inclusivity, and community engagement. These professionals are tasked not only with the aesthetics and functionality of spaces but also with ensuring that these spaces become vibrant, interactive, and sustainable parts of the community fabric. […]

A Peek into Ricco Ocampo’s Curated Sanctuary.

A Peek into Ricco Ocampo’s Curated Sanctuary

Stepping into Ricco Ocampo’s home is akin to embarking on a journey through a curated landscape of art, history, and personal narrative. Nestled in an exclusive village in Makati, this house, which Ocampo moved into in February 2024, represents a profound shift in his lifestyle—a quest for solitude and a meaningful existence. Ocampo, an entrepreneur […]

The

The Art of Meaningful Living

The June issue of MyHome Magazine aims to guide you in creating a home that reflects your personal style and values. Themed “The Art of Meaningful Living,” this edition is packed with inspiring stories, expert advice, and stunning visuals to help you transform your living space into a haven of beauty and significance.  Inside this […]

Father’s Day Gift Guide Every Type of Dad Will Love

Father’s Day reminds us of the incredible fathers (and father figures) who helped shape who we are. They were the steady hand we held onto and the silent champions celebrating our wins. This year, go beyond the ordinary, stereotypical presents and show your appreciation with these exceptional gift ideas. (Super) Natural’s Family Reunion Wine If […]

Protected: Smart Home Philippines Triumphs at International Property Awards, Earns Smart Home Asia Pacific Nomination

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

5 Easy Indoor Decluttering Projects During Rainy Season.

5 Easy Indoor Decluttering Projects During Rainy Season

It’s the rainy season again. The raindrops tapping against the roof and windowpane signal a retreat under the covers with a hot beverage. But before gloomy gray skies and cold weather send you curling up into bed, now might be the perfect time to declutter.  While you’re stuck inside waiting for the rain to stop, […]

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]