Peque Gallaga film, Ayala Museum workshops bring Botong Francisco’s paintings to life

A unique spectacle of Philippine art awaits visitors of Ayala Museum as National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s grand murals and large-scale works come to life in a short film by celebrated filmmaker Peque Gallaga.

Gallaga transformed Botong’s most notable artworks into a cinematic feast that highlights nationalism and cultural pride.

The film is part of the exhibition Botong Francisco: A Nation Imagined, a rare gathering of over 40 works loaned from private and institutional collections, and now on display at Ayala Museum’s lobby and third floor galleries.

Gallaga’s film animates and re-enacts scenes found in Botong’s works. The screenplay and narration was penned by writer, professor and Palanca awardee Vicente Garcia Groyon and voiced by Jude Lizares.

“We believe in the power of film to emotionally affect people from all walks of life,” says Mariles Gustilo, Ayala Foundation’s senior director for arts and culture. “It is also fitting that we tapped Peque and his team. Utilizing the medium is part of the museum’s initiatives in making art more accessible. Film is effective in enriching the museum experience and makes it more memorable, at the same time educational.”

Ayala Museum also presents series of talks to accompany the exhibition. In February, Far Eastern University Professor James Owen Saguinsin discussed the art of Botong’s hometown of Angono, Rizal before he was born, and Ayala Museum Curator Ditas Samson spoke on Bayani and Bayanihan: Botong’s Images of Nation. In March, De La Salle University Visiting Scholar Beatriz Alvarez-Tardio will facilitate the dialogue Rizal in Botong’s Images of Nation, and Vargas Museum Curator Patrick Flores will give his talk Painting and Popular Culture: Carlos Francisco, Francisco Conching, and Manuel Conde.

The exhibition is on view until March 31, 2013. For more information, visit www.ayalamuseum.org.