BenCab, another scale

BenCab’s 50th Year Exhibit Is on Another Scale

In early January, National Artist Ben Cabrera, more known as “BenCab”, went back to his alma mater in the University of the Philippines for his exhibit entitled BENCAB: Another Scale. BenCab’s personal collection in this showcase consisted of intermedia works that were mostly about the relevancy of the Filipino society’s issues. The exhibit is one of many conducted around Metro Manila for his celebration of 50 years as a professional artist.

BenCab shows another scale of his skill


“Mandala” is an installation about Urbanisation recreated during the opening of the exhibit, but visitors may watch it on a video as well.

Mandala / 2016 / Sawdust, red powder and trash / Restaging of the 1998 Installation in Bandung

The two pieces which had the most impact on me were the “Nude Scroll” and “Gestures and Nuances.” There are several perceptions that you can make while internalising the artworks, from the expressions on the women’s faces of the “Nude Scroll” to wondering where the models came from — were they just products of his imagination, are these his dreams, to why he did the art piece? Even after you step out of the museum, these questions would still boggle your mind. On “Gestures and Nuances,” the evolution of his aesthetic may be observed. The piece was a work in progress from way back in 1993, so the difference between his strokes as the artwork progresses is quite noticeable. You can also observe the changing of the culture in our society, from being conservative to being more liberal regarding the body language of the subjects in the piece.

BenCab Nude
Nude Scroll in 27 ft. homemade paper/ 2008
BenCab Gestures
Gestures and Nuances / Ink on paper / Work in progress since 1993 / 2016

BenCab’s collection is thought-provoking despite its simplicity regarding color palette, but I liked the continuity of the installations. Surely, you should not miss the chance to view this exhibition and to see the beauty of the pieces yourself. If you wish to visit the exhibit, you may do so until January 29, 2016, at the 1F Galleries of UP Vargas Museum, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

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Laurianne is a coffee-dependent 20-something who spends half of her days daydreaming she's a Greek deity. Oh, and she likes short stories and fried chicken.
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