A trip to Baguio may be capped off with a hot mug of tsokolate di batirol and a cup of strawberry taho but we suggest that your next trip to Baguio include an itinerary special: a detour to the Ben Cab Museum. Located 30 minutes away from the city, BenCab Museum houses the works of national artist Benedicto Reyes Cabrera and other pieces he personally curated. The four-storey museum is a highly photogenic hybrid of art genres that encompasses paintings, sculptures, and other mixed media forms with an array of tribal, traditional and contemporary artists.
The museum itself is a beauty. Galleries upon galleries are lined up to suit wherever guests may lie on the art spectrum – ranging from the conservative to the radical. In between ogling art at the four-hectare space guests can visit Café Sabel, named after Cabrera’s supposed muse, a quaint little café that boasts of good meals and a scenic view of the mountains spanning a man-made lake, garden and the farm, where the café’s ingredients are sourced. Tourists flocking to the museum have impressively perfected the craft of taking selfies with both the art and the picturesque view.
While the trip to the museum is an educational and inspiring trek in itself, a special exhibit entitled Four Play II is a highlight until October 4. The 15-piece exhibit at the Gallery Indigo features paintings from four different heavyweight artists, Justin Nuyda, Virgilio Aviado, Edwin Wilwayco and Cabrera himself. Most notable in the exhibit are the four special square pieces collaborated on by the four Filipino masters that capture the artists’ different approaches. Aptly titled, the pieces are definitely results of artists at play – a play on styles, a play on visuals and, consequently, a play on emotions.
Aviado is a personal favorite whose works City Scape and Subdivision are included in the exhibit. His clever use of paint, glitter and other materials such as gauze renders his architecture-inspired pieces a beautiful, two-dimensional illusion. Wilwayco, with his deliberate thick strokes, also showcases a couple of pieces from his Fractals series. His works, in bright, bold hues, can brighten any room. Nuyda, on the other hand, is a modernist with a firm grip on his unique style, so to speak. His abstract pieces are dynamic and dramatic and each piece flows with a certain griping ease. Of course Cabrera brings a new dimension to the table. He wasn’t hailed the master of Philippine Contemporary Art for nothing. The naked form of a woman is inherently distinctive.
The group exhibit is open until October 4. Drop by for a culturally enriching tour. Who knows? You may even spot Ben Cab himself. We did.
BenCab Museum is located at Km. 6 Asin Road, Tuba, Benguet. Visit www.bencabmuseum.org or call 0920-5301954 for more information.