Art/Style/Travel DiariesStyle

Santiago Bose’s Spirited Traces at Silverlens Manila

The show is the third in a series conceived by Filipino art historian, curator, and critic Dr. Patrick D. Flores

SANTIAGO BOSE, Untitled, Undated

Santiago Bose (portrait by Wig Tysmans)

Silverlens is thrilled to present Spirited Traces, the third installment in the sequence of exhibitions on Santiago Bose conceived by Filipino art historian, curator, and critic Dr. Patrick D. Flores in 2019. As a conclusion to the series, Spirited Traces closely reads the artist’s form and language. It stems from the effort of the earlier initiations to stage, first, the impulse of the intelligence (Bare Necessities, 2019), and second, the sites that specified his endeavor (Striking Affinities, 2021). The exhibition opens 20 April 2023, Thursday, at Silverlens Manila.

Both the internal syntax and the potency of the surface create the means by which Bose articulates his practice, alongside his significant engagements with communities across geographies and within vicinities. Discernible in his creative instinct is the quickness to mix materials, cite references across histories, subject his visual space to the stress and plenitude of codes, and thus render the enterprise highly mediated: dense, lively, hectic, even impish. These gestures eventually translate to palimpsest, textual inscription, collage, and later, installation. In many ways, Bose was an exemplar of the mixed-media repertoire, which may well be productively inflected as intermedia, the better to cast it as a cognate of his translocal sympathies. This exhibition proposes an attentive study of Bose’s fecund artistic acumen, following through the previous presentations on his resources as an aesthetic agent as well as the different ecologies that enhanced their conviction and generosity.

In 2024, Silverlens will be publishing a book about Santiago Bose written by Dr. Flores. The book will delve into the life and practice of the artist, and will be a significant contribution to the understanding of Bose’s artistic legacy.

Bose’s “Le Peril Jaune,” undated

Santiago Bose was a mixed-media artist, educator, and community organizer from the Philippines. He co-founded the Baguio Arts Guild and often used indigenous media in his work. Bose aimed to raise awareness of cultural concerns in the Philippines and focused on the resilience of indigenous cultures in the face of colonialism. He was the founding president of the Baguio Arts Guild and played a key role in establishing the Baguio International Arts Festival. Bose addressed social and political issues with criticality, gravity, and irreverent humor.

Bose received the Thirteen Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1976, and exhibited his work internationally in events such as the Third Asian Art Show in Fukuoka, Japan, the Havana Biennial in Cuba, and the First Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia. He was also included in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco’s exhibition, At Home & Abroad, 20 Contemporary Filipino Artists, in 2000. In 2002, the City of Manila awarded him the Gawad ng Maynila: Patnubay ng Sining at Makabagong Pamamaraan (Cultural Award for New Media presented to outstanding Filipino Artist). Bose was posthumously shortlisted for the National Artist award in 2006.

Bose was a mixed-media artist, educator, and community organizer from the Philippines, and co-founder of the Baguio Arts Guild 

Dr. Patrick D. Flores is the deputy director for Curatorial and Exhibitions at the National Gallery Singapore. He is a distinguished professor of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, where he previously chaired the Department of Art Studies from 1997 to 2003. He also served as the curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila and is director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. Flores has been involved in several significant exhibitions, such as his roles as a curator for Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and as an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Flores is a prolific writer and has authored various publications, including Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council in 2010 and co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). Flores organized the conference Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia in Manila in 2013 on behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines. He was a guest scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. Flores curated South by Southeast, an exhibition of contemporary art from Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe, and the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He served as the artistic director of the Singapore Biennale 2019 and curator of the Taiwan Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 2022.

Silverlens is an international gallery with locations in both Manila and New York. Through its artist representation, institutional partnerships, art consultancy, and exhibition programming, including art fairs and gallery collaborations, Silverlens aims to place its artists within the broader framework of the contemporary art dialogue. Its continuing efforts to transcend borders across art communities in Asia have earned it recognition as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Southeast Asia. Silverlens was founded in Manila by Isa Lorenzo in 2004, and in 2007 she was joined by co-director Rachel Rillo. In September 2022, the gallery opened its doors in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, broadening its international scope and bringing its diverse roster of artists to a new global audience. Silverlens Manila is open for walk-ins from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Sign up for’s Weekly Digest and get the best of, tailored for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *