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Sounds of Blackness at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila

A first in the Philippines, the group exhibition features works by artists from the African Diaspora

Sounds of Blackness, a group exhibition featuring an ensemble of artists from the African Diaspora, had a well-attended opening on March 14, 2023 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

The exhibition highlights a range of styles from emerging as well as established artists, many of whom are exhibiting in the Philippines for the first time. The works express the joy, beauty, pain and other complexities of Black life around the globe. Larry Ossei-Mensah, the exhibit curator, flew in from the US with one of the artists, David “Mr. StarCity” White.

Larry Ossei-Mensah and David “Mr. StarCity” White next to White’s work, “Draped in Color”

Close to 300 art enthusiasts were present during the opening night, with South African Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe, and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Ghana in the Philippines Mr. Carlos S. Rufino making the opening remarks.

Sound artists Dirty Chickens filled the gallery with experimental music set throughout the evening. It was inspired by the Sounds of Blackness soundscape curated by Carolyn “CC” Concepcion of ARTNOIR, a New York-based global collective co-founded by Ossei-Mensah. Guests were encouraged to scan a unique code using the Spotify app to listen to the playlist.

Dirty Chickens


Sounds of Blackness is anchored on a selection of works from the collection of Filipino collector Timothy Tan. This unique presentation will include additional works from private collectors across Asia in order to cultivate a holistic perspective on the various strategies employed by the artists in the exhibition.

This exhibition is sponsored by Flexform, Poliform, Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation, and Ruby Jack’s Steakhouse and Bar. The exhibition is on view until 17 June 2023 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

For more information, please e-mail [email protected].

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