Pushing the elsewheres of Filipino contemporary art
Online art platform Planting Rice is steadily growing as the premier resource on Filipino contemporary art as well as a tool to situate Filipino talent in a more global art world. Since its inception in 2011, it has provided the public with information that is beyond what mainstream media have typically covered. As the domain of contemporary art relies heavily on the presence of exhibitions, discussions, events, and ongoing projects, the partnership of curators Lian Ladia and Sidd Perez have triumphantly kept us up-to-date with all matters of the art. Now, we get a more in-depth look at what the duo has done and their future plans for the Planting Rice.
GC: What triggered you to setup an online platform for Filipino contemporary art like Planting Rice?
PR: Planting Rice was formed by making something out of our individual networks and the need of those networks to access one another. It sprung from the awareness that information and documentation of art practice was not lacking at all, but that what was needed was a centralized, unbiased platform that would attempt to gather them. Planting Rice acknowledges the other alternative forms of cultural currency that included peripheral activities of the community beyond institutions and popular channels.
GC: What were the significant goals that Planting Rice has achieved through the years?
PR: We have been committed to provide tools in accessing news, opportunities and archives that are relevant to the communities we circulate in — be it for the locale of Manila, our diaspora collaborators or the other practitioners who are engaged with those communities. These tools come in the form of the main website and other social media channels. They also come in the form of our offsite programs — exhibitions, studio visits, redes venues and other guerrilla events.
GC: One of the key roles Planting Rice is to create an online archive documenting Filipino contemporary art? How do you think this has helped its promotion and its breaking through a more global consciousness?
PR: That is true – but in the context of not just Filipino contemporary art news but also features on other conditions that shape the context and content of art practices. In terms of global consciousness, we suppose Planting Rice allowed a prompt for awareness and connection to other places and practitioners that make up a progressive, self-regulating community like our own in Manila.
GC: What’s up next that the public expect from Planting Rice?
PR: We are currently working on the printed visual guide through six trails of art galleries, institutions and other places in Metro Manila called #ArtHopManila with Lena Cobangbang and Electrolychee. In terms of exhibition programming, we are putting together a process-based show at the Lopez Museum with regards to compile an archive of art criticism and reflexive art practices in Manila (September 2014) and a show on ecology and sustenance at the Vargas Musem (2015). We have been invited on a conference with similar initiatives in Luxembourg in June and a research residency in Helsinki for our 2015 project.