Philippine Pavilion Opens in 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venice

  • May 25, 2018

The vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion opened The City Who Had Two Navels at the Artigliere of the Arsenale in Venice, Italy. The country’s national participation at the international art exposition was curated by Edson Cabalfin. He created a think tank from different stakeholders representing the architectural sector.

“It was important for me that our representation in Venice be able to bring together the different voices of the people who have a stake in creating our built environment,” Dr. Cabalfin says. “They were chosen based on their position as educational institutions, whether they are private or public, and an established or young program.”

The vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion opened The City Who Had Two Navels at the Artigliere of the Arsenale in Venice, Italy
The vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion opened The City Who Had Two Navels at the Artigliere of the Arsenale in Venice, Italy
The Philippine pavilion presentation aims to be provocation of possibilities, engaging the stakeholders in a conversation to increase a sense of awareness of the tension between our past experience of colonialism and neoliberalism
The Philippine pavilion presentation aims to be provocation of possibilities, engaging the stakeholders in a conversation to increase a sense of awareness of the tension between our past experience of colonialism and neoliberalism
Edson Cabalfin
Edson Cabalfin


He envisioned the Philippine pavilion presentation to be a provocation of possibilities, engaging the stakeholders in a conversation to increase a sense of awareness of the tension between our past experience of colonialism and neoliberalism focusing on the “built environment as an expression of self-determination and as setting for global and transnational revolution.”

RELATED READS: The Philippines Presents The City Who Had Two Navels at the 58th Venice Biennale

The country's national participation at the international art exposition was curated by Edson Cabalfin
The country’s national participation at the international art exposition was curated by Edson Cabalfin
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will run from May 26 to November 25, 2018.
The 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will run from May 26 to November 25, 2018.


National Commission of Arts and Culture Virgilio Almario, who was among the figurehead present at the vernissage translated the theme of 16th International Architecture exhibition “Freespace” as “Pookginhawa” remarked, “Freedom in Filipino language can be directly translated to kalayaan which means the right or power to do as one pleases or freedom from control. Ginhawa when translated in the English language can mean relief or lightness.”

“When a space is used as relief, when it is filled with light, when it is used to give breath, that is space that embraces concepts of kindness, generosity, democracy, and hope. And that is the space that Filipinos crave and dream of, that is our Freespace, our Pookginhawa.”

RELATED READS: Reinventing the World in the 2017 Venice Art Biennale

2016 Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale Alejandro Aravena, Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña, Senator Loren Legarda
2016 Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale Alejandro Aravena, Lifestyle Asia EIC Anna Sobrepeña, Senator Loren Legarda


Senator Loren Legarda, the moving spirit who is largely responsible for the country’s participation in the international exhibition says, “The Philippines’ presence in the Venice Architecture Biennale is an advocacy itself. Through our participation, we relate our truths as we also learn from the realities of other nations. It serves as a reminder of how architecture is not only about building structures but also about inspiring life, shaping society and building a nation.”

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE OTHER PHOTOS FROM THE OPENING OF THE PHILIPPINE PAVILION AT THE 16TH INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE…

Kit and Fernando Zobel attended the opening
Kit and Fernando Zobel attended the opening
Patrick Flores
Patrick Flores
Carlo Calma
Carlo Calma
Lifestyle Asia EIC Sobrepeña with Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, 2016 Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale
Lifestyle Asia EIC Sobrepeña with Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, 2016 Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale