Home>News>Events>See two worlds unfold through time in Parallel Histories Exhibition

See two worlds unfold through time in Parallel Histories Exhibition

Parallel Histories Exhibition
In photo (L-R) HMA Laure Beaufils and Curator Erwin Romulo

Metropolitan Museum of Manila (The M) is running the exhibition until 13 January 2024

7 December 2023, Manila – Parallel Histories: Moving Image from the Philippines and the United Kingdom, the latest exhibition on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila (The M) invites you to a retrospective journey. Boasting iconic works by Filipino and British filmmakers that encapsulated and responded to the profound changing times, the exhibit highlights the parallelism on the experiences shared from these two sides of the world.

Presented by the British Council as part of the celebration of its 45th anniversary, Country Director Lotus Postrado says the exhibit is ‘a fitting way to celebrate the strong ties between the Philippines and the UK, which is what British Council is all about.’

“It is in our organisation’s DNA to find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through arts and culture. And that is exactly what these amazing works enveloped us in, a deeper understanding of our shared experiences,” she adds.

Curated by Manila-based writer and filmmaker Erwin Romulo, he says the inspiration came from watching British filmmaker Rachel Lowe’s “Letter to an Unknown Person No. 5” that showed an artist’s hand impossibly trying to draw the landscape outside of a moving vehicle. The film reminded him of “Line Drawing” by Filipino artist Poklong Anading wherein a camera was fixed on a pencil writing a continuous line until reduced to a mere stub. Coincidentally, both films were created on the same year. This intrigued Romulo to look for other parallels in a world of chaos which ended up becoming the theme of Parallel Histories.

Talking about the films and the creative process behind it, Romulo said, “It tells you more about yourself, how you co-existed with everyone else, and about the time and world in which you found yourselves being alive in.”

In partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and LUX, on display are piercing works from Filipino filmmakers Angel Velasco Shaw, Tad Ermitaño, Poklong Anading, Bea Camacho and Tito & Tita and British filmmakers Alia Syed, George Barber, Rachel Lowe, Grace Ndiritu and Margaret Salmon. The result is a palpable visual feast of social, cultural and political reverberation that shaped the countries to what they are now. Viewers will find themselves vicariously moving through a significant moment in time and, ultimately, realising just how similar we are despite our differences.

This is the first collaboration between Erwin Romulo and Steven Cairns, ICA’s Head of Moving Image, strengthening the links between moving image artists in the UK and the Philippines. UK residents were treated to the same visual delight through a satellite screening at ICA in London held last 22 November.

British Council Head of Arts, Mich Dulce says, “It feels surreal to see works such as ‘Nailed’ by Filipino American filmmaker Angel Velasco Shaw being screened here in London, 31 years after its premiere. This not only underscores the power and significance of the UK-Philippines connection, but also serves as a testament to how human connection is truly beyond the physical. How the fibres of our being are interwoven through space and time, bringing all of us closer than ever.”

Experience a one-of-a-kind sneak peek into two seemingly distant worlds through time. Catch the Parallel Histories exhibit at the Third Floor South Gallery at the M until 13 January 2024.

Know more: https://metmuseum.ph/parallelhistories

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people.

In 2023, the British Council in the Philippines is marking our 45th anniversary, celebrating our commitment to building connections between the UK and the Philippines through our work in education, arts, English, and exams.


Journal Online
A collection of noteworthy information on various topics from the Philippines and the rest of the world.