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Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles


Ayala Museum is proud to announce the opening of a major ethnographic exhibition, The Art and Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles beginning October 24, 2014 at its Fourth Floor Galleries.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the generous donation by Mercedes Zobel to the Ayala Museum, which consists of 111 textiles representing indigenous communities in the Philippines from the Cordilleras in northern Philippines and from Mindanao in the south, including the Muslim regions in Western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

Mercedes Zobel hopes that the collection will inspire and rekindle interest in the living arts of the country.  For her, textiles speak the “earliest language that expresses the beginnings of our culture.”

In collaboration with the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London, the exhibition provides a new way seeing indigenous Philippine textiles.  Founded in 2004 by HRH the Prince of Wales as one of his core charities, the Prince’s School specializes in teaching, researching, and promoting the practice and theory of the arts and crafts of the world’s great traditions. Using traditional geometry and biomorphic design principles, the artists of the Prince’s School analyzed a selection from the Mercedes Zobel Collection. Showcased alongside the actual objects in the exhibition, together they are like textbooks that illustrate how Philippine indigenous textiles, like other great traditions, reflect the universal order of nature.

“It is our hope that this highly visual approach to the analysis of indigenous Philippine textiles will be a fresh addition to the corpus of knowledge about the subject matter and will spark renewed interest in this unique aspect of our cultural identity” said Mariles Gustilo, Senior Director of Ayala Museum.

Ayala Museum will be producing various activities and education programs across the duration of this long-term exhibition, allowing museum visitors to go more in-depth into the topic and relate it to multiple disciplines.  A publication co-authored by Dr. Patricia Araneta (Outreach Program Director) of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts and Amihan Lim, Research Assistant with photographs by Neal Oshima is also set to be launched.

In celebration of Philippine-British Friendship Week, The British Embassy will participate in the opening night’s festivities.

For more information, please contact (632) 759 82 88 or email

IMAGE DETAILS. SEPUTANGAN (detail), headcloth or scarf, Yakan, Basilan, Ayala Museum Collection, Gift of Mercedes Zobel.

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