Last October 26, 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila hosted an opening gala for the “Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City” exhibit after its historical run at the 2016 Venice Biennale.
The program featured several heartfelt messages including a warm welcome from MET Museum president Tina Colayco, a letter from NCCA Chairman Virgilio Almario (read by Bernan Corpuz), a thanksgiving greeting by Senator Loren Legarda, and a group testimonial by the curatorial team – Leandro Locsin, Jr., Sudarshan V. Khadka, Jr., and Juan Paolo Dela Cruz.
The program was punctuated by a guided tour by the curators themselves, as people entered the three-room exhibit space. The Filipino word muhon, translated roughly as “monument” or “place-marker,” evokes contemplation through the primal act of marking a fixed point in both space and time. The first room was a nostalgic lookback at the architectural wonders that have served as historical markers in the world of Filipino architecture, while the second room provided a reflection and interpretation of our city landscape today, and the third and final room displayed an envisioning of the possibilities of our architectural future.
Our buildings serve as homes for our national memory and self-identity. A meaningful reflection into our nation, the Muhon exhibit reminds us that moving forward is not the opposite of embracing our heritage. Moreover, it challenges us to evolve our national identity without forsaking advancement and locality.
“Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City” runs from October 29 – December 29, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, BSP Complex, Roxas Boulevard.