Know More About Complementing Artworks In Your Home With The Cabinet At Canterbury
As said in the classic Dione Warwick song, "A house is not a home when the two of us is far apart." But for Allan Ancheta, his wife Jas, and son, Bruce, a house is simply brick and mortar when there's no artwork and creative furniture pieces to breathe life into it. Nestled within the neighborhood of Hillsborough Alabang in Cupang, Muntinlupa, is the home of the Anchetas. Their house is not just a private family abode, but within its walls are a curated collection of paintings, masks, and sculptures. Their space, at once a dwelling and a gallery, is in itself a cabinet of curiosity.
Rooted in Renaissance Europe, cabinets of curiosities—also known as cabinets of wonder, wonder rooms, or in German, Kunstkabinett, Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer—house collections of interesting pieces of natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious and historical relics, antiquities, and of course, art. Well-documented cabinets once owned by rulers, aristocrats, merchants, and scientists would become precursors to the modern day museum. One example: London’s British Museum, which evolved from the cabinet of the Irish physician and naturalist, Sir Hans Sloan.
The Cabinet at Canterbury, so called because the Ancheta homestead is located along Canterbury street, is an ode to its owners’ long-standing passion for the arts. Allan’s late father, Pio Ancheta worked with the Design Centre of the Philippines (DCP), and this developed in him an early interest for the arts while visiting exhibits at the DCP in his youth. As an adult, Allan—a former college professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), who has also worked with Unilab, Johnson & Johnson, and seven countries as a management consultant—purchased a ceramic Kabuki mask, and soon thereafter, began collecting other masks from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Today, the gallery houses 50 of these elaborate pieces. The Ancheta family’s earliest artworks would also be comprised of sketches by the artists, Emmanuel “Manny” Garibay and Mark Justiniani.
It was not until the family began building their Muntinlupa home, that they would lay the groundwork for what would now become the Cabinet at Canterbury. In the process of construction, Jas, whose passion is in interior design, took on the helm of the daunting task. That initial endeavour spurred her to enroll at the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), where she would later graduate with honors. Between their design and consultancy work, the Anchetas would travel to further expose themselves to museums and art across the globe. These trips would take them to the Louvre, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Uffizi gallery, the Vatican Museum, and the Musee D’ Orsay. One particular destination, the Hanseatic Museum in Bergen, Norway, would stand out. Noted for its compact size—it was the former home of Hanseatic merchants—the gallery is a window into the actual lives of its 18th century dwellers. This would greatly inform the design philosophy of the Cabinet at Canterbury and define its unique proposition: a memorable space where art and interiors come together.
Established in mid-2018 as a brand under Jas’ design company, Jas Ancheta Interiors, the Cabinet at Canterbury is gaining ground as a new player to watch out for in the local art scene. Primarily invested in realist and abstract works that include paintings, brass and metal sculptures, and even functional items like door knobs and mirrors, the gallery’s growing roster of partner artists include Richard Buxani, Matthius Garcia, Nixxio Castrillo, Tonton Ador, Khristina Manansala, and Micko Macariola. Later this year, the Anchetas will publish a book about the gallery and its artists.
The gallery illustrates the marriage of art and interior design, showcasing a collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and masks housed in carefully arranged vignettes and displays throughout the home’s rooms, along and underneath its winding staircase, and even in the garden.
Whether she’s designing a modern tropical house or a Scandinavian-inspired space for clients, Jas likewise incorporates murals and art pieces into these dwellings: bringing a dining room to life with a painting enhanced by stonework and warm lighting; livening up a sitting nook with its pièce de résistance —a framed landscape; punctuating an otherwise plain wall with a trio of colorful abstracts; styling a buffet table with an organic mix of illustrations, sculpture, and home décor.
As part of the Design Week Philippines this weekend, The Cabinet at Canterbury has been included as community partner. They will hold a design talk for the public on April 27, 2019 (Saturday) from 3PM to 5PM at Bar Pintxos, Alabang. An exhibit, also open to the public, will follow at the Manila Peninsula, Makati on April 28 (Sunday) from 10am to 7pm, featuring at least thirty veteran and emerging Filipino artists. Fittingly, these works will be staged alongside furniture, demonstrating the amalgamation of art and design. Both the artworks and the furniture, provided by Fashion Interiors by Paul Cornelissen, will be for sale.
On May 11, the gallery will also be holding Art The Vote event at Robins Design Center in Ortigas Center, Pasig, in anticipation to the coming elections.
Design Week Philippines will run from April 22 to April 28, 2019. For updates on the latest at The Cabinet at Canterbury, follow @jasanchetainteriors on Instagram, or visit www.jasancheatinteriors.com.
The Cabinet at Canterbury is located at 64 Canterbury Street, Hillsborough Alabang, Cupang, Muntinlupa.
- Words Franz Sorilla IV