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Patrick Flores (University of the Philippines)

Patrick Flores

Patrick Flores
Image Credit: Hollis Johnson

Fellow in Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters"

December 2022

Allegory, Expressionism and Southeast Asian Art Historiography

Patrick Flores’s research attempts to contribute to the writing of Southeast Asian art history from the perspective of an imbrication with the "Western." Imbrication here does not signify the repetition of an ideal or the assimilation into a norm. Through allegory and expressionism, Southeast Asia figures or is rendered with alternating effects of legibility and idiosyncrasy. Through the allegorical sculptures by Otto Fischer-Credo and Richard Kissling in Manila and the interaction of German expressionists like Franz Marc, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde with ethnic artefacts and modern artists in Southeast Asia, a different art history might come into being, one that is extended to abstract expressionism by way of the Philippine-born Alfonso Ossorio, who in his formative years was drawn to the Renaissance engraver and painter Martin Schongauer. This project seeks to propose a method of writing art history by curating a different constellation – and therefore worlding – of art.

Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines and curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He is the director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions of Asian Art from 2001 to 2003 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008); Art After War: 1948–1969 (2015); and Raymundo Albano: Texts (2017). He was a Guest Scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He was the artistic director of the Singapore Biennale 2019 and convener of the forums for the Taiwan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022.