ArtSpeak with Jonathan Chua

Thursday, 09 Mar 2017, 3 PM to 5 PM

Curated by Jonathan Chua and presented in cooperation wit the Rizal Library, 'Lines: Pictures and Poems by Jose Garcia Villa' opened on the 8th of February.

Jose Garcia Villa (1908–97) is best known as a modernist poet in Philippine literature whose experiments and audacity brought him both notoriety and fame. Before he became a poet, however, he was a painter. He considered painting his “first love” and actively painted and drew in the 1920s and 1930s. Tending to abstraction at a time when postcard prettiness was the norm, Villa’s drawings and paintings stood apart from his contemporaries’, just as his poems jolted literary circles. Whether as verses or as figures, his lines were decidedly modern. While poetry eventually took precedence, the visual arts remained a constant in Villa’s life and work—as inspiration, influence, and self-expression.

On the occasion of the twentieth year of his death, “Lines: Pictures and Poems by Jose Garcia Villa” exhibits a selection of his work as a visual artist. In many cases, it illustrates the marriage of the visual arts and poetry. The materials on display are taken from the Jose Garcia Villa collection, donated to the Ateneo de Manila University by the Literary Estate of Jose Garcia Villa in 2012 and entrusted to the Rizal Library.

Jonathan Chua is a faculty member of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University. He is the editor of the books The Critical Villa: Essays in Literary Criticism by Jose Garcia Villa (2002) and The Collected Stories of Jose Garcia Villa (2015), and of the journal Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia.