to paint / to weave

Thursday, 22 Nov 2018, 4 PM to Sunday, 20 Jan 2019, 5 PM

The Curve Gallery, 3F Arts Wing, Areté

Admission is free of charge. To book a tour, e-mail us at or call Esty Bagos, Museum Education Officer at 426-6488.

to paint / to weave started after a journey by artist Thao Nguyen Phan to visit Rags2Riches (R2R) and its artisan communities. The short trip had an immense effect on the thought and the manifestation of "to paint/to weave". However, its conception has begun long before this milestone trip. To paint / to weave is a series of watercolor painting on Vietnamese silk. The paintings depict the scenario of women weaving in various forms, the action is removed from its original setting and has become romanticised and idealised in a timeless, non-specific environment.

Phan has a continuous interest in local handicraft specific to the region of South East Asia, its shifting perception from being slow and backward to the new recognition of "the future of craftsmanship" as a collective effort towards a more sustainable mode of production and consumption.

"to paint / to weave" is an artistic journey that uses the medium of painting to interlace with the medium of weaving. Regardless of their differences in form, functionality, and representation, they share many things in common: both actions are ancient, that connects to the origin of our civilization, are being politicized and commercialized for their potential to be both sublimely beautiful and mundanely functional. To paint or to weave. These gestures remind us why we create, collect, and admire the objects of our culture.

The project is a collaboration between recipients of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise and the Rolex Arts Initiative, made possible by Rolex. In partnership with Areté, Ateneo Art Gallery, Rags2Riches, Bellas Artes Projects, and the Metrobank Foundation.

Thao Nguyen Phan is a multimedia artist whose practices encompasses painting, installation, and moving images. Through literature, philosophy, and daily life, Phan observes ambiguous issues in social convention, history, and tradition.

In addition to her work as a multimedia artist, she is a co-founder of the collective Art Labor, which explores cross-disciplinary practices and develops art projects that benefit the local community.

Media link: Press Release