Sen. Loren Legarda
Senator Loren Legarda is the visionary behind the comeback of the Philippines to the Venice Biennale after a 51-year hiatus. She emphasized the necessity for the Philippines to engage the international community on the cultural level, thus convincing the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to work on the Philippines’ return to the Venice Art Biennale 2015. Senator Legarda is a known advocate of cultural preservation and has taken various initiatives, including the establishment of the country’s first permanent textile gallery, the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino, to promote culture and address the concerns of indigenous communities.
Prof. Felipe De Leon, Jr.
Professor Felipe De Leon, Jr. is the Chairperson of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). When he was Chairman of the Department of Humanities at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, the Department made a major shift from a Eurocentric to a World Art approach, with emphasis on Southeast Asian and Philippine arts. He specializes in the humanities, aesthetics, music theory, Philippine arts and culture, language and social transformation, semiotics, mythology and institutional dynamics, and accompanying people’s movements.
Cid Reyes is one of the country’s top art critics and an artist with 17 solo exhibitions to date. He has won the “Art Critic of the Year Award” from Art Manila Quarterly and has written various articles, art reviews and criticism on Philippine Art. He has also authored books on several National Artists, including Arturo Luz and Napoleon Abueva.
Mami Kataoka is Chief Curator at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.
Paul Pfeiffer is a New York based sculptor, photographer and video artist whose work incorporates the use of found footage and images from popular culture. One of his well-known works is The Long Count, which shows original television broadcasts of Muhammad Ali’s major championship fights. Pfeiffer has participated in the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and was awarded the inaugural Bucksbaum Award. In 2001, he participated in the 49th Venice Biennale.
Renaud Proch is the Executive Director of Independent Curators International (ICI), a non-profit organization in New York that has produced exhibitions, events and publications. Prior to his work with ICI, Proch was the Senior Director at the Project New York, where he worked on developing the careers of a roster of 21 artists. He was also the Director of MC in Los Angeles, a gallery dedicated to the production and presentation of new solo projects by internationally established artists. Most recently, Proch co-curated a retrospective of South African performance artist Tracey Rose for the Johannesburg Art Gallery, South Africa. In March 2013, ICI collaborated with the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios to produce ICI’s first Curatorial Intensive professional development program in Africa.