Being a major figure in the Philippine art scene, BenCab expands from his milieu of art-making to draw attention to his social advocacies. Through the BenCab Art Foundation, Inc., he supports activities related to the arts and the environment, and tries to help uplift the indigenous Cordillera communities in any way possible. Although known for his abstract and minimalist contemporary art, BenCab never fails to draw his inspiration from life—capturing the delicate movements and raw emotions of actual living figures or at least of his memories from his encounters. With this, BenCab defines three important things for every artist to succeed: “Curiosity, passion, and making art from life.”
Although having awarded of such prestigious recognition, BenCab never forgets to look back to his humble beginnings and give back to the people who helped him along the way. Sabel, the scavengers, the Filipinas in traditional baro’t sayas from the old photographs, and the lumads—they have each shared a part in BenCab’s journey. “I want to be remembered as a Filipino. A Filipino artist, that’s all,” BenCab said.
The “BenCab: The Filipino Artist” retrospective exhibition is part of a series of exhibitions in eight museums marking the Fifty Creative Years of the national artist. Collaborating with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila are Del Monte Philippines and Nutri-Asia, and supported by Smart Inifinity, Mercedes Benz, and Pioneer Insurance.
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila is located at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Museum hours are from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Mondays through Saturdays.