Though colourful and meaningful his masterpieces are, the National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto Cabrera, or BenCab, dreams of leaving a legacy not only of them but of his prized collection of Philippine contemporary art and ethnography. “This is why I put up the BenCab Museum, to house this collection so it can be shared for generations to come,” says the award-winning artist. Established in 2009, the museum in Baguio City has since been run and managed by the BenCab Art Foundation, Inc, a non-stock organisation that supports activities related to the arts and environment. “Visitors have been enjoying the collection [at the Museum] for 11 years now. I can say that my legacy is pretty much established,” he says.
BenCab won his first art award when he was a 12-year-old sixth-grade student for his entry to a poster contest with a human rights theme. He entered the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fine Arts in 1959, where he had the privilege of learning from another National Artist for Visual Arts, then UP art professor José Joya.
Read also: Five Things You Might Not Know About BenCab
This is why I put the BenCab Museum, to house this collection so it can be shared for generations to come.— Benedicto "Bencab" Cabrera