Saturday, August 25, 2012

afternoon at the national museum (part 2)

It must be difficult to be a tourist at the Sistine Chapel. One, the masterpieces are so intricate that I'm sure I'd look at the ceiling paintings for a long time. Two, there are so many things to see that I might be overwhelmed by all the artwork. Three, there are huge crowds all the time, surely, since it's a famous destination.

I've never been there; it's still in my bucket list.

The closest that I've been to the gawking-at-the-Sistine-Chapel-ceiling-experience, as of yet, was my visit to one of the National Museum's exhibits: various photographs or paintings of features of ceilings of old churches of Bohol. The way the artwork are displayed reminded me of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Yes, there are pieces hanging on the walls like normal paintings but there also are pieces that are suspended horizontally near the exhibit area's ceiling.

Alas, I couldn't lie down on the floor; that would just be too weird to the other visitors. I wish that I had a big mirror with me as I started feeling a strain on my neck.

The artwork are of saints and symbols of the Catholic faith as depicted in the different churches. Since I was looking up most of the time, I didn't bother looking at the captions found on blue circular labels stuck on the wooden floor. Actually, I didn't care too much about who or what is featured in the artwork; I was more interested in how the exhibit is presented.

As I entered the area, I felt like I was going inside one of the Spanish-era churches in Ilocos, just like in the summer Hum 2 class I sat at in 2000... half expecting Dr Paul Zafaralla to suddenly pop out of one of the corners.

Paintings in the ceiling. 

Paintings that seemed like statues found in side chapels or in niches along a church's walls. 

Paintings on opposite ends of the exhibit area. 

The only things missing at the time of my visit were the altar, the artwork behind the altar, the candle holders, and the smell of incense... then I'd really feel like I've stumbled into a church inside the museum! 

Congratulations to the team who developed this exhibit! Since the art gallery is closed at the moment, the collection here at the Kisame exhibit somehow made up for the artwork that I missed out on. I just couldn't remember the names of the people involved in it... and I couldn't find the information in the National Museum of the Philippines website.

Want to see these pieces of ceiling art? They're in the fourth floor of the Museum of the Filipino People, if I remember it correctly, just beside the biodiversity exhibit. The National Museum is found along P. Burgos St., Rizal Park, Manila.