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UP Vargas Museum opens after-hours for an art-rave party this Sept. 30

UP Vargas Museum opens after-hours for an art-rave party this Sept. 30

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  • Taking cues from Jorge B. Vargas’s hosting residence Kawilihan, the university museum will open its doors past regular hours for a night of art, experimental rock, and electronic dance

Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center at the University of the Philippines Diliman is home to a rotating exhibitions of contemporary art on its first floor. Filipino art masterpieces populate the second floor from the personal collection of Mr. Vargas himself. Among those that the country’s first Executive Secretary donated in 1978 were oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings, and sculptures from the 1880s to the 1960s by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and National artists Fernando Amorsolo, Napoleon Abueva, and Abdulmari Imao. While the third floor plays host to Mr. Vargas’ personal memorabilia and stamp and coin collections.

For P50, anyone can go visit the museum from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. UP students pay only P20, while UP staff, faculty, and alumni pay P40. On Wednesdays, they get to visit Vargas for free.

On Sept. 30, however, Vargas Museum will be open beyond its regular hours, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Vargas After-Hours, as it came to be known, was first announced in August in celebration of the 133rd birthday of Mr. Vargas. 

“To commemorate his life, the UP Vargas Museum introduces a new public program,” the post read. “The UP Vargas Museum dims its lights and keeps its doors open beyond museum hours for Vargas After-Hours, a series of events to be held at the museum at night.”

This approach, the museum administration said, draws closely to Mr. Vargas’s utilization of the Kawilihan compound, his residential homestead in once-suburban Mandaluyong, for various social events in the evening. Such celebrations and gatherings, which the Vargases hosted over several decades, were graced with different cultural performances. 

“This idea of a transformative use of space is amplified by the museum through various events combining music and performance.” The event is also a fundraising program for the museum’s future projects.

Vargas After-Hours on Sept. 30, billed as a night of art, music, and performance featuring artists, a post-rock band, and techno DJs, will be headlined by art and rave collective Kaput and the band Monochrome.

Vargas Museum’s first floor galleries. Photo from Vargas Museum website

As early as 5 p.m. there will be a conversation among artists Derek Tumala, Kiko Escora (Manila Animal), Christina Bartges (Badkiss), and Wesley Valenzuela (from Monochrome), about rave culture alongside the alternative music scene in Manila in the 2000s. It will be moderated by Vargas Museum curator Tessa Maria Guazon.

The first floor galleries will also host a performance by Monochrome and back-to-back experimental rock and electronic dance DJ sets with James Clar and Manila Animal, Badkiss and Nomoclassiq, and DQMX and Christal. All the while, attendees can also view video works by Micaela Benedicto, Thirdworldbb, Jellyfish Kisses, and Jao San Pedro on display.

Vargas After-Hours tickets are currently on pre-sale for P500 for UP students (available for purchase at the museum reception) and P888 for regular tickets at bit.ly/VargasAfterHours2023Tix. The door price on the day of the event is P999.

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