Inside Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art

The Entrance to ILOMOCA
This Thursday I visited the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (also known as ILOMOCA) for the first time. It opened to the public last March 18, 2018, in Casa Emperador, Festive Walk, Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. It houses three floors of art galleries dedicated to works by local and international artists. The artworks are mostly paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

Entrance fee is 50 pesos for students and 100 for the rest. That is affordable enough for museum-goers. It is worth it for the comfortable and air-conditioned space, and the unique art experience is priceless. Take note that picture-taking of artworks isn't allowed in the second and third floors, but is allowed on the first floor.

This is the first of its kind in Iloilo City and it makes me glad that this opened. I've noticed that there are many new art galleries and museums in the city.

The first floor houses the Hulot Exhibit, for unique and visionary works. There is also the Martin Delgado tribute, the first governor of Iloilo and a famous military leader during the Spanish revolution. Most of the artworks here are made by Spanish artist Gines Serran Pagan. He's also the artist for the Martin Delgado sculpture in front of Festive Walk and in the gallery, there are pictures of how he made it. They also have the Museum Shop with products inspired by artworks and they also sell art materials.

At the first floor
The second floor has The Gallery, for thematic exhibitions. It currently consists of three sections for Filipino artists, International artists, and sculptures. The Box, a theater space for exhibits, plays, workshops, and events, is also on the second floor.

On the third floor is the Valencia Gallery which houses Edwin Valencia's collection. He's one of the founders of the museum.

I regret that I didn't bring a notebook to list down my favorite artworks (I was too intimidated to open my phone to take notes since security was roaming around and I might be mistaken for secretly taking pictures), but I will list the works that made an impression on me. I will try to list down the title and artist the next time I visit. I'm just describing these paintings from memory, good thing I still remember the titles.

  • "Off with Her Head," a sculpture inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Alice is chased by the card soldiers of the Queen of Hearts. It is made of metal pieces and the little cards with their weapons looked like they were paused in the middle of action.
  • "Odysseus" with three winged sirens holding Odysseus in a yellow jacket.
  • "Moving On" which is a cartoonish illustration of people moving in a busy city street.
  • "Flower Eater," a really cute sculpture of a weird cute creature who eats flowers.
  • "Fly on the Wall" is a huge detailed painting of a fly, but instead of the usual head, there's really big lips instead. On the bottom is some text describing the Filipino penchant for gossip.
  • "Visiting Artists Demons" has a man surrounded by realistic-looking monsters.
  • "Il Paradiso Perduto" a lithograph by famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
  • Something inspired by the common games we see in plazas during feasts. It features the same games but with different things painted all over.
  • A painting depicting ships battling at sea but instead of the usual seafarers, there's Jollibee, McDonalds, Popeye, Colonel Sanders of KFC, and other pop culture symbols.
  • Nelfa Querubin-Tompkins also had three ceramic pieces in the gallery. I once attended her talk in CPU and there's also a gallery of her works in the 4th floor of Henry Luce III Library of CPU.
I spent more than an hour wandering and looking at the artworks on the three floors of the museum. Each work featured has exquisite detail and they make the viewer observe the piece of art well. I'm not that well-versed in art stuff but visiting this museum makes you appreciate it. It's the kind of place I'd love to visit again and again. 

Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art is open during Tuesdays-Sundays, from 10 AM to 7 PM. They also have a Facebook page, @ILOMOCA.

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