BADONG: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage
19 July to 27 October 2013
Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino and Pasilyo Juan Luna (the 3rd floor hallway galleries)
The Cultural Center of the Philippines honors the late Salvador F. Bernal, National Artist for Theater Design, in a retrospective exhibit that highlights his various design projects in ballet, opera, theater, and film from the 1970s until the time of his passing in 2011. BADONG: Salvador Bernal Designs the Stage will be held at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery), which has been transformed into a veritable black box, and at the Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino and Pasilyo Juan Luna (the 3rd floor hallway galleries).
Acknowledged as the “Father of Theater Design in the Philippines”, Bernal was instrumental in elevating theater and production design as a fine art and a profession. He helped establish the Production Design Center as a division under the then CCP Performing Arts Department which he headed from 1981-1994. The PDC building was inaugurated in 1993, a three-story building designed with facilities to execute large-scale theater props and fabricate and store costumes. Bernal also initiated the founding of the Kapisanan sa Pilipinas ng mga Production Designer or KAPPROD, which later became the Philippine Association of Theater Designer and Technician (PATDAT).
The main exhibit inside the Bulwagang Juan Luna features scale models, costumes, and digital images of Bernal’s many projects, among them created for Ballet Philippines and Tanghalang Pilipino where he was then CCP resident designer. He collaborated closely with theater stalwarts of these two CCP resident companies such as Alice and Denisa Reyes and the late Rolando Tino. The hallway gallery exhibits aim to contextualize his practice. A timeline exhibit at the Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino traces highlights in Bernal’s personal and professional life and includes a comprehensive listing of his various projects. Across the Main Gallery Hallway, sketches and detailed drawings of sets and costume design give viewers an insight into the artist’s creative process.
For this project, the CCP invited Dr. Nicanor Tiongson and Gino Gonzales as guest curators, both close friends and collaborators of Bernal. They provide an insightful perspective to the artist’s professional practice as well as his personal life. Tiongson, former CCP Artistic Director, authored the book on Bernal published in 2007. He and Bernal worked together in the 1990s for productions such as Pilipinas Circa and Realizing Rama. Under Tiongson’s term as CCP Artistic Director, Bernal’s long-time dream of setting up the Production Design Center was realized.
Gino Gonzales was a student and apprentice of Bernal, who encouraged him to pursue further studies in Set and Costume Design. He completed his MFA in Theater Design at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University in 2001. Gonzales has since designed sets and costumes for various theater productions in Manila, Singapore, Japan and New York. Gonzales’ general design brief for the exhibit was further developed by the creative team of B+C Designs, headed by Baby and Coco Anne.
Ricardo Cruz, head of the CCP Production Design and Technical Services Division and lead coordinator of this project, also trained under Bernal. He assisted Bernal in many projects at the CCP from the 1980s to the 1990s. Since taking over the post of Bernal, Cruz has continued on the advocacy to promote and professionalize theater design practice.
The exhibit formally opens with a reception on 18 July, Thursday, at 6pm. It will be open for public viewing from 19 July to 27 October 2013.
Admission fee to the Bulwagang Juan Luna (CCP Main Gallery) exhibit is Php100. Gallery hours are from 10am to 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays (except holidays). For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division at (632)832-1125 loc 1504/1505 or (632)832-3702. Guided group tour bookings may be arranged with the CCP Marketing Department at (632)832-1125 loc 1801.