Artist calls out National Museum visitors for using sculpture as cellphone stand

February 17, 2023 - 1:30 PM
CIRCA exhibit National Museum
Impy Pilapil's exhibit of artworks under "CIRCA" as displayed in the Museum of Fine Arts at the National Museum of the Philippines in this photo courtesy of Ana Maria Theresa Labrador and shared by Pilapil on her Facebook account on June 10, 2019 (impy.pilapil/Facebook)

An artist on Wednesday called out two visitors of the National Museum of the Philippines for using an artwork as a cellphone stand while they reportedly recorded themselves for a TikTok content.

Rodney De Guzman on February 15 shared a video of a girl and a boy filming themselves in front of a cellphone supported by an artwork found in Gallery XVII at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

The artwork is part of sculptor and painter Imelda “Impy” Pilapil‘s “CIRCA” collection featured at the National Museum. It shows her sculptural works from 1994 to 2017.

Pilapil creates abstract works that reflect her exploration of personal and spiritual growth.

She joined the Arts Association of the Philippines and was also an active member of the World Print Council, USA, International Sculpture Center, and EARTHWATCH Save the Trees Movement.

Pilapil also conducts art workshops for underprivileged children.

Meanwhile, De Guzman shared that he and his friends went to the National Museum on Valentine’s Day.

He claimed that almost all of the young visitors were busy producing TikTok content instead of actually appreciating the artworks exhibited.

“I feel disappointed sa kanila kasi hindi nagkulang ang museum sa rules and regulations po eh, and they break the rules para lang sa TikTok at magsaya, it’s not the right place,” the artist said in an interview with Balita.

“Irespeto po natin ang National Museum, ang mga artworks, at mga tao sa sa likod ng bawat obra. Parte na po ng history ang mga piyesa na nasa loob into,” De Guzman added.

He shared a clip of the incident on his Facebook account with the following caption:

“Mag-appreciate at matuto (cross mark emoji) Mag-TikTok at patungan ng cellphone ang artwork (facepalm and hundred points emojis) FYI, that is a marble artwork, nakalagay na ‘do not touch,’ PINATUNGAN NAMAN!”

De Guzman also shared a zoomed-in version of the incident featuring the two young visitors filming themselves.

He. however, acknowledged that it is prohibited to film inside the museum.

“Bawal [talaga], nakasaad ‘yun!” the artist responded to a Facebook user who questioned his post.

“Kaso [sa] dami ng nag-Ti-TikTok sa loob, I have to take action of this insight kasi damay [‘yung] artwork itself pinatungan eh, if walang evidence, it’s just a story to tell,” De Guzman said in the comments.

The visitors in his video were seen filming in this part of the gallery:

According to the museum’s guidelines, visitors are “strictly prohibited” from using flash photography and recording videos.

They are also expected to follow certain etiquettes such as refraining from touching the paintings, sculptures, and other objects on display.

“Avoid leaning on glass showcases and pedestals. Running and playing in hallways and sitting and lying on floors are not allowed,” the museum said.

It added that visitors should also keep their voices low inside the galleries.

“The NMP reserves the right to refuse the entry or to dismiss individuals or groups who will violate the abovementioned policies,” the museum said.

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