After two years of renovation, Ayala Foundation has created new and innovative ways to explore Philippine art and culture
One of the things people have missed a lot during months of on and off lockdowns is the chance to visit museums and galleries to immerse themselves into the world of arts. Now that there is a sense of freedom in the air, we bet many Filipinos are excited to get beck into these art spaces. And if you’re jotting down places to visit in the metro for a cultural experience, you can now add Ayala Museum and Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) to your itinerary as they open their doors for visitors this December.
Closed for renovation since June 2019, the Ayala Museum’s soft opening on Dec. 4, 2021 will offer a glimpse of the newly renovated galleries and library, just in time for the festive season and the 60th anniversary of the Ayala Foundation. In light of the ongoing pandemic, safety protocols will be observed as they go back into operation. But more of those later. For now, here’s what you should expect to see when you visit the Ayala Museum and FHL.
The new Ayala Museum redefines the onsite visitor experience with refreshed exhibition, event, and retail spaces. Designed once again by Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP), it boasts of a new inviting lobby marked by a distinctive Asian sensibility and borrowed landscape, integrating it closer to the Greenbelt complex and its environs. The resulting outside-inside atmosphere is a wise pandemic response alongside plans to ensure the museum is a safe zone, defined by physical distancing and safety from the transmission of disease.
Five new exhibits
New exhibits await visitors this holiday season. Continuing the celebration of the first circumnavigation of the world, the “Intertwined: Transpacific, Transcultural Philippines” exhibit explores the resulting entangled cultures brought about by man’s ability to circumnavigate the world with over 240 carefully curated objects and artworks. An homage to the man who envisioned Ayala Museum, “Landscape into Painting: Fernando Zobel Serie Blanca” exhibit puts in the spotlight the works of artist Fernando Zobel. As an art and history museum, the Orientations Gallery conveys, with a display of tangible objects from the Ayala Museum collections, the wealth and diversity that abound in the cultures and peoples throughout the islands and the nation’s past.
For the first time ever in the country, guests will encounter the Digital Gallery located in the museum’s new lobby. Made up of eight sprawling screens, the gallery enables visitors to digitally explore objects from the museum and library collections and engage in interactive and up-close conversations with art and history for free.
The Diorama Experience, a totally refreshed exhibition mainstay, will also be on view for a new generation to enjoy.
The rest of the Ayala Museum galleries will be unveiled by the first half of 2022.
New digital spaces
Along with the five exhibitions, the Ayala Museum also unveils its new website and an upcoming app. The revamped Ayala Museum portal will be the online destination to book visits; participate in workshops, conferences, concerts, and performances; access the museum’s collection online; visit new exhibitions; explore learning resources; and link up with the stand-alone FHL website. While the website will support onsite exhibits through exclusive content that will enrich the viewer’s understanding.
Access to Philippine art and culture 24/7
With the goal of broadening the appeal of art and culture by making it more accessible, Ayala Museum and FHL have adopted the omnichannel approach. Omnichannel is a term derived from retail to describe a visitor-centric approach to ensure customers what they want when they want it, and how they want it. The move was planned pre-pandemic but the decision to go omnichannel has likewise proven timely with audiences now comfortable being online. As such, everything in the newly renovated Ayala Museum will be networked, multiple channels digitally connected so one can move seamlessly between them, enabling Filipinos here and abroad to readily access Philippine art and culture 24/7, as exemplified by the collections and programming of the museum and library.
Safety is top priority
To ensure guests will feel both inspired and safe when visiting, operational adjustments and safety protocols have been adopted. All guests visiting the museum and library, regardless of age, must be fully vaccinated and will have to provide proof of vaccination upon entry for the safety of all visitors and staff.
To learn more about the museum and library’s new protocols, what to expect during the soft opening, and how to book your tickets, you can visit their website at ayalamuseum.org and filipinaslibrary.org.ph.