“STEEL LIFE ” Sam Penaso @Megamall Art Center

Presenting Sam Penaso’s 27th solo exhibition STEEL LIFE at the Megamall Art Center following his grand prize win at the Don Papa Rum Art Competition and residency in London; Galerie Francesca offers a substantial number of the acrylic silkscreened images over stainless steel sheets which enabled the win, along with a representative number of his sculptural works. 

The new silkscreen-on-stainless steel works include the addition of elements and techniques which ground them to traditional Filipino cultural icons while retaining the globalized imagery that Penaso has developed over the past decade.  The repousséd and chased pieces integrate techniques used in the traditional carrozas and metal ornaments of santos.  Repetitive sanded circles recall the embellishing techniques found in our jeepneys.  And the weaving of stainless steel in silver and gold tone is inspired by our own banig.  The monochrome and dichrome silkscreened images present a variety of images bound by a theme.  They insinuate the instantaneous access to knowledge brought about by both the internet and our ever increasing globalized world, and the accumulation and accretion of knowledge, capital, experience, and power, at a pace never before experienced by humanity.  This is the genius of Penaso, an artist who grew in Bohol, trained in silkscreening with his uncle in Manila, and grew in sophistication through his exposure to the art centers of the world: New York, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Vienna, Berlin, and London, where he has either had a residency, an exhibition or a performance – he is able to integrate our culture with that of the world.  He proves that the Filipino artist strides the global and the local at the same time. 

Sam Penaso is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works include traditional painting, sculpture, performance, and hybrid works which straddle these disciplines.  He has held solo exhibitions in Japan, Thailand, Austria, Germany, Singapore, among others. represented the Philippines in the Nippon International Performance Art Festival in both 2005 and 2011 and has participated in the the Asian International Art Exhibition, Ayala Museum, Manila; ArTriangle, Malaysia and Young Art Philippines, Luxembourg with his “Stripedwalker” performance.  Penaso received several art grants; including Don Papa Rum residency in London in 2019, an Asian Cultural Council (ACC)  International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York in 2013. After being a finalist in the 2006 Beppu Asia Biennale of Contemporary Art in Japan, Penaso won the first place in the 2012 Art Association of the Philippines Annual Art Competition, and a string of other wins thereafter, including the 2013 finalist at the Winter Grand Salon Show in New York, First Prize in the 2014 and 2016 GSIS Art Competition.  In 2018, the Philippine Art Awards gave him an award of merit.  In the same year, he was awarded the Metrobank Awards for Continuing Excellence and Service (Metrobank ACES).  The grand prize for the Don Papa Rum Arts competition is his most recent win. Penaso is one of the core members of Tupada Action and Media Art (TAMA) a group of performance artists and an active member of the Art Association of Philippines (AAP).

Sam Penaso’s STEEL LIFE opens on July 22, 2019 and runs until August 2, 2019.  For inquiries, please call Galerie Francesca at +632 5709495/6592667 or email

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