Gallery Nine Manila

A Feast for the Senses: Entre Blanc 2023
by Rissa Coronel

When we think of the museum and gallery experience, our attention naturally gravitates towards the visual aspect—the art that unfolds before our eyes. Still, the rest of our senses run in the background to enrich the overall experience: the softness of the exhibition rug underfoot, the warmth radiating from the exhibit lights, the faint scents of various artistic media permeating the room, the ambient hum of conversation among fellow gallery-goers, the carefully chosen exhibit music that envelops us.

For the second edition of Entre Blanc, taking place at ManilART'23 from October 11 to 15, Gallery Nine has partnered with 13 visual artists and one musician to elevate the exhibition into a multisensory experience.

Entre Blanc as multisensory marvel

Establishing multisensory experiences at Entre Blanc aligns with its overall spirit: celebrating the creative process and offering artists a space to explore. Last year’s exhibit encouraged artists to envision the show as a blank slate, an opportunity for uncharted expeditions. This time, the experience transcends the visual realm.

At the core of Entre Blanc: A Multisensory Exhibition are the creative visions of 13 visual artists and a music producer. The producer was invited to create music for the exhibit which served as “prompts” for the visual artists, who were then free to interpret these musical prompts as they saw fit.

Gab Loste, the exhibit’s head and ManilART coordinator, explains the intention behind the exhibition, stating that it aims to be “interactive in a way that there is music. First, all the works are inspired by these two pieces. Second, during the exhibit, the audience will be given headphones to experience the music that inspired the artworks.”

A suite of sensory symphony

The Entre Blanc musical composition is a two-movement suite, a creation of producer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Gregory. Gregory’s musical journey began with the piano, sparking an exploration of genres ranging from classical and jazz to contemporary music. His musical evolution, as well as his perception of the world, is profoundly influenced by his synesthesia, a sensory condition where sounds evoke colors.

Though Gregory typically doesn’t consciously utilize synesthesia in his music, he noted that it served as an unexpected wellspring of inspiration for Entre Blanc, adding a layer of visual and emotional richness to the two movements. Ultimately, he aimed to recreate the feeling of immersion and the birth of new artistic realms. He explains, “I sort of simulated that experience in my head, ‘what would that be like’ and ‘how [would you] enter into a world and immerse yourself in that world?’ And then create your own world from that.”

The first movement, titled Cascade, serves as an introduction to this new world- characterized by a soundscape of waves and energy that envelop the listener, preparing them for the artistic odyssey ahead. This was done deliberately, with Gregory’s intention for this movement being to ease the audience gradually into immersion.

Its second movement, Orbit, adheres to a more classical structure distinct from the first. Gregory aimed to create a sense of organic flow by exploring melody and harmony more thoroughly; the title itself also reflects the composition’s cyclical nature, ending where it began, providing a sense of familiarity and homecoming.

Fresh and familiar perspectives

A diverse group of artists has been invited to contribute their creative visions to Entre Blanc. This ensemble of talent includes both first-timers and familiar faces from the exhibition's first run. Newcomers to the Entre Blanc stage include animator and illustrator Roberto Lolong, contemporary oil painter Abby Añover, surrealist Janos Delacruz, watercolorist and printmaker Yas Doctor, and versatile artist-educator Diwa Abueva.

Returning from the previous Entre Blanc exhibition, familiar faces include the versatile graphic artist Lee Caces, artist-advocate Melissa Yeung-Yap, figurative abstract painter Athena Tolentino, self-taught mixed-media artist Katelyn Miñoso, digital sneaker pop artist C. Yu (also known as Sneakerdoodles), abstract-expressionist painter Bea Policarpio, and the detail-oriented painter and illustrator Kara Pangilinan. Figurative painter Isobel Francisco completes this ensemble of artistic talent.

This impressive group shall be the wellspring of different perspectives. Loste points out, “What’s interesting to me is that we gave the same music to these visual artists, but they all take away something different.”

A feast for the senses

Engaging with the same piece in various ways, exploring the multiplicities of artistic intent, and riffing off each other, is what continually makes Entre Blanc fascinating. Diwa Abueva, one of the artists, shares her creative process as she immersed herself in Joseph Gregory's suite, particularly drawing inspiration from its second movement for her acrylic on canvas painting titled A Lover's Elegy (2023):

“Upon repeated listening, the composition evoked a cinematic experience reminiscent of a classic noir film score, evoking emotions of loss, remembrance, and potential reconciliation. It brought to mind one of my favorite films, Cinema Paradiso, directed by Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore,” Abueva explains. The work she showcases in Entre Blanc is indeed deeply inspired by film and popular culture, with the initial prompt, in turn, evoking another favorite multimedia work of art for her.

With Entre Blanc, the ManilART audience has the opportunity to see through the eyes and hear through the ears of what inspires artists. Leveraging our rich diversity of perceptions is what the exhibit aims for, as Loste explains, “The goal is to create an experience that resonates with our viewers on multiple levels.” Each one of us may resonate with different aspects—the music, the visual art, the artist’s intent, and all the spaces in between—and that’s what makes the multisensory experience one of a kind.

Visit “Entre Blanc: A Multisensory Exhibition” at ManilART’23. ManilART runs from October 11-15, 2023 at the SMX Convention Center, 3rd Level, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City.

Call (0977) 807 3369 or visit for details.

Kristo Manila Comes Home to Gallery Nine
April 21, 2023

Kristo Manila comes home to Gallery Nine where it first launched years ago. Having done the rounds and sprouting many editions all over the country, it is presented as an Easter devotional show featuring a stellar roster of 57 artists led by Salvador Ching, Fil Delacruz, Pandy Aviado, Danny Rayos del Sol, Roen Capule and more.

The exhibit opened last Thursday, April 20 with guests of honor Fr. Domingo Salonga, parish priest of Barasoain Church and longtime supporter of Filipino artists, as well as top artist Ramon Orlina and wife Lay Ann Orlina who have presented and mounted devotional exhibits throughout the years.

The show runs until May 28 at Gallery Nine, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong and is viewable online through

Gallery Nine: Unleash, Celebrating the Year of the Water Tiger
March 29, 2022
by Rissa Coronel

Gallery Nine rings in the Lunar Year of the Water Tiger: last celebrated 60 years ago, the tiger symbolizes power, boldness, and a competitive spirit. Tiger years mark new beginnings and leaning into its power heralds a fruitful year of principled ambition.

Did you know that tigers are strong swimmers? Like the ocean's currents, 2022 will bring about waves of change; this intuitive element and instinct-driven tiger come together for a year full of possibility.

Gallery Nine continues its annual celebrations of the zodiac year- investing in the creative visions of artists for the coming year, the exhibit shall not just uplift artists. It will also provide art lovers some much-needed inspiration for the year ahead.

Artists for the exhibit include Ella Hipolito, Fhiexbird Orozco, Glenn Cagandahan, Harold Gomez, James Frani Dayrit, Jerry R. Morada, Jinggoy Salcedo, Lucky Salayog, Pepe Mendoza, and Richard Buxani.

Ella Hipolito is a painter and sculptor who has gained renown for her imaginative use of coffee as an artistic medium; she has also used eclectic materials such as recycled cans, bullet shells and stones to produce lively compositions.

Fhiexbird Orozco is a familiar face for the gallery's annual zodiac year festivities, having showcased his mythical "Dragon Bull'' sculpture for the previous year. Having started his metal art in 2010, his expertise is breathing new life into old pieces such as spoons, forks, and copper wires.

Glenn Cagandahan is a multi-awarded sculptor with an internationally auctioned piece at the Borobudur Auction House. While formally trained with traditional materials, he continues to seek innovation in his utilities and process with the goal to uplift Philippine sculpture’s cultural heritage.

Another familiar name from last year's zodiac exhibit, James Frani Dayrit dazzled patrons with "The Ox" metal sculpture. He is a machinist by trade who uses his technical aptitude of metalworking to create detailed works with intricate patterns.

Jinggoy Salcedo's steel-and-glass sculptures belie his self-teaching in the difficult media. It is with stainless steel and glass that he crafts natural, organic compositions—pushing past expectations of such materials.

Harold Gomez is a multi-awarded painter and sculptor who has uplifted the arts in Bicol, his home region, where he organized several exhibits and participated in artists' group initiatives. His body of work is diverse, featuring different subjects such as Philippine culture, nature, and brightly-imagined interior lives.

Lucky Salayog studied architecture, but is a self-taught sculptor who continually reveals the beauty in junk metals. The multi-awarded artist's creations include boats, flying machines, robots, and even caricature sculptures that give the most unexpected materials a new lease on life.

Jerry Morada is a GSIS Prize 2014 winner and participant in the international Art Expo Malaysia 2009. His breadth of work extends from painting to sculpture, with his media of choice for the latter being marble and wood—making fluid compositions with hard materials.

Richard Buxani is a metal sculptor through and through- he was a finalist in the GSIS Competition for Sculpture in 2018 and has had multiple exhibitions both locally and internationally. His polished brass surfaces render movement, with textures down to the most minute detail.

In exhibits and auctions, Pepe Mendoza's works have consistently shown what it means for art to be dynamic- primarily focusing on metal sculpture, he often creates human subjects in motion and emotion. His subjects' positions and facial expressions rouse simple metal material into action.

The opening night was held last March 6, on a Sunday night with artists present at Gallery Nine. It was a special occasion as the gallery’s first in-person exhibition of the year; pandemic restrictions such as social distancing and maximum capacity were followed, providing buyers a safe opportunity to admire the pieces themselves as opposed to the virtual walkthrough option that Gallery Nine has practiced over the past two years. The event was graced with the presence of current senatoriable Neri Colmenares, chairperson for Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan with a background in human rights law and activism. Colmenares, along with exhibited artists and Gallery Nine organizers, opened the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by an intimate gathering of everyone present.

Like the water tiger, this year’s roster of artists is daring with their chosen media– adapting to unique challenges, rendering beauty from the most unexpected of materials. Gallery Nine has also earned its stripes through successful exhibitions throughout the pandemic, as well as consistent participation in ManilArt.

Despite changing currents of the times, we can all learn something from this year’s courageous, adaptable animal. The exhibit is currently held at Gallery Nine, at the fourth floor of Building A, SM Mega Mall, EDSA Corner, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong. The online walkthrough, catalog and additional information are all available at– with the online walkthrough available until March 31, 2022.