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Geraldine Javier

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Name  Geraldine Javier

Role  Visual artist
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Born   1970 (age 51 years), Makati, Philippines

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Geraldine Javier is a contemporary Filipina Visual Artist who work is best known for her work which blends of painting with various media, and is "recognized as one of the most celebrated Southeast Asian artists both in the academic world and in the art market."


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She rose to prominence in 2003 when she received the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Thirteen Artists award., and has since exhibited her works widely both in the Philippines and abroad.

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Early Life and Training

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Born in 1970, in Makati City, Javier did not start out with a training in arts as most of her contemporaries did, having first pursued a career in nursing before turning to the arts.

When she did eventually begin her art training through a bachelor's degree at University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) College of Fine Arts, she was strongly influenced Roberto Chabet, who is known for "highly conceptually oriented training" - a fact which some critics credit her "predilection for making art which emphasises intellectual engagement over immediate emotional response."

Visual style

Javier's work is best known for its blending of various media - sometimes with her oil paintings incorporated into installation art, and sometimes with various media such as embroidery or found objects prominently incorporated into her canvases.

Artist and art writer Nastia Voynovskaya, describing Javier's show, “Stuck in Reverse", in Berlin, notes:

"Instead of stretching her canvases, she incorporates her oil painting into her installations, sewing them like tapestries into tent structures that evoke the feeling of “home.”

Prominent Themes

Malaysian curator and arts writer Adeline Ooi describes her work in context:

"She belongs to a new generation of young Filipino artists whose interests are variegated and extensive, and who, unlike their social-realist predecessors, are engaged in pursuing the personal and the idiosyncratic. These voices from the periphery express powerful individual narratives influenced by international media and local pop culture. Their works are charged with tension and provocation, combining cool, calculated sophistication with raw urban grit -“the general low-end third world stuff.

Voynovskaya furthers that "[her] works show a strong reference of mortality. Combining cool, calculated sophistication with raw urban grit. Images of death, misery, dysfunctional relationships, and emotional violence are recurrent themes. Her world thrives on complex, viscous thoughts and intimations, silent tensions and implosions."

Ooi notes that the use of religious iconography in some of Javier's work, while "devoid of any affiliation with a particular religion" and aiming at "communicating universal, collective values," is "connected to her own biography, having lived and struggled with the catholic culture in the Philippines." She quotes Javier as saying in 2001:

I had a primary and secondary Catholic education. The nuns taught us of the sacrifices of Jesus and the other martyrs and from this I can deduce that the catholic religion‘s foundation was built on blood and guilt as a consequence. The same guilt that the church exploits as it continues to exert an almost authoritarian influence on Philippine society and our government to the point of paralysis in terms of decision and policy making."


She is now known locally due to her many exhibits in the Philippines. Some of her works are:

  • "Curiosities" at the Vargas Museum, U.P. Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines (2013)
  • "Samploc Cave Paintings" at the Finale Art Gallery, Philippines (2008)
  • "Living Images, Leaden Lives" at the West Gallery, Art Center, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines (2008)
  • "Girls Will Not Be Girls" Art Center, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, Manila, Philippines (2006)
  • "Weight of Light" Finale Gallery, Lao Center, Makati, Manila, Philippines (2005)
  • Since 2004, Geraldine has been exhibiting her work internationally. Some include:

  • "Playing God in an Art Lab" at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore (2012)
  • "Museum of Many Things" at the Valentine Willie Fine Art, Singapore (2011)
  • "In The Beginning..." at Arario Gallery, Korea (2011)
  • Achievements

  • Participated at the Prague Biennale, Prague, Czech Republic (2009).
  • Awarded with the Thirteen Artists Award, issued by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP), Manila.
  • References

    Geraldine Javier Wikipedia