Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center will be launching—via Zoom—an online art exhibit, “Mandala: Tessellation of Culture” on 23 November 2021, 2 pm, Philippine Standard Time. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are required to register using an authenticated Zoom account.

About the Exhibit

Mandala is a radial art form known for symmetrical geometric patterns within a circular form. While its oldest known roots stem from Hindu art, the mesmerizing art form found its way to multiple cultural traditions ranging from Buddhism, Islam, and other Eastern religions, and reaching as far as the Arabian Peninsula and Japan. Distant civilizations, like those of pre-Columbian Mesoamericans, also utilized a similar style to preserve their myths and stories in circular stones.
Even pre-colonial Filipinos, perhaps indirectly influenced by their Asian neighbors, adopted similar styles in indigenous tattoos, like flowers and celestial sphere designs. Even when not depicting strict mandalas, the pre-colonial Filipinos took to heart the symmetry in tattoo culture. Traditionally, mandalas were used to express visual representations of religious symbols. However, the encompassing nature and beauty of this craft did not preclude secular artists from following its principles in other forms of self-expression.
Artists for the Mandala: Tessellation of Culture exhibit do not limit their artistic practice with the mandala style alone but will also be complementing it with other art styles, such as tessellation. This design usually focuses on small geometric shapes or patterns that fill empty spaces and gaps from the main artwork. This would ensure that full creative prowess is completely utilized and no free spaces in the canvas are wasted.

Participating Artists

Diana Alferez, Lance Reblando, Gabi Nazareno, Kathleen Dagum, Flor Baradi, Liby Limoso,  Lea Lim, Malaya Santos, Amihan De Sosa, Vanessa Tan Gana,  Carlito Camahalan, Cathy Lasam Ballo, Ritchee Yee, Noe Pobadora, Jojo Ballo, Dan Macapugay, Venazir  Martinez, Dante Palmes, Alfonso Manalastas, Cris Tamis, Zin Ortiz, Chito Alegre, Mariano Catague, Marwenette Dalagan, Ams Tolentino, and Ronnie Rudinas.

Asian Center’s 66th Anniversary

For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
This exhibit is part of the Asian Center’s 66th anniversary celebrations (view full list activities and sign up) and is organized by the UP Asian Center; Phi Kappa Phi (PKP); Balangay Arts Association (BAA); and Agusan Artist Association (AAA). 

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.