The history of art in the Philippines is divided into four distinct periods. These are the Pre-Spanish, Spanish, American and Contemporary periods. Each period has its own unique characteristics and contributions to Philippine art.
Pre-Spanish Period: The Pre-Spanish period (before 1521) is considered the earliest period of Philippine art. During this time, art was heavily influenced by the native cultures of the islands. Examples of this period’s artwork include carvings in wood and stone, paintings on bark cloth, traditional weavings and basketry, sculptures made from clay or stone, and jewelry crafted from gold or silver.
Spanish Period: The Spanish colonization of the Philippines (1521-1898) marked a shift in Filipino art. During this time, religious themes dominated most works as Christianity was introduced to the islands.
Art also shifted to a more European style as Spanish influencers brought with them techniques such as fresco painting and oil painting. Many churches were adorned with various works depicting religious themes like religious icons, biblical scenes, and images of Catholic saints.
American Period: The American occupation (1898-1946) saw a further shift towards western influences in Philippine art. With American influence came modernist trends such as cubism, expressionism, abstract expressionism and post-impressionism which were adopted by Filipino artists in their works. During this period there was also an emergence of nationalist sentiments which led to some artwork focusing on themes such as Filipino identity and independence movements within the country.
Contemporary Period: The Contemporary period (1946 onwards) has seen a resurgence in traditional Filipino arts but with a modern twist. Artists now have access to a much wider range of materials which have allowed them to explore new mediums such as performance art, installations pieces and multimedia works . Additionally there has been an increase in awareness regarding indigenous cultures leading to more artwork focusing on these cultures as well as issues faced by minority groups within society.
Conclusion: Philippine art has gone through many changes over its long history with each period contributing its own unique characteristics to Philippine culture today . From ancient carvings made out of wood or stone during the Pre-Spanish era up until contemporary pieces exploring modern social issues – Philippine art continues to evolve and be appreciated around the world today .