EMPTY CHAIR as an art canvas!

On November 12, 2019, the Visual Arts Helping Hands Foundation, Inc (VAHHFI), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila will stage its 2nd major exhibition – Chapter 2: The Empty Chair Project.

The exhibit will serve as the inaugural launch of VAHHFI and as a coming out event following its initial 2017 exhibition by its founding members to raise funds primarily for visual artists’ welfare and hospitalization assistance, which resulted in the eventual creation of the foundation.

For this year’s project, VAHHFI aims to raise funds for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and of selected mental health advocacy groups, such as: Anxiety and Depression Support Philippines, Buhay Movement, Silakbo and #MentalHealthPh, as well as to support VAHHFI’s healthcare initiative for practicing visual artists and artist support practitioners like curators, art critics, art professors, and established gallery workers and other support professions.

To launch the said project, VAHHFI invited various online media to a formal briefing held at the Milky Way Cafe in Makati City.

Present during the event is sculptor Daniel Dela Cruz who is also a founding member of VAHHFI and two (2) of the young artists who participated in this year’s exhibition – Marc Aran Reyes and Ciron Seneres.

Daniel Dela Cruz

Also present during the event are VAHHFI Chairman Dr Joven Cuanang, Dr Steve Lim, Tina Colayco of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and Ricky Francisco who was tapped by the foundation to curate the exhibition.

More than providing collectors a chance to purchase unique artworks, VAHHFI, through the exhibition provides them the opportunity to help not just the artists but the professionals who support the artists in the visual art ecosystem.


Using “The Empty Chair” as a visual metaphor, the exhibit tackles the current and timely subject of Mental Health, and the idea that art heals.

VAHHFI challenged the best-of-the-best of the Philippine visual arts scene to interpret, translate, and realize what an empty chair means and to conceptualize a chair series that embody the message of “hope, kindness, and positivity to all.”

By providing them with designer chairs and stools sourced from BoConcept and Casa Bella to work on, the artists not only to provide “support” to those suffering from anxiety, depression, and similar psychological issues but also to engender and encourage mental fitness as a part of one’s own overall well-being.

Here’s a video of our interview with Daniel Dela Cruz and artists Marc Aran Reyes and Ciron Seneres:

Aside from Daniel, Marc and Ciron, Chapter 2: The Empty Chair Project is also participated by Leo Abaya, Fruitjuice Factory Studio with Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Annie Cabigting, Valeria Cavestany, Charlie Co, Louie Cordero, Jayson Cortez, Marina Cruz, Kawayan de Guia, Antipas “Biboy” Delotavo, Dexter Fernandez, Dino Gabito, Nona Garcia, Guerrero “RG” Habulan, Gregory Halili, Riel Hilario, Nilo Ilarde, Pete Jimenez, Erwin Leaño, Raul Lebajo, Luis Lorenzana, Gene Paul Martin, Jason Montinola, Leeroy New, Rando Onia, Jim Orencio, Bernie Pacquing, Lynyrd Paras, Richard Quebral, Jose Tence “Bogie” Ruiz, Stanley Ruiz, Luis Santos, Rodel Tapaya, and MM Yu.

The exhibit will run from November 12, 2019, Tuesday, to January 31, 2020, Friday with the opening reception on November 12 at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex along Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

The project is supported by Meralco, PLDT, AXA, Casa Bella and Bo Concept. For more information, visit metmuseum.ph, call +632 708 7828, or email us at [email protected]

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