Tribal Art from the Philippines: Showcasing Figurative sculptures and Ritual Boxes

Why We Recommend it

Rarely shown in such a large group display, the University of Hong Kong’s exhibit features exquisite art from Ifugao, Bontoc and Kankanaey tribes in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines.


Together, the selected pieces showcase the aesthetic and artistic side of a wide range of sculptural art from the 18th through the 20th centuries.

The pieces are arranged in line with various centres of artistic gravity—‘archaic’, ‘minimalist’, ‘transition’—although the lines are sometimes blurred, and most of the ‘archaic’ material also shows ‘minimalist’ elements.

The works displayed range from sculptural objects, including ‘bulul’ statues, deities associated with the production of bountiful harvests; ‘hipag’ (or ‘hapag’) figures, war deities used as vehicles through which divine help can be summoned; sculptural boxes used in ceremonies, the ‘punamhan’; and various boxes for the storage of food—sometimes called ‘tangongo’ or ‘tanoh’—along with other functional items such as ‘kinahu’, food bowls, and toys.

Fascinated with the modern abstract style of these carved 19th- and 20th-century sculptures, the exhibition takes an artistic rather than an anthropological approach.


When: 1 Dec 2017 - 4 Feb 2018 Where: University Museum and Art Gallery – 90 Bonham Road – Pokfulam