One of Maribel Ongpin's picks in the upcoming Leon Gallery Asian Cultural Council Auction 2021—"New Moon and Golden Sun" by Norberto Carating

Tastemaker’s list: Maribel Ongpin picks the best artworks from the upcoming Leon auction

This champion of Philippine textiles and its preservation is also a champion of Filipino artists and what they can achieve  
ANCX Staff | Feb 20 2021

The purpose of these tastemaker lists we do is to serve as guide for readers and prospective bidders. Just in case they need their hand held in navigating the auction catalogue, the list will do just that—start them off with a few key pieces, and then they can go about their way surveying the lots on offer, choosing the pieces that really speak to them. 

So it’s always nice when we come upon a set of choices that train our eyes to artworks that are kind of off the beaten path, stuff we might have missed had someone not pointed us to their direction. Which is how Maribel Ongpin’s list read to us. It’s a very interesting list in that it’s not made of the usual suspects—each of the five paintings chosen by a pair of eyes who’ve formed a singular taste in art over the decades. 

“They are idiosyncratic based on a wish list,” Ongpin says of her picks from the Leon Gallery Asian Cultural Council Auction 2021 offerings. “Meaning I wish that I had seen and acquired them sometime in the past. Now they are just my dreams.” 

The auction is happening on the 27th of February and is co-presented by ANCX. As president of the Asian Cultural Council Foundation Inc., Maribel helps raise funds for the most promising Filipino artists so they could pursue studies and residencies abroad and eventually enrich the local art scene with their work and ideas. 

Below are her choices: 

Lot #74 Abstract by Florencio B. Concepcion

"An artist who for too long was not exhibited enough and therefore not known enough. Now he has come into his own. The work is colorful, powerful, modern, a complete metaphor of contemporary experience."


Lot #156 New Moon and Golden Sun by Norberto Carating

"This is a mesmerizing work in form and color by a well-regarded artist. "


Lot #59 Lambat by Tomas Bernardo

"A classic Filipino subject that is graceful and iconic. Bernardo was of the old school, a gentleman painter who had many talents."


Lot #50 The San Fernando Bridge by Araceli Limcaco Dans

"A well-known artist paints a traditional, historic and familiar inner and older Manila view in a riot of color."


Lot #36 Archetypal Dream by Jose V. Ayala

"Again a painter too long out of view shows a mysterious subject in a masterful color field rendering the work as otherworldly but familiar and enchanting."