Few things surprise me at Philippine malls, one being a large art gallery.
I’ve seen art galleries, usually not inside a mall. I’ve seen art galleries inside malls, but never large. And by “large”, I mean 735 square meters (7911.47 feet), which is how large the floor space of the Gateway Gallery is at the Araneta Center. I’ve been to the Gateway Mall many times but I never knew there is an art gallery at the rooftop. My friend Kelvin led Cat and me through what seemed like a maze that ended at our most surprising destination yet.
The gallery houses the exhibit called Sining Saysay, a showcase of 30 paintings by different local artists, which include National Artists Benedicto Reyes “BenCab” Cabrera and the late Abdulmari Asia Imao.
Gateway Gallery is quiet, save for the usual chatter of visitors every now and again. If you strain your ears closely, you could hear the TV at the far end of the room. While silence is preferred at the gallery, they also invite all entering individuals to download an app on their mobile phones, which would serve as their tour guide in their ears for the paintings and the history depicted in them. The app scans a painting, which then starts a narration—best done with earphones or headphones on.
While it was great being awed by artworks and gain insights to Philippine history, my friends and I had somewhere else to be. Cat never finished seeing all the paintings and Kelvin had to cut the TV time short. Thankfully, we could return there.
Fifth Floor, Gateway Tower, Gen. Roxas Avenue corner Gen. Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center, Quezon City