Art collector Allan Ancheta releases his first book entitled Fusion, taking readers through the wonders of appreciating and collecting pieces, especially in a time when art can bring solace amidst the pandemic. Launching his book on Manila FAME’s new digital event FAME+ Market Days from October 20-22, Ancheta showcases artworks by Filipino talents featured in The Cabinet at Canterbury, an art gallery he built with his wife Jas Ancheta inside their home in Manila.
“Fusion is an exploration of the arts, self, and environment. In learning more about the lives of the local artists and the contexts of their art, we go beyond what we see and gain a deeper appreciation of their work. This is a crucial step for those who wish to start their own collection. One’s environment also plays an important role, as these artworks bring spaces into life and can transform a place into a cabinet of curiosities,” says Ancheta.
Ancheta spotlights artists from various disciplines and backgrounds, promoting the diversity of the local art scene. He features the emotionally-driven abstract works of Ben-Hur Cabana, who was trained by accomplished painter and printmaker Romulo Olazo. Alongside Cabana is Khristina Manansala’s art inspired by childhood memories and religious themes, reminiscent of the works of her grandfather Vincent Manansala, a legendary cubist painter. Conveying human truth and the arts’ role in the country, the works of Nixxio Castrillo, son of the late Eduardo Castrillo, is also included in the collection among the many other brilliant artists in the gallery.
A significant milestone in his mission to advocate for Filipino artists, Ancheta launches his book through FAME+, a community and platform where exhibitors, buyers, stakeholders, as well as the design industry’s finest manufacturers and artisans, gather together to champion local talent.
The Fusion of art, stories, and spaces
In his book, Ancheta details his early influences and highlights the importance of choosing pieces that speak to the collector. Then working for the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), his late father Pio Ancheta, once took him to the Venice Biennale exhibition in Italy. It was through his father that he met Filipino National Artists Arturo Luz and Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera.
Drawing inspiration from his personal journey, Ancheta became more interested in the arts during his visits to his great grandfather’s collection of European artworks, nestled in his massive library in Baguio. Now a management consultant and a head of a pharmaceutical company, Ancheta continues to pursue his passion through his growing compendium of books and artworks.
Allan and Jas Ancheta’s exposure to various destinations around the world played an important role in the making of The Cabinet at Canterbury. Their sense of art, curation, and interiors were greatly inspired by their visits to museums such as The Louvre, British Museum, Uffizi Gallery, Musee D’ Orsay, Hanseatic Museum, and other Cabinets of Curiosities.
Guiding readers through the how-tos of collecting, Ancheta also emphasizes that aside from their significance, the pieces must complement the color and form of the gallery’s interiors. His love for the arts and his wife Jas’ expertise in interior design has turned The Cabinet at Canterbury into more than just a wonder-room, but also a memorable melding of arts and design.
“In The Cabinet at Canterbury, our philosophy of fusing Art and Interiors is clearly displayed by these two rules. Most of the artwork displayed in the gallery reflects a possibility of expressing personal tastes and preferences, but also serves as a possible complement to a room design option,” mentions Ancheta in his book.
Moving into their dream home in 2008 was an exciting milestone for the Anchetas, but finding a suitable designer was a challenge. Learning interior design on her own, Jas successfully transformed their humble abode from what was once a blank canvas, into a fusion of art and life. This experience led her to professionally pursue interior design and after graduating with honors at Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID), she set up her own firm, Jas Ancheta Interiors, as a licensed designer.
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An essential book for art enthusiasts and collectors alike, Fusion tells a story of the transformative role of art in one’s life. The passion and family endeavor behind Jas Ancheta Interiors that made The Cabinet at Canterbury possible, is a testament that the fusion of art, stories, and spaces can make one’s personal journey more meaningful.
Text and photos courtesy of Jas Ancheta Interiors.