VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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New Christ (Bagong Kristo)
2003-00213
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Completed during the years building up towards the mass uprising, Bagong Kristo (New Christ) is a powerful depiction of the struggle of the working class. With the American flag as background, the artist proposes the United States as the source of capitalist oppression. The worker, as a victim of economic exploitation is re-figured as Christ. The cross is replaced by the dollar sign, a potent capitalist symbol, onto which the anguished and helpless figure is sacrificed.

History of the Object
Social Realism emerged forcefully in the Philippines only during the 1970s. This followed the imposition of Martial Law in 1972 by then President Ferdinand Marcos, prompting artists to participate in leftist movements in opposition to the government and the continuing American presence in the Philippines. These artists were also responding to the institutionalisation of Abstraction and international avantgardist orientations, which for them were alien to the daily struggles and concerns of the ordinary Filipino. The Social Realist movement came to its high point during the turbulence of the 1986 popular People’s Power that saw the peaceful removal of President Marcos from office.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Oil on canvas 
Measurements
H: 122.5 x W: 86.5 cm 
Creator name
Pablo Baen Santos 
Creator date
1943 
Where it was made
Philippines 
Geography
Philippines 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1980 
Function
Art Work 
Acquisition
This painting was acquired from Hiraya Gallery on 10th January 2003. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Singapore Art Museum 
Museum
Singapore Art Museum 
Credit line
 

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