Nestled within the neighborhood of Hillsborough Alabang in Cupang, Muntinlupa, is the home of interior designer, Jas Ancheta, her husband, Allan, and son, Bruce. Their house is not just a private family abode, but within its walls are a curated collection of paintings, masks, and sculptures. Their space, at once a dwelling and a gallery, is in itself a cabinet of curiosity. Rooted in Renaissance Europe, cabinets of curiosities—also known as cabinets of wonder, wonder rooms, or in German,Kunstkabinett, Kunstkammer or Wunderkammer—house collections of objects that modern terminology would categorize as natural history, geology, ethnography, archaeology, religious and historical relics, antiquities, and of course, art. Well-documented cabinets once owned by rulers, aristocrats, merchants, and scientists would become precursors to the modern day museum. One example: London’s British Museum, which evolved from the cabinet of the Irish physician and naturalist, Sir Hans Sloan.
The Cabinet at Canterbury, called so because the Ancheta homestead is located along Canterbury Street, is an ode to its owners’ long-standing passion for the arts. Allan’s late father, Pio Ancheta worked with the Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), and this developed in him an early interest for the arts while visiting exhibits at the DCP in his youth. As an adult, Allan—a former college professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), who has also worked with Unilab, Johnson & Johnson, and seven countries as a management consultant—purchased a ceramic Kabuki mask, and soon thereafter, began collecting other masks from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Today, the gallery houses 50 of these elaborate pieces. The Anchetas’ earliest artworks would also be comprised of sketches by the artists, Emmanuel “Manny” Garibay and Mark Justiniani.
It was not until the family began building their Muntinlupa home, that they would lay the groundwork for what would now become the Cabinet at Canterbury. In the process of construction, Jas took on the decision to design the house’s interiors. That initial endeavor spurred her to enroll at the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) where she would later graduate with honors. Between their design and consultancy work, the Anchetas would travel to further expose themselves to museums and art across the globe. These trips would take them to the Louvre, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Uffizi gallery, the Vatican Museum, and the Musee D’ Orsay. One particular destination, the Hanseatic Museum in Bergen, Norway, would stand out. Noted for its compact size—it was the former home of Hanseatic merchants—the gallery is a window into the actual lives of its 18th century dwellers. This would greatly inform the design philosophy of the Cabinet at Canterbury and define its unique proposition: a memorable space where art and interiors come together.
Established in mid-2018 as a brand under Jas’s design company, Jas Ancheta Interiors, the Cabinet at Canterbury is gaining ground as a new player to watch out for in the local art scene. Primarily invested in realist and abstract works that include paintings, brass and metal sculptures, and even functional items like door knobs and mirrors, the gallery’s growing roster of partner artists include Richard Buxani, Matthius Garcia, Nixxio Castrillo, Tonton Ador, Khristina Manansala, and Micko Macariola.
In April 2019, the Cabinet at Canterbury has been included as a community partner in Design Week Philippines, organized by the Design Center of the Philippines. The event brings together visionaries from diverse disciplines to foster creativity through various design talks, workshops, exhibits, tours, and film screenings.
As community partner, the Cabinet at Canterbury will hold a design talk for the public at Bar Pintxos, Alabang on April 27, 2019. An exhibit, also open to the public,will follow at the Manila Peninsula, Makati on April 28, featuring at least thirty veteran and emerging Filipino artists. Fittingly, these works will be staged alongside furniture, demonstrating the amalgamation of art and design. Both the artworks and the furniture, provided by Fashion Interiors by Paul Cornelissen, will be for sale.
The gallery’s participation in Design Week Philippines is a testament to a strong mission to promote Filipino talent, expanding the knowledge of collectors both seasoned and new, while educating the public on curating collections that will serve as significant features in their own homes, one that goes beyond surface aesthetics.
Design Week Philippines will run from April 22 to April 28, 2019. For updates on the latest at The Cabinet at Canterbury, follow @jasanchetainteriors on Instagram or visit www.jasancheatinteriors.com.
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