Art inside the UP ISSI

UP ISSI art installation, sculptures, and paintings

UP ISSI is known for its training, research and extension programs for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Designed by Delfin Sanchez, Armando Reyes, and Raul Paredes, the UP ISSI building or Virata Hall is, unbeknownst to most, adorned with several art pieces made by known artists, such as the late National Artist for Sculpture Napoleon Abueva.

In the middle of the atrium at the first floor, a massive 24-feet steel sculpture by Abueva titled “Tribute to the Filipino Entrepreneur” can be found. Abueva’s sculpture is a “vertical file of abstract curvilinear and rectilinear elements, symbolic of the massive bold and imaginative programs of small industry development all over the country.”

art inside up issi
Napoleon Abueva’s sculpture “Tribute to the Filipino Entrepreneur”

The four murals along the walls of the atrium are Romeo Carlos’ 2003 paintings. Here, artisans of several traditional livelihoods are depicted on Carlos’ paintings. Meanwhile, at the Open Plaza located at the second floor, Apolinario Bulaong’s wall reliefs can be found. They feature Filipino native craftsmanship and field work like logging and farming.

art inside up issi


art inside up issi
Apolinario Bulaong’s “Manggagawang Pilipino” extreme right panel
art inside up issi
Apolinario Bulaong’s “Manggagawang Pilipino” extreme left panel

The four-storey Virata Hall’s steps leading to next higher floors have paintings that portray barrio and tranquil lives. Further inside the offices and training rooms, more paintings can be found like the donors of the room renovations, art pieces by young artists featuring depictions of micro industrial workers, and art work by UP ISSI employees themselves showcasing their talent for visual arts.

Oil paintings along the stairs:


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Artworks by UP ISSI staff

art inside up issi
by Arlene Eleanor E. Liberal


art inside up issi
by Jocelle P. Mamaril

More than the artistic adornments of Virata Hall, inside the building are the men and women of the pioneer MSME catalyst in the country. Thousands upon thousands of entrepreneurs and their staff have been built up through UP ISSI’s service streams since 1966. From a bilateral agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands to conduct and help the small-scale sector of the Philippine society, the UP ISSI is now a robust and known institution celebrating its 53rd year.


Photos by: Darrem S. Bautista



The views expressed herein or in any article in the UP ISSI website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of UP ISSI nor the views of the University of the Philippines.

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