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Ma. Yohana Frias

Ma. Yohana Frias

National Museum of the Philippines

Exhibition Designer

Country: Philippines

ITP Year: 2018


Yohana is part of the curatorial team developing and implementing exhibitions and educational programs at the National Museum of the Philippines. She worked as a researcher in the Ethnology Division for five years, implementing visual anthropology exhibitions and film programs. As part of the Ethnology division, she also worked in diverse fields of collection management, field research of intangible cultural heritage, exhibition development and installation, and museum education.

In 2021, Yohana transferred to the Exhibition, Editorial, and Media Production Services Division where she works with a team to design and install exhibitions, produce exhibition content, publications, virtual tours, and video featurettes.

Yohana’s professional interests are mostly shaped by her degree in Behavioural Sciences and her work on exhibition design—she is interested in diverse fields of arts and the humanities, particularly museum interpretation, film, theatre, and photography. In 2023, she entered Edinburgh Napier University to study MA Heritage and Exhibition Design. Before she left the Philippines, she designed a regional exhibition about textiles, Paghabul, which will be launched for public viewing in 2024.

Yohana’s dream for museum of the future is for museums to do away with academic style of writing in exhibition texts. She hopes this will help to make more inclusive, accessible, and engaging museums.

At the British Museum
During her time on the International Training Programme, Yohana was based in the Asia Department, and spent her partner placement at Norfolk Museums Service.

In 2018 participants were asked to plan and propose a temporary exhibition, drawing on their existing museum experience and the skills learnt during the programme. Yohana worked with Sarah Abdolattif Elsheekh (Sudan) on her Object in focus project, Hunt Krater: A Journey of Culture.

Yohana’s place on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust.

Legacy Projects
In 2020, Yohana attended the International Training Programme’s series of online subject specialist sessions. Yohana attended:

The Samarkand Half Marathon, cultural accessibility and ‘going digital’ during COVID-19 Skill-Sharing Workshop: Interpretation and Label Writing

Go mMAD {Make Museums Accessible Digitally}

Outreach at Glasgow Museums – what now?

Egyptology in Lockdown: Connecting collections with isolated people

In 2022, Yohana delivered an Online Subject Specialist Session on the Behind-the-Scenes of Exhibitions at the National Museum of the Philippines. Later that year, she also participated in the ITP+ Leadership Training and Museums Association Conference held in Edinburgh.