Manuel Ocampo is born in Quezon City (Philippines) in 1965. He currently lives and works in Manila (Philippines).
After graduating from the University of the Philippines, Manuel Ocampo moved to Los Angeles where he studied at the California State University of Bakersfield and graduated in 1985. He lived nearly ten years in California, where he had his first solo show in 1988, which paved the way to a successful international career. Two major events of the European contemporary art scene contributed to establish his notoriety: the Documenta IX of Cassel in 1992 (conceived by Jan Hoet) and the Venice Biennale in 1993.
Manuel Ocampo represented the Philippines at the 57th Venice Biennale (Italy) with The Spectre of Comparison, an exhibition curated by Joselina Cruz. His historic paintings from the 1990's entered in dialogue with more recent pieces. The artis represented the Philippines for the second time at the biennale.
Manuel Ocampo's work has been showcased in many solo exhibitions throughout the world, such as Goya vu par Ocampo: La Junte des Philippines 1815- 2015 at the Musée Goya of Castres (France, 2015), during the 7th Asia Pacific Triennal Exhibition held at the Queensland Art Gallery of Brisbane (Australia, 2013), 20 Years of Intestinal Mishaps at the Carré St. Anne in Montpellier (France, 2013), The Corrections at Copenhagen Space of Drawing (Denmark, 2013), The 80's at the Topaz Arts of New York (USA, 2012), The Ghost Poo of Painting at Philara - Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst of Düsseldorf (Germany, 2011), Bastards of Misrepresentation at the Casa Asia of Barcelona (2005, Spain).
He also took part in many major group shows such as Underbrut at La Friche Belle de mai in Marseille (France, 2017), Plus jamais seul, Hervé di Rosa et les arts modestes at the Maison Rouge in Paris (France, 2017), Come as you are: Art of the 1990's at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin (USA, 2016), Manila Vice at the MIAM in Sète, (France, 2013), Les Maîtres du Désordre at the Fundacion la Caixa in Barcelona (Spain, 2013), Les Maîtres du désordre at the Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn (Germany, 2012), Reflexus at the Arte Contemporanea of Porto (Portugal, 2009), The Making of Art at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (Germany, 2009), at the Museu Colecção Berardo of Lisbon (Portugal, 2008), In the context of : La dégelée Rabelais organized by the FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon in Montpellier (France, 2008), Morts de rire at La Panacée, in Montpellier (France, 2008), L' Explosition at the FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, in Montpellier (France, 2007).
Manuel Ocampo's work is represented in several prominent public art collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art (USA), the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland (USA), the Laguna Art Museum (USA), the Contemporary Museum, in Honolulu (USA), the Whitney Museum of American Art (USA), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (MNCARS) (Spain), the Museo Extremeno e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporaneo (MEIAC) (Spain), the IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (Spain), the CAAM Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno (Spain), the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain (France), the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA), the Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna (Portugal), the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Mudam) (Luxembourg), the FRAC Languedoc Roussillon (France), the FRAC Ile-de-France (France), and the Museo Berado (Portugal).
Manuel Ocampo also received a number of prestigious grants and awards, such as the Giverny Residency (1998), the National Endowment for the Art (1996), the Rome Prize in Visual Arts by the American Academy in Rome (1995), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1995) and Art Matters Inc. (1991).