When asked for the periods in his development or the landmarks in his career, Chabet answered that he had no periods, only commas. He refused periodization that compartmentalized, reified and impede the flow of art and artmaking.
Having formally studied architecture, Chabet is considered to be the pioneer in the Philippines of “conceptual art” or “art as idea” which started In the United States. It regards the concept behind the artwork as the art itself. He had his first solo exhibition at the Luz Gallery in 1961. He was the founding museum director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and served there as curator from 1967–1970. He initiated the first 13 Artists Awards, giving recognition to young artists whose works ‘show a recentness, a turning away from the past and familiar modes of art-making’. Chabet described his pieces as “creatures of memory” and himself as their “custodian.” His works are the result of a process of unraveling of fixed notions about art and meaning. Highly allegorical, his drawings, collages, sculptures and installations question modernity. His works are meditations on space, the transitory nature of commonplace objects and the collisions that occur with their displacement.