What the Philippines taught me……
Secret Fresh Gallery
Metro Manila, the Philippines
17th June to 28th June 2018
Due to my work at Asian Development Bank and AIESEC, I had the chance to live in Manila for one year. When I came here, every non-Filipino told me “I hate Manila, I hate the heavy traffic, the poverty issues, the rainy weather. “ But for me, I love Manila, I love the Philippines, it’s a special country who has taught me so much about life, nature, happiness, and love.
I still remember that the first time when I went to Baseco to make research about slum issues, it was heartbreaking to see the poverty and crime issues that affected the lives of people. The first time I went to a church and pray to the God, I asked the God “Did you see what happened in Baseco? Did you see what happened to these people who are suffering in slums ?” Then I told myself “I don’t care if the God has seen it or not, since I have seen it, I need to do something to make a change. ” Thus, I initiated the project “Color Up the Dark”, with the support of Ronac Art Center and Slum Tour, running workshops and creating murals with children who couldn’t get the education in slums and poor communities, to bring them happiness and hope. In this exhibition, you could the results of these workshops and murals, and my paintings based on what I have learned during the process.
Another thing that impressed me the most is the great nature in the Philippines. During my traveling to some islands like Bohol and Palawan, I admired the harmony between Filipino and nature, and created paintings based on my thoughts and experiences on the way. I still remember that one day in Ei-Nido, I was painting the Rice Field when the Typhoon came, I rode a motorbike to come back and fell down, all what in my mind that moment was to protect my painting well, and realized how hard it is for Filipino to fight against natural disasters, but they still keep positive beliefs towards life.
This exhibition is a closing of my one year life in the Philippines, in this exhibition, I’m going to share with you all what I have learned in this great country. I do appreciate everyone for coming into my world and enjoying these paintings, but what’s more, I hope these paintings could bring you some new views about the Philippines, about the poverty issues, about development, about happiness and love, about human and nature. I hope you could leave with some new thoughts and questions.
Last but not least, thanks to Bigboy, Pau and Ronac Art Center for supporting my art projects and exhibition, thanks to Chris Morris, Mei Kok and ADB Youth for Asia for providing me the chance to work in Manila and all the support, , thanks to Jigger Cruz and Lynyrd Paras for taking me into an interesting art world, thanks to Mowen for following your heart and continue dreaming, thanks to all artists and friends who I have met, because of you, the Philippines becomes so special for me.