Emerging Artists Create Expressions on Canvas

September 28, 2021



Daniel Lampa

Fresh works and new exhibits show how emerging artists turn difficult experiences into creative expressions and invite others towards a more hopeful vision of the future. Allan Balisi, Is Jumalon, Jay Torres, Jel Suarez, Nice Buenaventura, Patricia Perez Eustaquio, and Ryan Villamael discuss the impact of the pandemic on their creative process, the role of art in society, and the continuation of their work. Through the adroit usage of various forms of media, the artists capture a microcosm of our collective situation and draw the connections that link individuals and societies to one another and the multiplicity of the epochs of their lives. 



For Allan Balisi, making art is a social act. “We’ve all felt isolated at some point or another,” he says. “Art is a means of involvement in society. I’m inspired by the courage of my artist friends, and their engagement in outright and everyday acts of resistance.”

Emerging artist's work
“Urgency of Making Kin”
oil on canvas, 60×60 inches, 2021


The potential of art to heal and uplift the spirit inspires Is Jumalon. “The news about the pandemic continues to overwhelm us,” she laments. “The world desperately needs even the slightest bit of empathy. I think art can give us that.” Jumalon finds value in the small, everyday occurrences that enrich our lives, as well as the larger strides that are made towards improvement. 

Emerging artist's work
“Found Empire 1&2”
4×7 ft each, (diptych), Soft pastel and charcoal on paper


Jay Torres aims to illuminate human experience through his art. His works serve to facilitate his own self-discovery and encourage the viewer to similarly look inwards. His solo show in Art Underground last March, titled “(un)occupied”, frames the concepts of absence and presence within the context of the lockdown.

Emerging artist's work
“Revisiting an Old Friend — Trauma”
mixed media, 36 x 48 inches


Throughout the lockdown, Jel Suarez maintained a prolific presence in the art world. At the time, she was based in Green Papaya Art Projects, which provides a platform for emerging artists. Her work was especially urgent, given that much of her time was preoccupied with restoring damaged materials after a fire ravaged their Kamuning space in the height of the pandemic. 

“Reading the Mountains”
Assemblage with tsuitate, artist’s book, and found stone, 41 x 35.75 inches, 2020
Photo by Touki Roldan


An eclectic twist characterizes Nice Buenaventura’s creations during the lockdown. She was dedicated to accomplishing her postgraduate studies in media and arts, and much of her work was used to accompany her dissertation. “Necessity inspired me to keep working during the lockdown. I like seeing commitments through,” she says firmly. “I think that art, during times of crisis, articulates difficulties and challenges into a cathartic form.”

“‘Thrashing Palm” and “Hum, as a Verb”, Installation view, 2020


Eustqauio notes how art can provide a means of escape from confinement. “People are always on their screens these days, looking at pictures, watching films, and all kinds of art. It provides ways of looking at things that allow people to think outside the box, and find creative connections and solutions to whatever they’re thinking about.”

“Endless Summer”
approximately 161 x 105 x 64 cm, various textiles, 2020


Villamael mulls over the effect of the pandemic on his productivity and creativity. “I think this time only proved how important art is in our lives, whether as an escape from our troubles or an articulation of them,” he says. “At one point, at the most intense moment of the lockdown, I was making a plate a day. It became my routine and it helped give my days some structure.” 

“Vista”, watercolor
Photo by Joseph Pascual

For more about these emerging artists, including information on upcoming exhibits, click on the link to BluPrint’s latest e-mag issue.

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