Contours and Magic: The Art of Mr. Eman Mediana Santos

Eman Santos and Collectors
Eman Santos and Collectors (Photo courtesy of The Artologist Galler/Ron and Bambi De Castro, 2016)

The Chinese sage Confucius had said, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” It is true.

But for the artist Eman Mediana Santos, those ignorable things like pipes and fiber glass are things that are source of beauty.

Santos as you observe, is a very versatile artist. He paints and sculpts. And whenever he scupts, he sees to it that his scupltures will not just be another piece that will occupy a space on someone else’s table or display cabinet. It should be functional and useful so that the collector of his piece will not simply admire it but use it and become part of his daily life.

Like a magician, Santos has been able to create beautiful lamps from bent PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) pipes and fiber glass. But according to Santos, in his future works, he will use glass bowls.

The method, as you look at it, will never be easy. You need to heat it, bend it, and command the material to take shape based on the idea of the creator. This means the artist needs to play god, using the elements—fire and water and wind and perhaps, earth—just to create something wonderful.

And seeing his works, you will tell yourself that indeed, he had done a very good job for his creations, most of them are tree lamps, whose designs are based on his Trees Series paintings, are mesmerizingly beautiful.

The light coming out from it are like lights that comes from the netherworld, where elves, fairies and sirens reside.

Looking at these lovely works, you will probably say what Peter Pan had said: “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust,” for they are magnificent, and there’s no exaggeration in this statement.

Moreover, his works are not only tribute to Mother Nature. It is also a tribute to the family.

“I used the tree to symbolize the mother and the father. The trunk is the father, being the pillar that supports the family. The light coming from the lamp is the mother, for she is the one who guides the children and brings light to one’s home. The branches and the circles or the fruits, they symbolize the children,” Santos said in an email interview.

Knowing all these, one can safely say that Santos’ art is not only a statement of his ingenuity but a concrete manifesto of his belief about art: It should not only be beautiful, but it should also be meaningful.

Due this, Santos had received accolades here and abroad because of his works. And the hands of this author will join other hands to give Santos a round of applause for a job well done.

This was written on May 5th, 2016 for the exhibit of Eman Mediana Santos on 18 June 2016 at The Artologist Gallery, 81 Xavier Residences, Suite 203, Xavier St., Greenhills, San Juan City, in Metropolitan Manila. The show run until June 28th. I have also published about him at

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