June 4th, Pentecost Sunday, at the Galería Alvero in Katipunan, Quezon City—the son of Angono, Rizal, Nemesio “Nemi” R. Miranda Jr. (b. 1949) has opened his solo exhibit. Aptly titled Dreamworld, the exhibit showed the newest creations of Nemiranda, all done in acrylic except for his studies, which were rendered all in watercolor.
Of course, all of these works are products of the artist’s pure imagination, being the forerunner of imaginative figurism—the term the artist has coined himself.
In a chit-chat with him with other artists, NeMiranda (the artist’s moniker) shared his story about his work, on how the figures came out.
“I just follow the drips of the watercolor. Whatever the figure that appears, I just retrace it and enhance it,” NeMiranda said.
Imagination is the mother of creativity, we all know that. It is the set of wings that will let you fly. Just like what the great Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) quipped,
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”
The above statement is true. All things, before they came into being, were like that—objects of someone’s vivid imagination.
This is the “edge” of NeMiranda.
He has this power or capacity to immediately transfer the figures in his mind onto the canvas. No need for the “original” or the tangible thing. It is jut like that—pure imagination concretized by means of a painting or a piece of sculpture.
What makes NeMiranda’s works more wonderful, if not astonishing, is that they represent the Filipino—his core values, his beliefs (religious, political, and philosophical), his character. In other words, NeMiranda’s paintings reflect the Filipino mind, spirit, and soul.
This is the very reason why you will find in his paintings the real, the sacrificial, and the protective love of the parents to their children; the dreams and aspirations of the ordinary folk, working hand just to have some food on their table, roof over their hands, and some clothes to cover their dark brown skin; the unsung heroes and heroines of his Las Islas Filipinas; the mythical and mystical creatures that roam the fields and plains, the mountains and seas, and the forest—all of which are continuously under threat because of corporate greed, legal loopholes in the existing environmental and economic laws of his bayang magiliw—the kapre (the cigar-smoking giant cover with hairs and allegedly keeping some pots of gold inside the tree which this wonderful, yet dreadful, creature resides), the duwende (dwarfs or elves, from the Spanish term, duende); the sirena (mermaids); and some sea monsters, the like of Bakunawa; and the images of the folk beliefs of his countrymen, namely the use of anting-anting for protection, for spiritual combat, and for the accumulation of material wealth (the pampaswerte).
Furthermore, using paints and brushes, NeMiranda captures the very essence of being a human: his strengths and weaknesses, his thoughts and feelings, and his sense of community and responsibility. Moreover, through his paintings, NeMiranda also shares his worldview, as a human being and as an artist, gifted with the deep understanding of human creativity and curiosity.
Aside from being an artist, NeMiranda is also a cultural worker, who diligently worked and supported not only the local art and tourism in Angono, but also the national art and culture, being the former head of the visual arts committee of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
As a cultural worker, NeMiranda never forgets to pay homage to people who worked hard, dreamed, and aspired to keep the culture—the traditions, the folk stories, music, traditional instruments and the like—alive and well-preserved. One of his paintings on show was the story of Pedro Penduko, a story written and popularized by the King of Filipino Comics and the Dean of Filipino Illustrators, Francisco V. Coching (29 January 1919 – 01 September 1998), serialized in the legendary weekly, Liwayway (formerly owned by the Roces clan, now affiliated, since the 1970s, with the Manila Bulletin, a local English daily founded in 1906, and known during the American colonial period as Manila Daily Bulletin).
Indeed, it is indeed a privilege to meet a wonderful and talented artist like NeMiranda.
At this point, I am personally inviting you to visit Galería Alvero for his show will run for two weeks.