|with Emong and Plet at the opening, his self portrait behind|
44 paintings, each has a story to tell. If you sit down with him, he'll tell you the story and inspiration behind each painting. For instance, the 1992 'Birheng Walang Dambana' (Virgin without an altar) is about his friend whose girlfriend ditched him for a rich guy. He found an apt title from Victor Wood's song of the same title.
|Birheng Walang Dambana, 1992|
|Lumang Littrato (1994)|
|Emong's tatay with his eacher|
He said in an interview about his art "The human figure continues to be the focus of my works. The sound and fury of Manila street scenes have been the fitting accompaniment to the figures that graced my works throughout the years."
|Self portrati in ID Picture (1995)|
|Driver's Lounge (2011)|
|San Miguel Fluvial Parade (2010)|
Time flies by so fast. I remember meeting Emong for the first time in 1996. I was watching the concert of the Bolipata brothers in Sta. Ana Park and Plet introduced him to me. I was actually wondering what she was doing in Manila. The last time I saw her, she was happily studying at The Arts Student League and helping out as a paralegal in New York. She said she waiting for her US working visa.
|the painting that started it all, Gabay (1994)|
I can't forget that weekend. That Friday evening before heading out to Zambales, Plet was in tears because the star of the festival had an emergency and backed out. That meant, CASA didn't have a folk-rock concert to cap the festival. We found out that Joey Ayala was having a concert in Ayala and rushed to him. Plet, usually shy, gathered her wits and all thick-skinned, walked up to Joey after his performance. He must have sympathized with Plet who was still in tears because the next day, he showed up with his band in CASA.
So, the festival was a success... and the rest is history as the saying goes. By the way, Plet did get her visa, nonetheless stayed on. Of their first meeting, Emong said -
Emong's "In City and Country" exhibit will be on view until April 6, 2014. Don't miss it!
N.B. here's a painting of one of our dinners in Nueve de Pebrero (not exhibited, owner: Arthur).