Thomasian painter for the royal family of Jordan brings his raw ideas home in solo exhibit

Elmer Dumlao encapsulates the bareness of his ideas through a cross of techniques and textures in his latest solo exhibit “Raw” at the Altro Mondo in Makati. (Photo by M.J.F. Uy)

ELMER Dumlao encapsulates the bareness of his ideas through a cross of techniques and textures in his latest solo exhibit “Raw” at the Altro Mondo in Makati, which opened June 22.

Dumlao, an alumnus of the old UST College of Architecture and Fine Arts (CAFA), said he added a minimal touch of aquamarine and tangerine to each artwork to breathe more life into his works.

“The artworks are untitled and are only labeled from 1 to 27 because the idea is to give the audience a raw experience and let them process them and turn it into something meaningful,” Dumlao told the Varsitarian.

Dumlao said the exhibit features works of “spontaneity and authenticity” – adjectives that best capture his “sudden bursts of ideas” conceived in his idle time as a painter for the royal family of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Of the pieces of the series, the huge 74×106-inch “RAW – 1” is the most eye-catching; the giant doodle of a cat with its tail erect is easily the first thing one sees upon entering the gallery.

“I want the audience to give my artworks their own title, because in doing so, they will have their own collection of my ideas,” he said.

Dumlao started working for the royal family of Jordan in 2006, and in 2010 had his first solo exhibit at the Zara Gallery in Amman, Jordan. His works were sold out.


Another exhibit, which featured two veteran Thomasian artists, also opened at the same location as Dumlao’s solo exhibit.

Multi-awarded landscape abstractionist Raul Isidro had three works on display; the first two, “Red Mountain” and “Fight for the Red Mountain,” are acrylic paintings of Philippine landscapes.

His third work, titled “Lunar Reflection,” is a painting of the moon with blue, scarlet, green and yellow hues.

“In the province, you can’t see anything but stones and the sea; that’s why I used that as my reference. I can’t seem to leave the expression of landscapes behind,” Isidro said.

Isidro, a CAFA alumnus, was a recipient of the “Ten Outstanding Men of the Philippines” award in 1979.

Thomasian artist Justin Nuyda also had three works from his “Search Mindscapes” series. The works, titled “Crescendo,” “Polyporus,” and “Rubra,” were drawn with an 18-inch brush to create smooth lines.

Nuyda, also a CAFA alumnus, was part of the first batch of recipients of the “Thirteen Artists Award” of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1972.

The exhibit featured other artists such as Allain Hablo, Benjie Cabangis, Binong Javier, Bob Nuestro, Edwin Wilwayco, Elijah Santiago, Fitz Herrera, Gary Custodio, Jay Ragma, Kenneth Montegrande, Red Mansueto, Rod Samonte, Ross Capili and Sal Ponce Enrile.

Both exhibits run until July 15.


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