THE DIVERSE women of Asia were the muses in a Thomasian artist’s first solo exhibition, “Reyna! Die Königinnen,” which opened on Feb. 24 at the Altro Mondo Creative Space in Makati. 

Harold Khan, an Austria-based Filipino-Singaporean artist who studied advertising arts at UST, said he drew from his encounters with people of various nationalities in putting together the exhibit. 

“In Austria, our community is rich and mixed…So it’s not a surprise that it’s a blend of cultures. I’ve met a lot, and they’re wonderful people,” said Khan, a former Varsitarian artist and a graduate of the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts. 

The exhibit’s title, “Die Königinnen” is the German term for “the queens.” Khan said that in painting the feminine figures in the collection, he looked “not [at] their stereotype, but their essence.”

Taking center stage at the exhibit is the 63×35.4-in. painting titled “Biyaya Ni Amansinaya,” which depicts a diwata underwater, swarmed by fish with bright orange scales.  

Harold Khan’s ‘Biyaya ni Amansinaya.’ (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

Four of Khan’s artworks on display resemble the design of French-suited playing cards, with Asian women representing the queen in the four card suits. 

The Thomasian artist injects cubism into his 31.5×23.6-in. piece “Reyna Lakha,” which portrays a Korean woman in a checkered black, red, and white hanbok, contrasted by the bright blue background.

Harold Khan’s ‘Reyna Lakha.’ (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

Reyna Hirang” depicts a Filipino woman donning a traditional Filipiniana with puffed sleeves against a nude background, which Khan said represents the “kayumanggi” complexion of Filipinos.

Harold Khan’s ‘Reyna Hirang.’ (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

Khan takes a minimalist approach in “Reyna Himari,” which features a Japanese woman in a traditional kimono placed against a clean, white background. 

Harold Khan’s ‘Reyna Himari.’ (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

Contrasting it is “Reyna Somboon,” which illustrates a transgender woman from Thailand with grand shapes and vivid hues.

Harold Khan’s ‘Reyna Somboon.’ (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

Khan said these four frames are part of a collection to be completed, which would eventually include paintings revolving around the jack and king cards. 

Other paintings on display feature warrior-like Filipino women of varied mixes of ethnicities, clad in glittering white and gold armor. 

“I thought to myself that I should put out heroines, so they’re more headstrong… They all have basically the same pose, they all have different mixtures,” Khan said. 

Khan’s “Reyna! Die Königinnen,” exhibit will run until March 16.


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