Dedicated to the one I love, as he is the only one who breathes life to the flowers in this series.
The Diva series is a collection of portraits dedicated to all the beautiful women of the Philippines. These vibrant portraits depict the Filipina beauties utiliizing mixed media and collage on black paper with color pencil, sequins, and glitter to capture the elegance of the Filpinas proudly wearing their distinctive national costume called the Philippine terno - a lavishly designed gown with butterlfy sleeves - symbolizing elegance and sophistication.
In 2015, Miss Philippines won the Miss Universe beauty pageant which inspired me to start a new series of portraits to celebrate the beauty of the Filipinas who won in 4 major beauty pageants: Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Earth.
The Peking Opera Bitch series is a collection of portraits celebrating modern Peking Opera women by fusing color pencil with collage on black paper. I used Chinese Happy New Year envelopes, sequins, glitter and origami paper to create the different headdess and costume deesigns of the "Dans" - the female role in Peking Opera that was played by men until the early 20th century. Old women were play by laodan, martial women were wudan "female warrior", young female warriors were daomadan "sword and horse women warriors", virtuous, noble and elite women were qingyi "blue robed women", and vivacious unmarried coquettish women were hua dan, "flower women".
Red symbolizes good fortune, fire, vitality, happiness and celebration. It is used during Chinese New Year and other holidays. Red is also the color in Chinese weddings, representing good luck, joy and hapiness. Yellow or Gold is the color of beauty and nobility and signifies power and wealth and was the imperial color for the Emperor's throne.
Peking Opera Bitch #2 is a portrait of the famous Dan played by male actor Mei Lingfang who pioneered and popularized the huashan "flower robe" combining the elite status of the quingyi and the sensuality and young beauty of the huadan.
Ma Belle Salope Asiatique means "My Beautiful Asian Bitch" in French.
Ma Belle Salope Chinoise is an ensemble of 20 self-portrait paintings that encapsulates exotic Chinese women as beautiful, highly sexy and erotic. In French, it means My Beautiful Chinese Bitch.
In 2012, Marunouchi Gallery in New York Cit exhibited 12 of these paintings. In this series I designed Chinese women wearing sexy chong-sam inspired lingerie utilizing Chinese symbols, glitter, color pencil sequins and collage to create her image.
These drawings were inspired by my trips to Sydney, Australia. While visiting and living there, I was intrigued by the aboriginal art and their usage of dots on dark wood, dark paper, and/or dark cloth that were juxtaposed against each other to create colorful intricate patterns and designs which hold symbolic meaning in their indigenous tribal art.
I imitated their Papunya dot style and created my own artworks on black paper using color pencil to immerse the Chinese characters (I, Love, You) and surround them with colored dots.
After visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, I was seduced by their colorful species of exotic flowers. With these beautiful floral images freshly implanted in my mind, I began to create my manifestation of botanical fantasy drawings.
To me, Madame Butterfly is always a woman. She is the contemporary Geisha of the 21ST Century. In the new millennium she comes still holding onto the traditional aspects of the Geisha; wearing the kimono, complete with white face make-up, lipstick, hair combs, and the upswept hair-do. In this series, I depict her breaking out of this ancient mold by opening up her kimono revealing herself to others and allowing herself to be unbound by the obi tie exposing her most feminine quality to us; the cleavage.
Beautiful Madame Butterfly caresses herself gently and shows us her sensual side. She entices us with her demure looks, and quiet sensuous demeanor. She is the feminine energy in all of us looking and wearing eye shadow in every painting and peering at something, never looking directly at us. Her head is bowed, but it is her mood that captivates us. What is she thinking?
Madame Butterfly is alone in her garden late at night while the moon is out contemplating upon the lovers in her life. Flowers play a major part of the painting; they represent the different men in her life. She gazes at the flowers with the moon behind her watching her choose the flowers.
“The Flowers represent the men who come and go in my life”
When the flowers are fresh and new, they look beautiful, strong, robust, firm, noble, and proud. New flowers are radiant, they give her life and feels exciting. She loves to touch, smell and feel these flowers but then after a while the flowers start to wilt and die. Madame Butterfly is in her floral garden waiting and searching for the one flower, the man whom she will give her eternal love to, a man of beauty, elegance and spiritual sensuality.