Juno Galang embodies homeland in new exhibition

The solo exhibition of Filipino visual artist Juno Galang, “Simula,” will be on view from 21 June to 5 July with an artist’s reception on 21 June at the ArtistSpace, located at ground level of Ayala Museum Annex, Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City.

“Simula” is Galang’s first one-man exhibition since coming back to the Philippines after 55 years, a start of what may very well be a sort of a “rebirth” for him in his homeland. His works for this exhibit are various renditions of fish and what it symbolizes — wisdom, prosperity, good luck, as well as a life force existing in depths.

As Juno declares, “Painting is my first love and passion.” He paints what he sees, feels, and perceives, and does so in a style that pulsates with life and vibrant colors, inviting the viewer into his world.

Inside the Bubble.

Born in Manila in 1942, Galang stepped into the world of art at a young age. He took up Fine Arts, major in Advertising, at the University of Santo Tomas. Despite his education, he considers himself as a self-taught artist. He picked up painting techniques during regular visits to art galleries of Mabini, Malate, and dreamt of becoming a full-time artist.

He started working as an illustrator and a graphic artist in advertising agencies before migrating to the United States in the 1960s. In his early years in San Francisco, he worked as an illustrator at the in-house art division of a department store. He eventually ventured into freelance illustrating, moving to New York City, Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada. After more than 20 years as a freelance artist, Galang relocated to Hawaii, the place where he would fulfill his lifelong dream to paint full time. Most of his artworks then were of the local flavor and colors of the islands, and featured the culture, traditions and the people.

Fish Series.

He built a lucrative art career, holding exhibitions in galleries across the mainland. His early works were inspired and influenced by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Gauguin, with seemingly animated figures set against bright hues. The art of Galang evolved to what he describes as subjects rendered in hyperrealism, set against a profusion of vibrant colors. He believes his work should “evoke emotions,” make the viewer feel good, hence, the use of distinctive subjects and warm colors.

At 80, Galang challenged himself again in his artistic journey. This time, while rediscovering his roots, he began painting local scenes and ordinary people going about their daily lives, what he calls his tribute to the true heroes of society — street vendors, village fishermen, farmers and front-liners. His work has evolved again, veering away from hyperrealism that marked most of his work in Hawaii, moving toward contemporary impressionism.

For queries on the exhibit, contact Joan Gaylican at
0922-8900587. ArtistSpace, an art gallery established in 2004, is dedicated to the promotion of contemporary visual arts featuring a wide range of styles and media from local and foreign artists in two-week exhibitions. The gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.