Ilocos Norte welcomes the “prize of collectors” , Elmer Borlongan, in a one-man exhibit at the world-famous Sitio Remedios Heritage Village owned by Dr. Joven Cuanang, a patron of the arts.
Born in 1967, Elmer Borlongan graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Fine Arts major in Painting. His major influences are Fernando Cena, Nestor Vinluan, Danny Dalena and Onib Olmedo. Bald figures, vivid colors and realism struck me. His paintings depict ordinary people going about their daily grind. My personal favorite, Band Practice, awakened memories of the red Volkswagen that I drove during my nursing school days, but if I had the money to acquire a Borlongan, it has to be Batang Pawikan. I like the message it brings — sending these endangered sea creatures to where they truly belong.
Fernando Sena says of his student, “To learn the concept and function of art is to see Borlongan’s paintings. The collectors can not be wrong when they scramble to own a Borlongan, Elmer will someday become a GIANT artist.”
The artist’s statement —
“The human figure continues to be the focus of my works. The sound and the fury of Manila street scenes have been the fitting accompaniment to the figures that have graced my works throughout the years. My move to Zambales seven years ago has changed all that, drastically.
I paint in a studio in the middle of a mango farm surrounded by the sounds of a sometimes wailing sea and the chirping of birds. My immediate environment within the home and in the outskirts of the farm present an engaging scenario of various characters that I have come close to and mingle with. My exposure to my children my brother-in-law teaches at CASA San Miguel that scatter around the farm on Sunday and have found spots under the trees to practice their instruments have now figured prominently in my recent works. The grass fire that my neighbor never fails to ignite every summer is a worrisome incident that has the barrio people converge into my space to protect and empathize with me. There are religious rituals that give pomp and circumstance to the practice of the faith. And of course, there is the sea, a character in itself, that is sometimes disconcerting when my wife worries about “imagined tsunamis” in her head but is a refreshing fluid field of delight on hot summer day.
This is my visual playground. I am here to document what is there to see of to make sense of my existence.”
[photographed by blauearth]