Si Malakas at Si Maganda / The Strong & the Beautiful
The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage
Entry by Harvey Nichol. Calgary, Alberta
Si Malakas at Si Maganda / The Strong & The Beautiful
24" x 38" (acrylic & aerosol on canvas, resin)
When the world first began there was no land; there was only the Aman Sinaya (goddess of the
sea) and Bathala (The Creator, Sky), and between them flew a huge, beautiful bird deity named
Amihan. One day, Amihan, which had nowhere to land and rest, grew tired of flying about, and in
frustration stirred up the Sky in a quarrel against the Sea. Bathala threw rain, thunder, and
lightning that reached Aman Sinaya, who in turn rose up and hurled waves and hurricanes that
reached the Sky.
In order to restrain its fury, Bathala showered a multitude of massive boulders down upon the
Sea, which became the islands that formed the Philippines. These islands prevented the waters
from rising any more - instead causing them to flow back and forth, and thereby creating the
tides. Afterwards, Bathala then ordered Amihan to light on one of the newly-formed islands to
build her nest, and to leave Aman Sinaya and him in peace.
Where the islands were formed sprouts a tree. A tree so tall and so green. One day, while the
tree was floating against the sea, it struck the feet of the bird. Shocked, hurt, and angered, the
bird furiously pecked at the tree until it split in half. Out of one section came a golden-bronze
colored man, named Malakas (Strong One) and from the other half came a similarly hued
woman, named Maganda (Beautiful One). Malakas and Maganda had many children, and from
them eventually came all the different races of people.
This painting was inspired by the legendary comic book illustrator Nestor Redondo.
About the Artist
Harvey Nichol is a first-generation immigrant and multidisciplinary artist who is currently pursuing a BFA at Alberta University of the Arts, majoring in Sculpture and minoring in printmaking.
His work embodies elements of various art movements such as neo-expressionism, social realism (in the Philippines), street and folk art which he married to create his version, which he coined as “Street Folk Expressionist Art.”
Harvey moves between different art-making practices such as painting, sculptures, clothing design & storytelling. Inspired by his life experiences as an immigrant, becoming homeless as a youth, and living through the foster system, he channels all of this through visual auto ethnography (self-reflection exploring personal experience and connecting it to a wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings.) along with elements of folklore and mythologies and socio-political commentary on today's world.
For more info on Harvey - harveynichol.ca.
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