- Philippine Arts Council
The Filipino in Me - Insights into Living Heritage
Entry by Jimuel Belarmino. Weyburn, Saskatchewan
7 ft x 4.5 ft
Oil on Canvas
Growing up, I witnessed great disparity between upper, middle, and lower-class people. I have seen hardworking parents struggle to provide food and support their children's education. Children are collecting recycling materials from landfills risking their health from diseases and many families are living in disaster-risk areas. Some were socially excluded, limited, shamed, and lacked agency. As a middle-class individual, I have the privilege to access education, shelter, wealth, technology, food, and freedom yet I am, like most others, blinded by ignorance to appreciate its benefits. This piece, "Tick-tock", visually narrates a genre painting integrating the idea of Memento Mori in a contemporary way. I paint allegories of every day depicting ignorance, negligence, lack of self-care, and exploitation of time. This painting encourages everyone, especially the youth and young adults of this generation, to reflect on our choices and, to be self-critical of our actions.
About the Artist
Belarmino is a Filipino-born Canadian artist based in Saskatchewan. His paintings are inspired by his Filipino upbringing juxtaposed with his immigrant life in Canada. In 2011, he moved to Canada from the Philippines at the age of 14 with his family. In 2019, he successfully earned his BFA degree at the University of Regina and worked as an intern at the Art Gallery of Swift Current. After finishing university, he participated in several exhibitions both provincial and national. Storytelling, culture and identity are common themes manifested in his subjects. He was awarded the 2019 BMO 1st Art! at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Toronto, ON, Art Placement Award for Accomplishments in the Medium of Oil Paint at the Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert, SK and an Independent Artist Program for Emerging Artists grant award funded by SK Arts. It was a huge boost in his career. Currently, he is working on a new body of work for a solo exhibition in 2023.
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