There is a character in one of Haruki Murakami’s books, a faceless man who asked a painter to make him a portrait. Most of my works in the past are portraits of people I don’t know. I usually copy them from photographs I found online, books, and other prints. In a way, the paintings I do are similar to that in the story of the faceless man. I don’t paint faces realistically; however, you can have a delicate glimpse of their identities through the silhouettes or through their eyes, but still, they remain enigmatic, even faceless. I prefer that when viewing the
paintings, my audience would also try to "feel" the portraits rather than just trying to link them to identifiable figures. There is a sense of rarity to it that’s within reach but still not quite identifiable. It is a subject that is familiar but still obscure. For my solo exhibition for the Art Fair Philippines 2020 entitled Empire, I want to explore how powerful people’s portraits generate the audience’s perspectives on their respective images. Likewise, I want to challenge myself to come up with portraits that can alter perspectives in relation to how power dynamics play in societies.