Our Natural World: For Chino Yulo’s First Solo Show at Pinto, Flow, Balance, Driftwood, and the Divine Come Together - Lifestyle Asia

“People who know me deeply would attest that I like being in the moment and that allows me to find inspiration in random pieces. I flow into these moments.”

Art is an endeavor that takes on many forms, and each one has the power to communicate ideas, empower thoughts, and set a cause to action. And art—like the artist—is also shaped and enriched by experiences. 

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As a former entrepreneur who tried his hand in a lot of different ventures, it took Chino Yulo quite a journey to find his purpose. He’s done everything from establishing a music website to putting up a mixed martial arts center.

“I remember sculpting wood and adobe when I was in primary school, and I also did a lot of woodworking in high school,” he shares. “I was able to try a lot of things, but it felt like some things were missing. It was only when I started working with wood again that I realized what I need to do.”

Inspired by forms of nature, Yulo strives to build a strong narrative by working with organic shapes. While he is drawn to simplicity, his techniques and his relationship with his environment bestow significance to his pieces. 

Natural tendencies 

“Flow and balance are the words I internalize before I make any piece,” the artist says. “People who know me deeply would attest that I like being in the moment and that allows me to find inspiration in random pieces. I flow into these moments.” 

He balances the moment with his creative expression, he explains. “Our emotions and personalities allow us to have deeper connections even with the intangible,” Yulo goes on. “Art is a palpable representation of a belief or a memory, and I would like my art to be seen just that—more than a physical entity!”

Knowing the artist’s penchant for adventure and discovery, it should come as no surprise why he paid homage to nature and the profound relationship it has with mankind for his first solo exhibit. 

Dubbed Marahuyo, the show is Yulo’s way of sharing the enchantment that he feels whenever he feels the Divine at work through His creations. There are 11 in the collection, which represent Philippine Islands that hold a special meaning to the artist. 

“The Islas are made from driftwood pieces that have been fashioned to mimic the iconic rock formations found in each of these islands,” he elaborates. “The resin boards on which each rests is the representation of the waters surrounding the islands.” 

Childhood memories

A striking detail apparent in each piece is the addition of metal sculptures of paper cranes and paper boats. These elements not only increase the visual value of the artwork, but also stir emotions of child-like excitement. 

“The cranes and boats represent momentum, growth, and the many journeys that we embark on as people. They serve as a poignant reminder of our childhood,” Yulo says.

Apart from the sculptures, the collection also features a series of nine paint-ure wall-bound panels. Using aluminum sheets as canvas and through streaks, Yulo transformed the sheen of the surface to depict the motion of both waters and skies and added driftwood to each panel to show a diver’s visual perspective when in the middle of open waters. 

“When I go diving, I often catch myself gazing out to the horizon while I wade. This series, entitled Tan-Aw, is how one would see the nearby islands,” he says. 

An installation made from driftwood root that is shaped like the tail of a whale is also present, surrounded by blobs of red and black which appear to be stains of blood and oil spills. 

“This statement piece aims to remind us that no matter how beautiful and enchanting these places and memories can be,” Yulo says, “our relationship with them may contribute to its protection or demise. It is up to us to make a stand and protect what we can while we have the time.” 

Meanwhile, an abstract painting entitled “Daloy,” that shows graceful and fluid movements mounted on a circular frame rounds up the entire collection. 

For Yulo, the local art scene continues to be blessed with talented individuals who continue to push the envelope in terms of aesthetics and expressions. “We have a lot of artists who bravely challenge the norms and set the stage for our culture to shine,” he says.  

He believes that we should celebrate the diversity of talents that we have in the art industry and show support for artists to create more. “And, hopefully, to encourage the generations to come to continue to do art,” he says.

Chino Yulo’s Marahuyo is at Gallery 2 and 3 of the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo. The exhibit will be available for viewing until November 14, 2021.     

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