Saturday, August 25, 2007


Nitong mga nakaraang buwan ay nahihilig akong tumingin ng mga Chinese paintings. Nagpunta pa ako sa China Town (Ongpin) para lang maghanap ng teacher na magtuturo sa akin ng traditional style. Pero wala akong nakita. Sa mga libro na lang tuloy ako umaasa ngayon.

Gusto ko ang estilo ng Chinese dahil ibang-iba ito sa kinasanayan ko na (Western influence). Kailangan ko munang kalimutan kung anuman ang naging orientation ko noon sa art para ma-absorb ko ng husto ang Chinese style.

Unang-una, nalaman ko na hindi uso sa kanila ang mga terms tulad ng painter at illustrator. Sa kanila, ang painter, illustrator at calligrapher ay iisa. Ikalawa, may pagkakaiba ng paghawak ng brush ang mga Westerner sa Chinese.

Mas may feeling ang brush stroke ng Chinese painting. Isa ito sa inabsorb ng Impressionist movement noong 19th century sa West kaya nag-iba ang direction ng art sa Western world.

Bibigyan ko kayo ng halimbawa: Ang paggamit ng West sa ‘thick and thin lines’ ay isang technical issue. Samantalang sa Chinese, expression ito ng kaluluwa ng artist. Makikita natin ito sa calligraphy nila.

Ang isa rin sa gusto ko ay ang mystery sa mga blank spaces ng kanilang artworks. Napaka-organic nito kung titingnan. Walang technical issue dito ng perspective. Parang lahat ng element ay buhay at gumagalaw.

Una akong naka-appreciate ng Chinese art (illustration sa mata ng West) noong 1989 nang makabili ako ng isang libro na may pamagat na ‘Fifteen Strings of Cash’. Illustrated book ito, lahat ng pages ay may full illustration at may kaunting text lang sa ilalim. Ang artist nito ay si Wang Hongli. Habang tinitingnan ko ang gawa niya, naiisip ko ang gawa ni Alex Raymond sa Flash Gordon at mga early works ni Francisco Coching. Very organic, maganda ang composition, at fluid ang galaw ng mga tao.

Isa rin sa naging realization ko sa gawa ni Wang Hongli ay ang kanyang mga lines. Itinuturo kasi sa amin noon ni Hal Santiago ang ‘pagpapakinis ng linya’. Very Western ang pananaw na ito, makikita natin ito sa mga komiks ngayon, lahat ng linya ay makikinis (kumbaga sa computer program ay ginamitan ng vector lines ng Adobe Illustrator). Kay Wang Hongli, makikita mo ang roughness, ang buka ng Chinese brush na ginagamit niya. In short, matapang siya sa kanyang mga lines.

Hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan ng Chinese digital painter na ito na napuntahan ko ang website months ago, sinave ko lahat ng gawa niya sa cd. Modern ang tools na kanyang gamit pero traditional ang approach. Isa ito sa mga example ng pagsasama ng traditional at modern. Hindi natin kailangan kalimutan ang nakaraan at palaging nakatutok lang tayo sa hinaharap. Kailangan lumilingon din tayo madalas.

Sa isang serious artist, hindi lang din dapat maging technical tayo masyado. Kailangan din nating maging organic pati sa ating mga pananaw. Sabi ni Bill Sienkiewicz sa isa sa kanyang mga interviews tungkol sa development ng artist: ‘Study it. Copy it. Learn from it. Take what works and channel it through your own experience and abilities. Then: Let it go. Forget it, but know it as a part of yourself. It’s a Zen thing.’

Nagkalat ngayon ang mga workshops pagdating sa art. Pati na sa komiks. Kabi-kabila ang seminars na nagtuturo ng layouting, visual storytelling, rendering, perspective, etc. etc. Lahat ito ay technical issues ng art. Kailangan natin ito kapag nagsisimula pa lang tayo. Pero magandang dumating sa puntong nagiging organic na lahat ito. Nagiging natural flow na ito ng ating sistema as an artist.

Nang sabihin ko kamakailan na mas kailangan natin ngayon ng ‘movement’ kesa ng ‘industry’ ng komiks, walang nag-react. Nakikiramdam ang lahat.

Ang industry ay business. Ang movement ay tao.

Ang kailangan natin ngayon ay mga tao sa komiks na malawak ang pananaw at higit sa lahat ay may vision para sa Philippine Komiks. Ito ang magandang future ng komiks industry. Kapag naka-create, naka-develop at nakatagpo tayo ng mga taong ganito, wala nang puwang ang pagbagsak nito.

Sa America, ang unang naaapektuhan ng pagbagsak ng industry ay ang Marvel at DC. Pero ang mga tulad nina Art Speigelman, Robert Crumb, Scott McCloud, Marjane Satrapi, Harvey Pekar, wala silang pakialam sa pagbagsak na ito ng industry. Sila ang movement ng American comics. Kailanman ay hindi sila mamamatay.


At Saturday, August 25, 2007 10:55:00 AM, Blogger Teddy Pavon said...

Kuya Randy, kung gusto niyo magahanap ng instructor ng Chinese Painting, try niyo po yun Liberty Hall sa Chinatown o di kaya magtanong po kayo sa YMCA, kasi alam ko nagtuturo sila nun, kaya lang hindi ko alam kung marunong managalaog ang mga instructors nila (puro taga-taiwan kasi, but you never know).

Some trivia lang sa chinese paintings -
Meron silang style ng perspecitve, its the 'haze' effect you see in their paintings, the colors or shade dissolves almost seemlessly with the white, similar to the smfumato effect in western art. Look at old or traditional Chinese painitngs, especially of mountains, yun yung pang indicate nila ng depth for mountains, to show that one is farther than the other.

Traditional Chinese paintings are also usually about nature or animals, bihirang bihira lng ang tao as a central image in paintings, unlike western art. If ever there were people, they are usually details on the painitng, little dots on a huge painting.

Paintings are also done in rice paper, not on canvas, since rice paper absorbs the ink well.

And yes, painitng and calligraphy are regarded as just one skill, since they use the same tools to write as well as draw, and drawing is just an extention of their words. Kaya if you look at old painitngs, the paintings always need to have a poem or a phrase written there. I could go on a limb and say they might be the pioneers of juxtapositioning words and images together since chinese paintings have existed even way before the dark ages started.

They only started drawing people as central characters during the Ming Dynasty (Kublai Khan), since western art started arriving in China by then.

At Saturday, August 25, 2007 1:04:00 PM, Blogger tauruswarrior said...

Teddy, my adopted son, my ex-parishioner and prodigal son of PKMB;

You've been so quiet for sometime, and I'm missing your frank, no-nonsense, brilliant comments on every issue brought up at the PKMB.

Is this a sign that you're getting mellower now, perhaps? :)

I was waiting for you to tell Kuya Randy to start using mo-feet and mo-chyr (o-bak nga ba?), because these are te things being used in Chinese calligraphy. I learned the brush first before I tried the pen. I even remember when Nestor Redondo would use Chinese brush for doing the komiks borders.

So what's keeping you busy, my adopted son? We've been waiting for more GOYO art and that TO SLEEP NO MORE komiks.

Before Randy kills me for using his blog as if it is the PKMB, why don't you go back to the fold of PKMB and challenge our imagination once again? If you don't, I'll invite Rod Santiago to copy something from US comics and let him call it as his own work, and then, I'm pretty sure you're going to speak up without batting an eyelid.

Anyhoo, I'm missing terribly your VOICE in there, my foster child, my prodigal son. You were lost, but now you are found. It is indeed, an amazing grace :)

Señor Valiente, for me, Chinese characters are like graphic designs. If used as part of an art piece, it can look really amazing.

When you mentioned about the MOVEMENT, I decided not to react, because we need extremely dedicated people to join. Right now, it seems that everybody's busy making a living that they forget to make a life. But this movement might remain small and almost obscure, like what happened to the Philippine Theater. I know that in the theater, there are a few people who are dedicated to keep the dream alive. They're been there since the 1940s, yet It is still not being noticed by the masses. But, theater lovers remain inspired and motivated. In fact, this is the reason why I decided to write stage plays in my youth: to be inspired by these people. The road to trudge is long and steep. Many offered a lifetime committment to such endeavor, and for what? To have food for their soul.

If you're young and wanting to make lots of money and conquer the world, you won't go for movements, but rather join a huge industry where you can thrive and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Thank God I was a TAURUS. I thrive on practicality, permanence, and determination. If not, I might have chosen to be a dreamer. Yet, I admire DREAMERS. When I wrote stage plays, the dreams of the people around me were so contagious, I was tempted to dream as well. But, the BULL in me ushered me away into the streets of Pamplona and saw the bloody reality of what life is all about.

I cannot stand still and let time pass me by like a banyen tree growing its massive roots underground. I can't live that long. Life is here and the future is now.

At Saturday, August 25, 2007 6:05:00 PM, Blogger augusto said...


But we also can strive for FUSION, di ba ? the marriage of art & industry. Just like fusion in music (the 70s), jazz & rock were fused with spectacular results( Return to Forever, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Headhunters, Bitches Brew of Miles Davis etc.),

But some of us will not compromise of course. It either pure art( Fine Arts) or Applied Arts ( comics industry included).


At Saturday, August 25, 2007 7:07:00 PM, Anonymous Garro said...

"‘Study it. Copy it. Learn from it. Take what works and channel it through your own experience and abilities. Then: Let it go. Forget it, but know it as a part of yourself. It’s a Zen thing.’"

yeah, it's called "trained instinct". may nag-research sa utak ng Starcraft championship players sa Korea, it was the instinct part ng utak nila na naglalaro at hindi conscious decisions --iyon yung "letting go". kaso lang kelangan ng malakas na fundamentals muna bago maganda yung kalalabasang ng ganun.

@Teddy: Goyo was very good! ganda ng cinematic storytelling. sayang pang one-shot lang talaga yung story. [tsaka sana na-ink nyo hehe. ]

hmmm. contribute nyo kaya yun sa SterlingCJC? :P

"When you mentioned about the MOVEMENT, I decided not to react, because we need extremely dedicated people to join. Right now, it seems that everybody's busy making a living that they forget to make a life."

great words, Tau :)

actually pwedeng magkaroon ng compromise between being a movement and an industry --ang Cash and Sex Theory. It's very much like yung Love and Survival point ni Randy dati. Hindi pwedeng magkaroon ng isa ng wala yung isa.

Gusto kong kompetensyahan ng Komiks ang Manga at Western Comics sa kalidad ng kwento at dibuho. Tulad ng na-quote ni Randy sa post na 'to :

-- study it, copy it, then surpass it. hehehehe.

At Saturday, August 25, 2007 7:21:00 PM, Blogger Teddy Pavon said...

Haha, Kuya Taurus! Long time no hear father! I've been terribly busy with school that I really havent had the time to visit.(I've been busy with my Thesis, so I had to sacrifice a lot of my extra curric activities for it.) But rest assured, once I get my thesis proposal approved (Hopefully by the first week of September) I'll go back to PKMB as well as a lot of my other projects.^_^

* Pasensya na po Sir Randy, matagal ko na po hindi nakakausap si Kuya Taurus.

At Sunday, August 26, 2007 1:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

allergic ang mga taga-komiks sa salitang movement. it's not naman na naging static na sila at iisang charge na lang ang gumagana (either positive or negative), pero ang aral ng kasaysayan ay nakaugat pa rin sa kanilang isipan.
ang kasaysayang binanggit ko ay kasaysayan ng mga kilusan sa komiks sa pilipinas.
ang pinakadahilan kung bakit walang gumagalaw kapag pagtatayo ng samahang pang-komiks ay sapagkat ang mga nauna sa atin ay nabigo na papagtagumpayin ang kanilang 'adhikain.' isang nagtayo ng artists movement noon ang 'napakiusapan' ng management na huwag nang ituloy ang pag-aaklas o paghingi ng mataas na rate---ang kapalit ay maraming nobela, katha't guhit para sa lider, sa bawat komiks ng publication.
ang lider lang ang nakinabang, ang mga miyembro ay luhaan.
ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit ang nasabing publication na sarado na ngayon ang komiks ay hindi na naaandap kapag may nagtatayo ng movement, personal na interes lang 'ika ng lider 'yan, hindi ng nakararami.
at dahil sa ang 'new industry' na itinatatag ng cjc-sterling ay binubuo pa rin ng mga manggagawa ng dating kaisipan, malabo pang maisulong ito.
pero kung mga kaedad mo ang magtatayo, malamang na mabuo lalo na kung ikaw ang mamumuno.


At Sunday, August 26, 2007 9:21:00 PM, Blogger Mia said...

May nahanap akong magandang libro sa Chinese painting dati sa Fine Arts. Nakaaral ako ng konti dahil dun, kaso ang bata ko pa nun (12?) so hindi ko na masyadong matandaan, haha.

Naaalala ko na tinuruan ako dati kung paano galawin yung brush -- may mga strokes (kunwari, cherry blossom petals, etc) na kailangan pati wrist mo iikot. Meron naman (bamboo leaves) na hindi masyado kailangan ng ganun. Kakaiba siya, ang layo sa Western painting. Nakakatuwa nga eh. :)


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