Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.Rommel Tingzon, a Filipino, is one of the lucky artist to be featured in the 33rd Annual The Works Art & Design Festival at the Capital Plaza Legislature grounds in Edmonton, which will be held from June 21 to July 3, 2018.
Growing up on the island of Western Samar in the Philippines, Tingzon started painting when he was in high school and is the eldest among eight children.His father kicked coconuts off trees for a living and in an effort to help his father, he moved to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines to further pursue his love for art as a realist painter.
Inspired by Philippine National Artists Fernando Amorsolo and Juan Luna and in collaboration with his Curator Gordon Snyder, he became interested in the rapid and extreme cultural changes brought on by the increased tourism in the area.There, he witnessed the paradigm shift of the culture and now as his world has expanded with the birth internet and the invention of the mobile phone. This was a huge transition for the artist and allowed him to express these realities in his work.
It was in Palawan where the Tingzon met his Curator. Snyder, a Canadian living in the Philippines, visited Rommel’s studio several times and was impressed with his work and decided to collaborate and produce an exhibition of his paintings to illustrate how his realist images mirror his culture and itshistory.Prior to being a feature artist in the Works Art and Design Festival, Tingzon won 2nd Place in a “Paint onthe Spot Competition” in Manila where he produced a painting depicting the stricken city of Marawi, created in 4 hours.
His Curator Gordon is also a Canadian artist who was born in Edmonton and trained at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary. This is the first time that the curator has collaborated with an emerging artist and he says, “I have never been more excited.”
21-year-old Tingzon finished highschool with 91% average. With the support of Snyder, starting in August of this year, Rommel is headingto Far Eastern University to take up Fine Arts – Studio art program. All the proceeds of Tingzon’s exhibit in Edmonton will fund his Education.
“I am paintingthe story of my life experiences.” -Rommel Tingzon
“My life as an artist is just beginning and my vision is still evolving. My work is realism in a classical sense and in the hope that viewers can understand our culture and way of life in the Philippines.”
The young Filipino artist started drawing when he was a child, tracing from books and this progressed into drawing cartoons and anime. He competed in school activities such as poster-making, creating collages and editorial cartoons.It was also in high school that he started on charcoal portraits.
His work will be on display at Manulife Place from June 21 to July 3, 2018.