Latest Stories

Wilwayco rules ‘In Nature’s Realm’


“In Nature’s Realm: Forest Light” 2

“I believe in God. Only I spell it Nature.” That intriguing statement from the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright precisely intersects with the sentiments of Filipino artist Edwin Wilwayco who, with his deeply felt Christian beliefs and choice of a pervasive artistic theme, celebrates with another outpouring of artworks in a show steadfastly titled “In Nature’s Realm: So Quietly the Earth.”

True to his conviction, Wilwayco considers Nature as analogous to the numinous. In his view, the wonders of nature, with its stillness and cataclysm, are but the charged expressions of presence of the Supreme Being.

Now based in Providence, Rhode Island, Wilwayco revisits the country annually, laudably coinciding with an exhibition of his recent works. In the quiet isolation of his US studio, Wilwayco, who has been steadily producing a tremendous body of works, now presents a large suite of paintings that throb with unexpected technical surprises and chromatic density.

Patently loyal to the idiom of Abstract Expressionism, which his UP mentor, the late National Artist José Joya inculcated in his students, Wilwayco, through the past three decades of his artistic career, has internalized, indeed inhabited, the nature, as well as the trademarks, of this canonical style: “the elimination of specific subject matters and a preference for spontaneous, impulsive qualities of experience and the use of the unfettered brush—discursive, improvisatory techniques—motion, motion organization, and an activised surface.” All are triumphantly present—and in accelerated pace—in Wilwayco’s “Nature” works.


To be sure, Wilwayco has always referenced the sacred and the divine in the primacy of his emotions. More than the investigation of space, or the activation of textures, more than the vibrancy of colors or the complexity of composition—the artist concerns himself with the resonances of abstraction as a spiritual language, conveying meanings that are profoundly affecting, if not life-changing. Exaltation is itself an impetus for the transmission of painterly energies embodied in such works as “Dance of the Blessed Spirit,” with its whirling vortex seemingly spiraling out of control, or “Swan’s Reflections,” with its organic luxuriance, coiling tendrils and flux of roots.

“In Nature’s Realm: Swan Reflection” IV

Turbulence of textures

One senses the feeling of intoxication in the exuberant “Secret Pond,” as though hardly able to contain the ceaseless aquatic activity and organic growth. Rains and rivulets of water are summoned by the imagery of “Sense of Wonder,” with the viewer led to an unfamiliar domain where the physical landscape blends with unnamed natural forces. In “Keeping the High Water,” areas of turquoise flood the space with a turbulence of textures, affirming layers of clotted pigment cloaked underneath but breaking into light in unexpected fissures and cracks. How one can order this seeming chaos of slashes and smears, drips and trickles, and sprayed paint radiant through sieves of stencils, invites by turns curiosity and admiration.

Streaked with light

A fresh, invigorating touch which Wilwayco introduces in this show is the use of their diagonal bands, with their rich and immediate sensation of forests and mountains, streaked with light, and their resemblance to slanting windswept rains. Felicitous is the empathy with nature that is generated by this simple graphic expedient, transforming strips of lines—with air breaking in between—into an almost visual pulsation. This evocation of nature came upon Wilwayco on a pleasant, casual trek through the woods. The visual motif took hold of his imagination and indeed inspired Wilwayco’s entire “In Nature’s Realm” series.

Brooding tonality


“In Nature’s Realm: Sense ofWonder,”

A luscious preponderance of vivid, warm colors, intense nuances of reds and oranges immerses the viewer in Wilwayco’s landscapes, recalling the words of American abstractionist Joan Mitchell: “It’s a secure landscape not desperate. I’ve chosen one you can live in.” Interestingly, Wilwayco’s kinship with grays is put to great advantage, invoking a chilly, brooding tonality to the works. The artist’s partiality toward various shades of blues implicitly bound him to the vitality of both aquatic and spiritual forces, moving unhindered in nature’s realm.

“In Nature’s Realm: So Quietly the Earth” was recently held in Duemila Gallery, 210 Loring St., Pasay City; tel. 8339815.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Art , Edwin Wilwayco , In Nature’s Realm , Lifestyle , Religion

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  3. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  4. Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  5. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  6. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  7. A tale of two Priscillas: my mother Prissy and Chona Recto Kasten
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • S. Korea ferry transcript reveals evacuation panic
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit