Online Gallery launches paintings with ‘ekphrastic’ literature | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“KAINGIN,” by Nemiranda. Victor Peñaranda wrote the poem of the same title for the painting.
“KAINGIN,” by Nemiranda. Victor Peñaranda wrote the poem of the same title for the painting.

Even if it’s just a newly established gallery, Galeria Paloma has already carved itself a niche in the art industry.

Aside from having a dedicated website featuring an online catalogue of its curated artworks, each painting also boasts of a literary counterpart, a rhetorical device known as “ekphrasis,” from the Greek words ek (“out”) and phrasis (“speak”).

Galeria Paloma founder Kimberly “Kimi” Rocha said that the mission of the gallery was to “provide additional dimensions to the appreciation of the art.”

“We also aim to give exposure to artists of the written word,” she said. “This is the first gallery of its kind in the country at least, with its focus solely on paintings and ekphrastic poetry.”

Galeria Paloma launched an on-site exhibition at the Power Plant Mall last November 7, showcasing various paintings by different visual artists such as BenCab, Nemiranda, Martin Honasan, Gino Teoseco, Nino Hernandez, MaxBal, Onib Olmedo, Carlos, and Janice Liuson Young.

These paintings are then fleshed out by the literary works of Marjorie Evasco, Rebecca Añonuevo, Marne Kilates, Barbie Almalbis-Honasan and Victor Peñaranda.

Art complementing art

Each of the artworks is accompanied by a literary piece, which helps in further appreciation and understanding of the work.

“All the works in the site will always feature ekphrastic poetry, but every exhibition will have a different theme, and in the future, we hope, different genres of art,” said Rocha.

“Golden,” by Martin Honasan depicts a calm, old person staring blankly into space. The artwork is further defined by Barbie Almalbis-Honasan in a song she created by the same name, which tells of an old person looking forward to see his dead spouse soon, putting into words what the old person in the painting is thinking.

Marne Kilates’ poem “Diaphanous,” inspired by BenCab’s “The Kiss,” describes the amorous feelings of the two couples kissing. The poem can be seen as a “magnifier” of the emotions that the painting portrays.

Nemiranda’s “Kaingin” portrays men plundering the forests while women simultaneously plant rice. In Victor Peñaranda’s poem of the same title, he describes the kainginero’s innermost thoughts and perspective on how he pillages the land to make way for the rice fields.

Gino Teoseco’s paintings of ballerinas are given a flash-fiction treatment by Susan Lara. In her flash fiction, she tells the difficulties and subtleties in performing the ballet, from the stringent rehearsals to the performances, along with the pressure that accompanies it.

A gallery whenever, wherever

Rocha said the primary reason for establishing an online gallery was general accessibility. She said it was easier to point people to a website than having them come to a physical gallery.

“Anyone with an Internet connection can log on to our site online to view the paintings and read the poetry at their own convenience,” she said. “Logging on to our site makes it possible to enjoy as much of the the gallery experience without having to leave your seat.”

“STILL Life with a Violin and Flowers,” by Onib Olmedo. Rebecca Añonuevo made the poem “Orihen (Origin)” for the painting

In terms of management, Rocha said she didn’t need to be physically present as often to supervise the gallery.

“For instance, if I am at another pressing appointment or if I am traveling, I can still communicate with interested clients and answer queries even if I am not in the gallery,” she said.

Potential clients can also contact the exhibit manager should they be interested in viewing the actual paintings. Galeria Paloma plans to hold several satellite and pop-up exhibitions annually.

“Interestingly, in the years I’ve been in dealership, most clients purchase the work after only viewing it online,” she said.


Rocha said online galleries also made the exhibitions accessible in  various parts of the globe, affording an international exposure to the artists.

However, this concept of online gallery also presented other challenges, especially logistics.

“We have to make sure that interested clients can view the paintings at their convenience, so that means transporting the artworks carefully from the gallery’s storage area to the client’s home, office, or anywhere they may want to view it,” she said. “That takes coordination and careful transport.”

She also finds designing the website a challenge as she is not a “technical person.”

“Website development is certainly not something I am versed at, but as we developed the site, I learned to make adjustments based on professional web developers’ skills to make it easy to navigate and do justice to the artworks.”

Rocha said the gallery was exploring the idea of different genres of art reacting to each other.

“For example, maybe one day we can feature a musical composition that reacts to a painting; or dance choreography that will react to a piece of sculpture,” she said. “We will continue pushing the limits and definitions of what is ekphrastic—ultimately adding to the experience of art.”

The Galeria Paloma launching exhibit runs until Nov. 22 at The Proscenium model unit at Power Plant Mall. A percentage of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the victims of Typhoon “Yolanda.”

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