Louie Ignacio admits that he’s a loner and that is something unusual for someone who works in show business. But perhaps this should explain why he enjoys being a visual artist.
Ignacio is the award-winning director of such independent movies as “School Service,” “Asintado” and “Laut.” “School Service” has won awards from the Porto international film fest in Portugal and WorldFest in Houston, Texas.
A television director at GMA 7, Ignacio has charted a separate but successful career in the visual arts with six previous sold-out exhibits.
His latest exhibit, “Heaven and Earth,” will open tomorrow, 6 p.m., at Crucible Gallery in SM Megamall. In his seventh exhibit, Ignacio will reveal a more personal side to him through objects he kept from his memorable travels and from places close to his heart.
Unlike in TV and film where work is mainly collaborative, Ignacio works with his sculptures and paintings alone inside his home after every shoot and during his free time. Despite his busy schedule, he still continues to produce artworks.
“It is a very personal show,” he said. “Viewers will feel who I really am, what kind of person I am and what I really want,” Ignacio said. “I want to show the purity of my intention and also the purity of nature, that’s why it’s called ‘Heaven and Earth.’”
Ignacio said he enjoys traveling because he draws inspiration from it. It also provides him new knowledge and the space for reflection.
Despite making his name in show business, he doesn’t do much “socializing,” calling himself a “loner” by nature. He even prefers to travel alone.
Memorabilia he had collected from his trips have been incorporated in the new exhibit, such as a mask from Venice, a jade vase from a shipwreck in Tawi-Tawi, and coffee cups with prints of Frederic Chopin’s musical sheets from Warsaw.
Saying that Chopin (1810-1849), the virtuoso pianist-composer of the Romantic era, is a favorite of Ignacio is an understatement. Chopin is chief inspiration of Ignacio’s art.
“Louie Ignacio loves Chopin,” according to the exhibit notes. “In the paradise beside the Pagsanjan river which he calls home, surrounded by nature, by art and everything he holds dear, Chopin’s music often wafts through the rooms of the house, in time with the flow of the waters outside, filling the household with deep feeling.”
The house beside the river, with its devotional chapel, lush gardens, and art pieces—define the private Louie Ignacio, away from the kleig lights and hurly-burly of show biz.
“Like Chopin, Ignacio takes to the canvas, and loads it, through paint, to express what words often fall hard to say,” exhibit notes say. “Like Chopin, Ignacio imbibes poetry in his works, and they involve love—
for solitude, for nature, for home, for motherland, and the manifold mysteries of life.”
Ignacio’s paintings show rocky landscapes inspired by the expressionist works of Juvenal Sans.
The works depict the binaries of nature—“timelessness and mortality, toughness and fragility, complexity and simplicity, sparseness and abundance, hard roughness and viscous softness, contented joy and listless nostalgia.”
For the first time, Ignacio will be showing his mixed-media sculptures of quick dry clay from Chopin’s Poland, low fired clay from Laguna, and river stones from Pagsanjan which he personally handpicked.
The works include pearls from Palawan.
The sculptures are a study in contrasts, “fusing disparate elements … and contrasting textures, shapes and colors.”
“The clay floral sculpture is the highlight of the show. It has a mix of white and terracotta colors which represents “heaven” and “earth,” respectively,” said Ignacio.
As in filmmaking, Ignacio said his artmaking is “personal.” But he admitted he gets more freedom with the visual arts. —CONTRIBUTED
“Heaven and Earth” will run May 21-June 2 at Crucible Gallery at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; tel. 6356061.