The forced seclusion of the quarantine became fertile ground for visual artist Justin “Tiny” Nuyda.
As cofounder of Saturday Group in the 1960s, Nuyda became one of the Philippines’ leading modern and contemporary painters, with a career spanning five decades.
Aside from the pandemic, Nuyda faced other challenges as he recovered from treatment for stage 4 cancer. Yet he was determined to paint, motivated in part by his doctors and the outstanding medical care he received in their hands.
Nuyda, who turned 75 last year, is grateful to have been given a new lease on life and the chance to keep pursuing his art in these times of profound uncertainty.
As a fitting homage to her father, Nuyda’s only daughter, Ayni, established the Search Mindscape Foundation. Ayni’s mission is to encourage dialogue and interaction among artists in the local community. She also dreams of supporting art students and young artists through the foundation’s projects.
Propelled by her father’s unwavering passion to continue creating amid the coronavirus crisis, Ayni conceptualized “Art Unbound,” an online exhibition in collaboration with interior designer Jigs Adefuin and Adefuin Design Studio.
“Witnessing my father passionately paint every single day of the community quarantine, despite his health predicament, was truly inspiring,” said Ayni. “His discipline is impeccable.”
She and Adefuin saw a unique opportunity to feature an inspiring narrative on the digital platform. “Art Unbound” presented Nuyda’s most recent paintings—each one an exploration of form, texture and color—within digitally rendered interiors designed and curated by Adefuin.
The innovative vídeo invited viewers to virtually step into contemporary living, dining, bedroom and work-from-home spaces with Nuyda’s paintings as focal points.
The monthlong online exhibit unfolded gradually, each week unveiling a specific set of paintings within Adefuin’s sleek interior perspectives, until its culmination June 15.
Nuyda transformed the solitude of his home into a realm of “fractal worlds.” He painted continuously, experimenting with visual elements, resulting in a series of 12 abstractions.
Among them is an arresting self-portrait, “The World as My Eye Sees It.” The painting’s anchor is a central giant eye that reveals spectacles of red, green, blue and yellow light which, for the artist, represent different elements of the natural world.
Ayni describes the work as “a closeup of my father’s eye looking out at the world, how he views it right now: chaotic and destructive.”
Yet the artist’s eye, unbound by time, goes beyond the current crisis, acknowledging our world’s inherent natural beauty. It comes as no surprise that Nuyda’s paintings were snapped up by enthusiasts and collectors who were eager to hold on to a precious work of art created during a critical time. INQ
For a post-exhibit view of Nuyda’s “Art Unbound” collection, visit www.searchmindscape.com.