Lilianna Manahan: Silver linings through art with ‘Unlimited’

Published March 17, 2021, 3:46 PM

by John Legaspi

The artist invites everyone to see the beauty in the uncertain and the mundane in her upcoming exhibit

‘Post Tenebras Lux XV’ and ‘Lady Lounge 1’

After a year in community quarantine, many of us now have a newfound appreciation for the things we’d taken for granted in the past. Mostly, these are the simplest of things such as giving out the best smile, taking time to appreciate a view, and having an intimate dinner outside. As we are still counting months under quarantine, many are feeling hopeless, tired, and unmotivated. And who can blame them?

But for Lilianna Manahan, our current state clings to art for hope, whether to give beauty or just something to hold onto when challenges arise.

“I think that artists are the storytellers, the thermometers, and shapers of culture,” she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “For us to stop creating during at such a time as this would first, not fulfill the purpose of the artist/creative. Second, to continue creating will shape how people live whether it is through new products and designs to help us live, or have objects and work to delight in and to feed the soul through beauty. That is a form of a breath of fresh air.”

With nothing but paper, paint, wax, metal leaf, and a huge desk, Lilianna went with the task of seeing wonder in the uncertain and the mundane. Through her upcoming exhibit “Unlimited,” the artist presents her creativity with no limits in a series of metal works, drawings, and fine jewelry. 

The exhibit features art in different forms and contrasting aesthetics “Bright Shadows” is composed of her black iron light sculptures, playing with shadows as part of the art rather than something to eliminate. “Post Tenebras Lux“ is an optimistic interpretation of our times depicted through metal leaf and paper. Lastly, “Lady Lounge,” “Chex Mix,” and “Cinnamon Swirl” are all about artw the body can display.

“My hope is to encourage people to continue seeing the silver lining and put their hope in a bigger picture in a time like this. It might sound corny but this is really it,” Lilianna says. “My process in creating this small collection of things drew from a point of limitation, but in it I found so many options as I worked with what I had, and tried to do it in the best way possible. I think this can be applicable to anybody, not just the artist because I think we are all creative in different ways. I believe there was some sort of breakthrough for myself in this body of work, and I hope this comes to many others as well.”

“Unlimited” will run from March 27 to April 24, 2021 at Modeka Art in Chino Roces Ave., Makati City. To book a private viewing, send a message to [email protected] or call (+639) 56 174 9185.