ARTIST AT WORK: She paints the light at end of the tunnel
Through an influence of a friend in 2017, Dr. Meneline Wong, a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, started to enter the art scene. “I was a doctor first before anything else,” she says. “I’ve always believed that science and art coexist together. It’s always a continuous learning process. There’s always the intention to create endless possibilities through trial and error and constant experimentation. While science heals the body, art heals the soul.”
Thanks to that one friend, we are now blessed with Wong’s mesmerizing works, most of which are characterized by an abstract rendering of movements, flows, and, at the same time, stillness, as well as a masterful combination of tones, shades, and layers. Beautifully smudged with colors, Wong’s works are often described by many as resembling an abalone shell or mineral formations like stalactites and stalagmites.
These artistic and stylistic choices are not just done randomly. In every series she releases, Wong attempts to capture or evoke a specific emotion that relates to the contemporary human condition. Her second solo show, “In Moments Like These,” which was held in June 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is one example. In the show, Wong, through her works, described the general feeling of despair amid the pandemic, which was, according to her, “everyone’s lowest point.”
This year, she decided to call her third solo show, “Better Days.” “I believe that this is the year for us to stand up again,” she says. “For new beginnings, new blessings, and new hope for better days ahead.” For the recently concluded exhibition, Wong created a new string of works, which she aptly called the pantone series. “I chose the pantone color of the year in order to make it appropriate, more fitting with our current situation,” she says. “Pantone 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + Pantone 13-0647 Illuminating give color combinations that radiate resilience and, most important, hope.”
While science heals the body, art heals the soul.
To be encouraged and uplifted, according to Wong, is what we all need right now. Indeed, it is undeniable that the abstract pieces exude serenity and calmness, sort of like the feeling you get when you see the light at the end of the tunnel—or maybe that’s just me. In any case, Wong succeeds in her goal. “That’s what’s good about abstract art,” she says. “Sometimes, it all depends on your audience’s point of view. It depends how they want to interpret it or how it affects their emotions. For me, it is mainly about calmness and serenity since I’m a positive kind of person.” Wong makes it clear, however, that she is not a mood-dependent artist, no “hugots” here, according to her. “Every time I paint, I get pure joy and fulfillment, and that certain kind of calmness somehow reflects in my artworks,” she says.
Her process is quite simple. First, she prepares all her paints, which, for her is the most tedious part. What makes everything effortless is her sheer familiarity with her materials. “I know all my paint by heart, all their specific gravities, as well as how they react together and individually,” she says. “This makes my works mostly gravity dependent.”
“Better Days” ran from Feb. 12 to Feb. 31 at the Art Elaan in Parañaque City; www.artelaan.com