Better together

Published November 2, 2021, 11:31 AM

by Fojas Sara Grace C.

Artist couple Brian Uhing and S-Ann Ch’i spontaneously blend their colors together to create magnificent art pieces

Like puzzle pieces with different shapes but fit perfectly together, Brian Uhing and S-Ann Ch’i, the art couple and partners in life, combine their talent to produce art at “The Manila’bang Show” under Galerie Roberto this December, running from Dec. 8 to 12.

Brian Uhing and S-Ann Ch’i

The exhibition expresses the couple’s attempt to individually go about their creative work without forcing cohesion and trusting their life at the studio together will surface in their work.

“In our 11 years of marriage, we have realized that although some blending does occur, on the whole, it is our chosen individual identities, which are strengthened by the knowledge that we both accept each other completely. You are embroidered to be yourself to the fullest. It is this force of bringing together while defining each element that intrigues us!” says Brian.

Brian Uhing. ‘The Slow March of Time,’ Oil on Canvas, 2021

Brian Uhing. ‘Children’s Games,’ Oil on Canvas, 2021

A surrealist by heart, Brian considers his art process very traditional, leaning toward the Flemish and Venetian style of painting or what he calls “glazing galore.” He paints not just for the sake of being fanciful and strange but to run a narrative through his work. He is inspired by everything and anything from music to clouds to personal experience.

“I feel that the subjects for my paintings meet me halfway. I don’t try to capture so much of what a subject is but a feeling within me in relation to that subject, whatever it may be. Truth be told, I do not fully understand how the images come, but they do come,” he says.

Brian Uhing. ‘Lady Vanitas,’ Oil on Canvas, 2021

S-Ann Ch’i. ‘Number 2,’ Acrylic on Canvas, 2021

S-Ann, whose name is derived from Chinese philosophy, which means life force or energy flow, describes her art as gestural abstraction.

“The art of creation demands that I literally work around and inside the painting. The process involves the application of intuition, experimentation, my personal expressions, and improvisational decision-making,” she says. “Having to work with the natural forces of gravity for each drop, pour, flow, and splash of paint onto the canvas, the finished piece is an assemblage of gestures that evoke a sensation from the viewer,”

Her paintings capture the raw aesthetics of her subject, bringing excitement to the entire narrative of the piece.

Aside from being an artist, S-Ann busies herself with various advocacies, which her husband fully supports. She is a biomedical scientist and philanthropist.

S-Ann Ch’i. ‘Number 7,’ Acrylic on Canvas, 2021

S-Ann Ch’i. ‘Number 3,’ Acrylic on Canvas, 2021

“I have been supporting charitable institutions since 1998. I have also established ‘S-Ann Ch’i Toy Libraries’ project, which is several public community-based toy libraries, where children of a certain barangay can borrow books and toys for free. This project is designed to support children’s development, promote learning through play, and spread love and kindness. There are currently 18 toy libraries operating. I also created S-Ann Ch’i Scholars, which gives assistance to underprivileged children. And there is also the annual ‘Christmas Gift-Giving Caravan’ as well,” she says.

Everything about Brian and S’Ann lives is a conglomerate of their ideas—from their art to their lifestyle. They have mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work. Their distinguished approach to their creations and wonderful partnership in life and art brings out extraordinary collaborations. This power couple continuously inspires and influences each other.

“We’ve been together for 11 years, we never argue,” ends Brian.

The Manila’bang Show will run from Dec. 8 to 12.