Metals in motion

Published December 8, 2021, 4:30 PM

by S.C. Fojas

Pepe Mendoza reveals his emotions in ‘Hinuha ng Karanasan’

Layout design by Pinggot Zulueta

It’s all in the eyes. When you look at Pepe Mendoza’s sculptures made of metals, carbon, and lead in his just concluded exhibit “Hinuha ng Karanaan,” the eyes will do the talking. In a glimpse you will feel the longing, the fear, the calm.


The exhibition ran at Art Lounge Manila in November, honoring various characters from the Bible combined with the artist’s experiences in life. The sculptures are a result of his fascination with the gamut of human experiences.

“I want my sculptures to bring out the emotions of mankind, to tell their stories, and to show that each human is more than their stories. Inspired by the themes and characters from the Bible, I depicted the human sufferings, their joys, their sacrifices, their blessings,” says Pepe.

Truly, every piece speaks for itself. Every detail has its story and can become very personal both for the artist and the viewer. There are sculptures that depict the bright side of life while some bring you into the depths of darkness.

Not all angels are in heaven, some of them are among us, in the form of our mother or father, friend, sister, brother, someone we love or someone who loves us.

Hindi Lahat ng May Pakpak ay Nakatira sa Langit, Mild Steel Sculpture on Wood Stone, 2021

One of the pieces that stand out is Hindi Lahat Ng May Pakpak Ay Nakatira sa Langit. It tells us that not all angels are in heaven, some of them are among us, in the form of our mother or father, friend, sister, brother, someone we love or someone who loves us. Without sacrificing his modernity and style in art, Pepe is able to deliver his message.

“I believe in the power of movement, which is why I added details and symbols of motion to bring out the meaning of my sculptures. These motions will tell their stories. Every sculpture is personal. It will also tell my story as an artist and as a human. While making the sculptures, I was also able to discover more about myself. Using carbon, lead, and other metals, I was able to show the details of every sculpture and make it more realistic,” says Pepe.

Paglutang sa Panaginip, Mild Steel Sculpture, 2021

For the artist, the exhibition is meant to celebrate the beauty and joy, the ups and downs of life. The sculptures are not meant to bring out one emotion only, but myriad feelings from every viewer. Each of them will experience a different story.

“Looking at a sculpture is like reading a poem or listening to a song. It brings out different emotions. That’s what I want them to experience in my exhibit,” he says.

Bulaklak ng Hinuha, Mild Steel Sculpture on Wood Stone, 2021

Pepe Mendoza is a sculptor from the leafy suburb of Antipolo City, Rizal. His sculptures are always based on his everyday reality, mostly made of metal, mild steel, wax, carved stone, or plaster. His work is as expressive as he is, who constantly challenges himself with the richness of life and always makes it a point to rise to any challenge.

Art Lounge Manila is located at The Podium, GF, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.