Auspicious objects on canvas

One can’t help but be buoyed by the positive vibes emanating from the canvases of artist Valerie Teng. She uses clear and bright colors to paint swirls and curlicues that convey waves whether it’s of water or of clouds. Valerie uses this technique or a variation of it when she draws fish fins and florals. There is a charming sense of naïveté in her two-dimensional depictions of lucky cats and lotuses, heart shapes and dragon heads.

The artist started out by posting her pieces on social media. She went on to join group shows where she honed and continues to hone her style. In June 2022, Valerie held her first solo show at ARTablado. For her second solo show which runs from May 1 to May 15, again at ARTablado, she has come up with a total of 40 artworks with the theme “All the Luck in the World.”

The pieces are a collection of symbols that represent good luck such as water, fish and mythical creatures. Her use of cool, pastel colors and delicate lines is designed to take viewers to a world where there is calm, solace and tranquility intertwined with intense passion and affection. 

While her first solo show focused on flowers, there is a similar thread running through this collection of auspicious items, which is one of overwhelming positivity and brightness. 

“My first solo show focused mainly on florals and the idea of getting lost in a sea of flowers. I’ve always enjoyed being surrounded by light and happy colors for it gives you a sense of tranquility which my works represent,” Valerie said.

“In the almost one year since then, my love for pastels hasn’t diminished but this time, I’ve incorporated more elements and adjusted the hues a bit, made them deeper. I also used ‘lucky symbols’ that I hope bring luck and peace to the homes of whoever buys the pieces.”

Valerie’s flowers are still present but she has added waves and delicate elements to illustrate “the feeling of being suspended in water and of peace and quiet.”

Peace and quiet is something the artist aspires to. In fact, she describes her work as calm, peaceful and sometimes nostalgic. “It’s very much a representation of me as a person,” she said. 

“Since I am a huge fan of Feng Shui, I decided to showcase artworks that I feel could bring good luck, peace and happiness. The collection, I might say, is quiet but speaks volumes. It is what I’ve always wanted to achieve in life: to be calm, to be peaceful and to be loved,” she said.

On her Instagram, Valerie quotes Canadian self-help book author and motivational speaker Robin Sharma. “In stillness lives wisdom. In quiet, you’ll find peace. In solitude you’ll remember yourself.” 

Valerie is thankful for the exposure she got after her first solo exhibit at ARTablado last year because it opened a lot of opportunities for her in the local art scene. “ARTablado is my second home and it will be forever my home. I am truly grateful that the inspirational people behind it put their trust in me and continue to believe in my talent.”

Like the swirls of movement on her canvases, Valerie is determined to continue moving and growing as an artist. She has been exploring new techniques and developing new skills to gain more experience in the art field. 

“I’ve incorporated other elements like delicate lines and sharper colors to represent my maturity as an artist. I also tried to explore other genres like Pop Art,” she said.

Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. This platform allows emerging artists to freely express themselves through art and paves the way to greater recognition of their talent and hard work. To date, ARTablado has mounted numerous exhibitions and hosted over 300 artists.

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