ART

THE ART OF SEB CHUA

    • Seb Chua was the head of a steel manufacturing and furniture business for years before he gave vent to his passion.
      “My dad was against it at first. He said art alone would not feed my family. As the eldest son, I did what was expected of me. I managed our family business and soon expanded our operations to Pampanga, Cebu and China. My dad was so proud of me. Life became comfortable but I did not feel complete. My dad knew that eventually I would go back to my first love.”
      Seb may now be known for his fractal sculpture but his signature style has yet to take shape. His old paintings, done when he was a Fine Arts student at the University of Santo Tomas, are Picasso-esque, geometrical figures bathed in dazzling colors.
      His contemporary works, however, have taken a different twist, reminiscent of Roberto Dabdoub’s photomicrography which explores beauty in DNA, molds and enzymes.
      “Some describe my paintings as a galaxy scene of sorts. I don’t really plan my paintings. I start with some random brushstrokes and the rest of the process is like a journey. It’s like being in a trance.”
      WILD SPIRIT
    • Experimenting with various styles has seemingly worked in his favor. He has become a huge favorite with high-end art collectors and irresistible to art lovers of all ages and backgrounds.
      “My artist-friends suggest that I stay close to my sculpture theme when I paint. They believe that’s how I can establish my identity. They say that when they look at my sculptures and paintings, they see two different artists instead of just one. Well, I get a different kind of fulfillment when I paint. It’s like another side of me that wants to come out. What is important is to express what I feel, not so much to please others. If there are two different personalities that emerge, then let them be.”
      Curiously, he signs his paintings as “EUSEBIO,” and his sculptures as “SEB.”
      His WILD SPIRIT is a cut above his sober, angst-free sculptures of couples fused in a loving embrace. But most of his works somehow retain a zen-like quality recognized by thousands of fans who never tire of dropping comments on his website, and which Seb answers individually. This quality surfaced in SERENDIPITY exhibits at ArtAsia which were sold-out shows in 2007 and 2008.
      “The collector of WILD SPIRIT has decided to put it in his powder room. I don’t mind where my collectors display my sculptures as long as they enjoy viewing them. And after all, this particular collector bought 10 of my artworks so I can’t complain.”
      LOVERS, in green marble finish, went to Vice President Noli de Castro, and displayed right under his VP seal. Seb’s works reflect positive energy, in contrast to many contemporary art pieces that shock and release their pet demons.
    • Seb does not mind disclosing what material he uses, the process involved, and what goes through his mind while doing a particular piece. He enjoys listening to people’s interpretation of his works.
      “I feel happy when my art directly speaks to them as if it has taken a life of its own.”
      His sculptures are often grabbed fast, even before they could be installed for an exhibit. Senator Edgardo Angara, tantalized by Majestic’s fluid lines, took it home.
      “I deliberately make figures without a face. It is more challenging to convey emotions through forms rather than relying on facial expressions.”
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