Books & Art

The "Dead Hours" of Manila's Most Popular Restaurants are the Subject of This Exhibit

These watercolors show off different side to our favorite dining establishments.
IMAGE courtesy of Gerardo Jimenez
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Gerardo Jimenez, owner of Malipayon Farms, often found himself at his clients' establishments during the dead hours of the day, and as a budding watercolor artist, he was struck by the quiet interiors bathed in afternoon light. "Since these were during the odd hours—I wouldn’t dare disturb the chef during peak service hours—I got to see the restaurants in a way most people don’t get to see them," Jimenez says. 

Fleeting is Jimenez's first one-man show, and the series of watercolors aims to capture the moody, somewhat unexpected, scenes inside some of Metro Manila's most popular restaurants when we're not looking. "On a deeper level, the subject of his paintings is not so much about the restaurant setting as it is about the moment—the slice of time—he chooses to portray, writes An Mercado Alcantara in the notes accompanying the exhibit. "His compositions are attempts to seize the ephemeral by seeming to hold on to the precious few seconds before the predictable happens: before a guest arrives or before the food is served.”

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"Flow" (Mecha Uma) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez

"Afternoon Sun" (Café Ysabel) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez
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The paintings were also done partly as tribute to his client restaurants, which Jimenez's Malipayon Farms has supplied with organic produce for years, and to the personalities behind them. "As I got to know the personalities behind the restaurants, I also realized how much of themselves they expressed through, and brought into their establishments: from highly prized peppermill collections, to unique furniture and trinkets patiently searched for in flea markets and places like Dapitan, or a fondness for decorating their restaurants generously with flowers," he says. "I aspired to bring these little hidden corners and objects to the surface through my painting. To freeze the moment, so the people around could get to recognize and relish this beauty around them."

"Two Lampshades" (Lusso) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez
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"Early for Dinner" (Black Pig) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez

"Handbag on a Bar Stool" (The Black Pig) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez
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"Crema" (The Pigpen) ILLUSTRATOR: Gerardo Jimenez

The exhibit runs from October 13 to November 3, 2018, at the Prism Gallery in Legaspi Village, Makati, and is for the benefit of the Sibol Hesus School.

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