‘TWO PLACES AT ONCE’: Katelyn Miñoso’s bright works speak of Being Here and There 

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Katelyn Miñoso, a 23-year-old, Ilongga self-taught artist, opened her second solo exhibit, “Two Places at Once,” at the Mamusa Art Gallery, Festive Walk Iloilo on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

Finding solace and inspiration in her surroundings as she struggled during her stay in Manila, the exhibit showcases 12 oil paintings depicting certain places where the artist would often go and be reminded of her home in Iloilo.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” – a quote from Thomas Merton that resonates with her experience in making her paintings.

“During that time, (referring to her stay in Manila) parang there’s this disassociation. Like even though nandoon ako sa Manila, there’s this part of me that is seeking Iloilo, parang may missing piece, and I believe that’s Iloilo. Throughout the journey of making these pieces, I realized na home is not necessarily being back to Iloilo, but home is being able to be yourself doing art and finding yourself. That’s when I find painting my home, like, I find myself whenever I am painting,” Katelyn shared during her opening speech.

The exhibit’s title, “Two Places at Once,” alludes to the creative concept behind her artworks. It is being in two different places simultaneously – being physically present in one place and mentally present in another.

Indulged by her yearnings and feeling of disassociation, she is comforted by the sight of specific locations in Makati that resemble her home in Iloilo.

“Sa sini nga exhibit gid daw merge siya sang duha ka places. Amo ni like daw medyo tone down siya somehow. Realistically, ang places niya sini (referring to her paintings) based sa Makati gid and when I go to these places it was intentional…usually mga muni nga spaces, sila ni ang garemind me of home, of Iloilo. That’s why two different places,” she said in an interview with Daily Guardian.

Katelyn has been doing art since she was nine years old, and she got serious with painting when she turned 13.

She began with Realism, Charcoal, and Graphite works. She eventually ventured into exploring and discovering new art forms until she gradually realized and found her own style during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is her unique utilization of vibrant colors in her works.

Her paintings are dominated by vibrant colors, stirring powerful emotions and bringing the viewer into dreamlike spaces. The intense hues of the varying shades of color, green, yellow, and red, evoke both a sense of estrangement and familiarity as the paintings vividly capture the sentimental and nostalgic ambiance of those scenic locations. The vibrant colors, reflect how the artist perceives life and how she views the world in a normal day.

“So ang use of colors ko kay unrealistic sya meaning sina indi sya ang how you would see usually colors in a usual scene. So, it’s because how I see life or like how I see the world sa normal day ko, it’s very vibrant. It’s hard to explain basta sa gamay-gamay nga bagay I got excited because I see life in a very exciting way. So that’s why ang colors ko vibrant,” Kate explained.

“I just want to paint simple things and beauty. I like to paint because I like to create. It makes me happy,” she added when asked about her goals in her paintings. She added that it is to depict things as it is.

Among the paintings included in the exhibit are Fragment Maze, Away from Refuge, Wandering, Artificial Oasis, A Sip for Reality, and more that can be viewed until August 5.