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Visual Artist Lizanne Uychaco Highlights Traditional Symbols Of Luck In ‘Colors of Prosperity’

Visual Artist Lizanne Uychaco Highlights Traditional Symbols Of Luck In ‘Colors of Prosperity’
Artist Lizanne Uychaco

There is much to be gleaned from even just a few minutes of listening to Lizanne Uychaco, a Filipino-Chinese visual artist whose works are almost always sold out on opening night for the good fortune they bring to the viewers, moreso perhaps to the eventual owners.

Depending on who you ask, luck is a concept not everyone may believe in. There are those whose luck is manifested only after having put in the work and recognizing the opportune moment when it arrives. And Uychaco seems to understand this quite well. With a tender but firm voice, the first and only feng shui artist in the Philippines, says that she likes things that are lucky. 

“I believe that if you focus on things that are positive, it brings out the positive in you,” Uychaco says. “If you know that when you look at something that symbolizes success, if you meditate on it, then you strive for it.”

Her ongoing exhibition “Colors of Prosperity” at Conrad Manila’s Gallery C is a testament to Uychaco’s artistry, as she highlights traditional symbols of luck such as horses, money trees and coins in heavily textured works with bright and prosperous colors meant to usher in good luck, harmony, prosperity, wealth and success.

Pictures do not give justice to the paintings as it requires closer inspection to truly appreciate the detail Uychaco – who began as a watercolorist and also does pottery and jewelry – puts in her works, where nothing is left to chance, every brushstroke deliberate and each element serving a purpose. Considering that these are recent works, it definitely says a lot about her dedication to her art, which she describes as a retreat that gives her happiness and balance. 

When she is not painting, Uychaco serves as the senior vice president of SM Investments Corporation, and as a trustee and president of the Sunshine Place Senior Recreation Center in Makati, a foundation dedicated to seniors to enable them to paint, fulfill bucket lists and develop their minds, bodies and souls. Uychaco also has two master’s degrees in business administration and economics from Ateneo de Manila University and the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Lucky coin

Uychaco’s works have been exhibited in the Philippines and overseas and are part of museum collections as well as art books. Locally, she is among the artists managed by Art Elements Asian Gallery in SM Aura.

Curiously present in each piece is an abstract oriental coin – a round shape with a void square representing heaven and earth, yin and yang, which was the basis of the “I Ching,” the circle of life, and the Zen of meditation – that Uychaco first encountered when she was five years old. 

“I got very sick and I had to stop kindergarten,” she shares. “Then a feng shui master, who was a family friend, gave me a magic coin and he told me I would be very lucky, rich – at the time I didn’t know what rich meant – and I really got well and since then I haven’t been very sickly.”

The coin is already corroded but since then, she’s had a collection of lucky coins from her travels. “Colors of Prosperity” is Uychacho’s second solo exhibit. The first was “Heaven and Earth” in 2019, which showcased 24 of her paintings also at Conrad Hotel.

Guests during the recent vernissage were SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation (SMHCC) president Elizabeth Sy; SMHCC executive vice president Peggy Angeles; Conrad Manila general manager Fabio Berto; and Transnational Diversified Group chairman Jose Roberto Delgado. Conrad Manila’s executive chef Warren Brown served well-curated cocktails that were complemented by a selection of premium wines.

“We are delighted to usher in 2023 and the Year of the Rabbit with Lizanne’s vibrant Filipino-Chinese art pieces that echoes tradition, family, and positivity,” Berto shares. “Our commitment in sharing the light and warmth of hospitality through curated touches of luxury that are empowering and bold are echoed by Lizanne’s solo exhibit, her second with the hotel.”

“I owe my success to a lot of people,” Uychaco said. “I want to thank Conrad for hosting my exhibit again. Betty Sy, who was the brainchild of this beautiful hotel… I always say, ‘for things that are of good taste, that are exquisite, count on her because she has an understated taste for elegance.’”

The Filipino-Chinese visual artist also acknowledged former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nestor Jardin, who curated the exhibit together with Art Elements that has managed Uychaco’s career for more than two decades.

Uychaco was launched by the Ayala Museum in 1993 through a discovery series. Most of her works are largely rendered in mixed media, owing to her lifelong training in sculpture, pottery, jewelry-making, silver craft, gold gilding, calligraphy, and painting in watercolor, oils, and acrylics.

“Of Art and Wine: Colors of Prosperity” by Lizanne Uychaco is open to the public until March 18, 2023. For inquiries on the artworks, call Conrad Manila at +63 2 8833 9999 or Art Elements Asian Gallery at +63 917 957 7005. You may also email [email protected]

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