Oriental Perspective: Watercolor and Ink Workshop with Rafael Cusi

“Oriental Perspective: Watercolor and Ink lecture and workshop with the Master Watercolorist of the Philippines Rafael Cusi”

Rafael “Popoy” Cusi, considered as the Master Watercolorist of the Philippines, will present a free lecture and workshop of watercolor and ink on Saturday, September 3, at 2-5 PM at G/F Foremost Corporate Center, 102 West Avenue, Brgy. Philam, Quezon City 1104 Metro Manila, Philippines.

Speaking from the Oriental perspective, Mr. Cusi will discuss the fundamentals of ink and watercolor. He will also share his philosophy on the relationship between the two mediums.

The workshop will begin with the sketching of human figures and/or landscapes, to be followed by the application of watercolor on the sketches.

“Popoy,” as Mr. Cusi is fondly called by his friends, put himself through secondary school in Mindoro by applying his talent to street art. He painted signs, billboards, public murals, backdrops and even designed lavish carrozas (festival floats) for the many fiesta celebrations in his hometown. At one point, he even made a few extra pesos by painting tricycles, jeepneys, and houses.

Mr. Cusi has since earned a BFA degree from the Philippine Women’s University. He won numerous awards from the Art Association of the Philippines as well as from prestigious cultural institutions abroad, including the European Art for Environment Award for his book “The Philippine Coral Reefs in Watercolor by Cusi” which was endorsed by the United Nations and Smithsonian Institute in 1997.

As one of the best out of only a handful of watercolorists in the Philippines, 70% of his works are in watercolor, most of which depicting the Philippines’ world-class underwater scenes. The reason for choosing the medium is because the Europeans are known for pioneering the use of oil in painting, the Americans acrylic paint, while Orientals have ink and watercolor. As a Filipino and an Oriental (Asian), Mr. Cusi takes pride in his heritage.

The Philippine’s leading art critic Mr. Cid Reyes wrote in his review “Rafael Cusi’s Songs of Water” published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 6, 2013: “Rafael Cusi is unique as an artist since growing up in Mindoro, not only was he surrounded by water, he has actually gone deep into the sea’s hidden caverns. Thus, when he paints his underwater masterpieces, it is not a vicarious experience but, indeed, a reliving of his childhood and adolescence.”

“Artworks, however, depicting the underwater world partake of an element of voyeurism, of peering into a universe on which most mortals have never set foot. The experience may, therefore, be equated with staring at an aquarium or an ocean park,” Mr. Reyes added.

The Master Watercolorist had the opportunity to reside in Europe and Spain but still chose to come back to the Philippines. He participated in many successful exhibitions in the Philippines, US, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and in Europe.

Mr. Rafael Cusi has been a longtime friend of Transwing® Art Gallery President Mr. Klaus W. Hartung. He is exhibiting in Transwing® Art Gallery’s Quezon City showroom and its outside exhibitions in the Philippines and Germany for many years now.

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