Interview The Kanto Team
Images Frank Nobleza and Tubô Cebu Art Fair
Editor’s Note: This interview with Iloilo City-based artist Frank Nobleza was made possible by Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2023. Nobleza is among the fair’s featured artists, specializing in mixed media works.
Welcome to Kanto, Frank! As an artist and licensed architect, how do these two realms intersect in your work?
As an architect and an artist, I believe that my artistic abilities give me an edge in designing unique and creative architectural structures. To me, every project is a work of art, like a sculpture brought to life. After passing my board exams, I shifted my focus to Architecture, leaving my flourishing art career behind. However, in 2018, I decided to pursue my passion for art once again and held my second solo show at Museo Iloilo. Since then, I have been continuing my art journey alongside my work in Architecture. It is important to note that my architectural background does not influence my artistry; it is my artistry that influences my approach to Architecture.
Your solo exhibitions in 1999, 2018, and 2023 featured experimental and mixed-media works. Can you elaborate on your approach to experimenting with different media and how it allows you to break free from traditional artistic boundaries?
Creating art using mixed media is a never-ending journey of learning. As an artist, I see myself as a scientist. Even after discovering new ideas and techniques, I always strive to improve and find new ways to elevate my art. I aim to share my art with viewers in a way that creates a sense of consciousness and attachment. I am constantly exploring and trying out new things to take my art to the next level, and I aspire to create a unique style that sets me apart from others.
Your artwork has garnered recognition in esteemed competitions such as the Philippine Art Awards, Visayas Arts Awards, and Metrobank Young Painters Annual Top Ten. How do you maintain your unique artistic vision while competing or exhibiting on such platforms, and what does this recognition mean to you?
Art competitions are distinct from art exhibits. Every artist who participates in an art competition is striving to win and gain recognition. When joining an art competition, it is essential to look for unique and fresh ideas and techniques to make your artwork stand out from the rest. Winning recognition is a bonus and adds to your accomplishments, but the most critical factor is proving to yourself what you are capable of and making a statement through your art.
In your creative journey, how do you see your artistic style evolving over time? Are there specific themes or directions you plan to pursue in the future?
It is true that time is the ultimate teller of all things. As an artist, I do not have the ability to predict the future. Instead, I focus on putting in the hard work and letting things happen naturally. The key to success is to stay honest to your craft and always give it your best effort. By doing so, you can elevate your art to new heights. It is important to be resourceful and find joy in the process of creating.
The Philippines is teeming with artistic talent; how do you feel about the blossoming of region-centric art fairs like Tubô? How do you think these fairs help amplify the wealth of creative talent in the Visayas and Mindanao regions?
I appreciate the efforts of the organizers of Tubô Art Fair in providing a platform for undiscovered artists to showcase their work and gain recognition. This event is a great opportunity for artists who have not had the chance to exhibit in galleries or museums. It will showcase various artistic styles and encourage those who have been left behind by time. I want to express my gratitude to the Tubô Art Fair organizers and look forward to more such events in the future. •
Frank Nobleza was born on January 8, 1977, in Iloilo City, Philippines. He is a self-taught visual artist and a licensed architect. In 1999, he was named the Most Outstanding Graduate of the University of San Agustin’s College of Technology. He developed an interest in art after participating in Local and National Art Congresses, which led to him having three solo art exhibitions in 1999, 2018, and 2023, mainly showcasing his experimental mixed-media works.
Nobleza has been recognized for his artistic achievements, including being a finalist in the Philippine Art Awards three times (1997, 2008, and 2010), a two-time winner of the Visayas Arts Awards (2007 and 2010), and recognition in the Metrobank Young Painters Annual Top Ten in 1999. He was also a finalist in the Shell National Students Art Competition from 1996 to 1999.
In addition to exhibitions, Nobleza’s work has been featured in “PANANAW,” a Philippines Journal for Visual Arts. He has participated in group shows at notable galleries in Iloilo, Cebu, and Manila, including Gallerie Roberto, Eskinita Art Gallery, Nuzen Art Gallery, Gallery Artes, Qube Art Gallery, Puluyan Art Gallery, UPV Gallery, and Museo Iloilo. Furthermore, his artistic talent earned him a spot among 50 chosen artists by NCCA-CVA for the “Sung-duan” National Traveling Art Exhibition, which had its grand opening at the Bulwagang Juan Luna, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).