Where Art Thou: Our People by Solenn Heussaff

“I’ve been saying it for years, that I’ll do an exhibit,” says Solenn Heussaff. “[At one point,] I just had to set a date because if I don’t set a date, it’s never gonna happen.”

For three years, she’s been talking about this upcoming exhibit that will be available for everyone to see. Finally, for one whole month, starting April 8 until today, twenty five (25) of Solenn’s life-sized oil paintings were open for public viewing.

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Photo by Patrick Diokno

We’ve known Solenn as an actress, a model, a TV host, and a professional make-up artist. She has been involved in different fields of arts being the house designer for local knitwear brand Tan-Gan and, as an actress, a close collaborator with legendary director Peque Gallaga. Little did we know, this woman is also good with the paintbrush. She took formal classes when she was young, and has been practicing the craft since then, in between her gigs and photoshoots.

“Painting relaxes my mind and helps me press my emotions without saying a word and without the world’s judgments.”

Her soulful paintings were inspired by around-the-world travels, from Myanmar to Thailand to France to Bukidnon to General Santos, made with family and friends for the past 27 years or so. When I heard that she’s holding an exhibit, I was too giddy and excited about seeing them all because… local art scene!

Every journey begins with a single step. In the case of our subject… a blank canvas and some pencil sketches.

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn) on

 

Until, finally, at Pineapple Lab.

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Beautiful Mess
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Tribes Woman, Africa
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Cambodia
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Market Seller, Burma
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Woman with Blue Umbrella (left); Wisdom, Chiang Rai, Thailand (right)
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Colors of India, India
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Monk, Burma (left/bottom right); Grace, Ifugao Tribe (right/top right)
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Boat Girl, Vietnam
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Matigsalog Women, Bukidnon
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Obstacles
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The Voodoo, Africa, and a furniture collaboration with Philux
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Tahitian King, Tahiti (left); Bare (right)
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Female Warrior, a painting that represents all the women fighting breast cancer
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Desire

 

I wish I could’ve stayed at the exhibit a bit longer. The gallery closes at around 7PM and I only came after work hours (and Makati traffic) so I had roughly an hour to look at them all. Bitin! Every frame was stirring and mesmerizing. I could stare at them for a whole day. To tell you the truth, every time I open the exhibit photos I took from my camera, I find myself just staring at them for hours! Solenn was also there when I visited. Lucky! At that moment, in a sea of people around her, I really wanted to line up and ask her questions about her artworks. But I had to battle with the thought of waiting in line or walking around the gallery in roughly an hour (because they’re about to close) to check out the works. I had to do the latter, because I know I could find another way to know more about the paintings.

Solenn was right when she said that her subject matters have more soul than us who live in the city, like they know more and appreciate the simple things more. There is so much depth in tribes people that we see common to her works, older women, especially. Every line in their faces has a story to tell. It’s like showing a bit of fragility and strength at the same time — a characteristic that, I believe, all of us should possess.

 


Solenn Marie Heussaff is a Filipina-French VJ, actress, model, singer, TV host, fashion designer, painter, and professional make-up artist. She was an endorser of several products in and out of the country before officially entering the industry as a reality TV star in Survivor Philippines: Celebrity Showdown. Afterwards, she signed a contract under GMA Network and GMA Artist Center. For more about Solenn, check out her Instagram and Twitter.

Pineapple Lab is a creative space consisting of: (1) a photography gallery, (2) a cultural center that holds nightly art abouts, and (3) a versatile venue for shows and abouts. The creative space is located along R. Palma Street in Barangay Poblacion; Makati’s center of government, history, culture and entertainment. Just a stone’s throw away from the upscale areas of Rockwell and Century City and the bustling nightlife of P. Burgos. Check out Pineapple Lab updates and upcoming events via their website, Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram.

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