I am Michael Vincent Manalo, from Quezon City (Philippines). I'm the kind of person who loves to travel, see the world, other cultures, see how people behave and respond to life's situations. See how life really is. I'm the kind of person who loves living life according to the dream I've always had, and just strive for happiness. I'm a visual artist, a musician, and I also write poetry.I work as a designer for international publishing companies and brands. For my personal work, I've managed to exhibit my artworks in galleries and museums in Australia, England, Georgia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Taiwan, and USA. I've also won awards such as the Best Photography Illustration at the Redmond Digital Arts Festival in Washington DC, USA (2011) and the first Prize in Digital Art fom the Chianciano Museum of Art in Chianciano, Italy (2010). I also gave lectures in photo-manipulation in TAFE Warnambool in Australia, Acapella Photography Center in Singapore, and Galeria Bielska in Poland.
What is your message through creation?
I want the viewer to feel their inner selves. I want the artwork to be a means for them to remember blissful memories, which are usually shrouded by busy lifestyles. I want the artwork to be a means to feel life.
Home or Away?
I'm fond of traveling and I've been on the road for 2 years now, so I'm more of a nomadic-finding-the-place-I-would-call-home-guy.
Your first artistic encounter?
I started drawing in first grade, I was watching a lot of cartoons and I decided to copy what I saw on TV or sometimes sketch my own characters. But I think this is just normal for kids to explore... I think the real artistic encounter was when I learned about digital SLRs: and then was so eager to capture life the way I imagined it…
What medium(s) do you work in?
I work in photography, installation and sound -- often times I mix these.
What is the first step in your creative process?
I start sketching ideas or at other times I create a blank canvas in photoshop, look at some photos, and inspiration just comes to mind! Then I start -- "creating by not thinking"...
Where/when do you get most inspired?
When feelings of nostalgia fill me: I enter a state of persistent melancholy and I feel such beautiful sadness with bits of hopefulness -- this makes me feel excited and dream of blissful memories while also thinking of the mystery of tomorrow.
What are you working on at the moment? Any exciting future projects?
Right now, I'm in residency in Taichung (Freedom Men Art Apartments) in Taiwan. I'm also preparing two upcoming solo exhibitions in May: one in Rome (Italy) at Rosso20sette Arte Contemporanea, and one at Galleria Duemila in Manila (Philippines).I continue working as a freelance designer for several international clients: designing books, album covers, and invitation cards.
Your favorite work? Why?
"Tales from the Hidden Attic": it really speaks of "heavy" moments in my life where I dream (a lot) of doing the things I'm currently doing. It's the foundation of my dreams, my goals, what I want to feel, see, and experience. Hidden attic because I considered my room a sanctuary, the only place where I can change into anything, just by closing my eyes: be big, or small, be the sky or the ocean...
Your fantasized collaboration (dead or alive)?
It would be great if I could collaborate with 3D animators, actors, sound artists to create a film about my image and story "Tales from the Hidden Attic."
What is success for you?
Success for me is when I will be able to reach a state of transcendence: when I can live peacefully, comfortably and happily.
The most precious thing you have?
The people I love and that love me back.
What would you imagine your last words to be?
I was just thinking of this the other day, and when that time comes I hope to die with eyes full of life, and a warm smile.
This artist is based on the road... Currently in Taiwan.
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