Tita Halaman Takes Root And Sprouts Visual Art With Poetry

​​Tita Halaman, a Manila-based self-taught artist, combines paintings with poetry to explore emotional intelligence. 

This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s September 2023 Issue.

Following her first sold-out solo art exhibition last year at Secret Fresh Ronac Art Center, managed by DF Art Agency, Tita Halaman gives us a new series of visual and tactile delights with her second solo show Garden of Extremes at the same venue.

Tita Halaman is a visual artist based in Manila who makes paintings paired with her poetry. She discovered her passion for the arts at a very young age and quit her corporate job not too long ago to be a self-taught full-time visual artist.

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The person behind the artist is Joycia Juatco. The artist’s name concept, “Tita Halaman” is about a young person described as “Tita” for having an old soul and “Halaman” for being extremely awkward and introverted. Of her childhood, she says, “I was this timid type of nerd back then. I didn’t even play and socialize with other kids. I didn’t talk that much and all I did was get my notebook and pencil, and draw some figures that represented the words that I wanted to voice out. My burning passion for art, it all started there. So I decided to name myself as Tita Halaman.”

Tita Halaman with her paintings
Tita Halaman/Photo courtesy of Kim Escalona

Pain Turns To Courage 

Her paintings are always pain translated to extreme courage. She says she “paints and writes subjects that tackle the pillars and power of emotional intelligence. I can describe my paintings with poems as ‘sad, yet always hopeful’–always hopeful no matter how bad the situation gets. 

These are portrayed by my characters with dark, melancholic, and chaotic faces mixed with loud textured strokes and bursts of paint. On the other hand, my poetry style is usually free-verse, dramatic, inspiring, and motivational.” She puts a lot of effort into her work. Each painting has its own unique and original poem which Halaman personally writes and signs on a separate frame.

Tita Halaman's "Something in Her Keeps Wanting More, She Cannot Rest" artwork.
“Something in Her Keeps Wanting More, She Cannot Rest”/Photo courtesy of Kim Escalona

This young artist has exhibited in several exhibitions including Art Moments Jakarta, University of the Philippines Parola College of Fine Arts Gallery, and MOCAF, and has been shortlisted in the Ateneo Art Gallery Marciano Galang Acquisition Prize. Her work has also been auctioned

in a collaboration piece with Philippine Taxonomic Initiative that featured a newly discovered local flower in Palawan. She continues this collaboration in the Garden of Extremes as she features 10 newly discovered flora species in this new exhibit.

The petite yet serious green-haired woman explains, “I sculpt, I put splats and strokes, I paint, and then I write poetry based on the art pieces that I make. I want people to pause and think deeply when they see a Tita Halaman work. Beyond the visceral, they see the visual and artistic interpretation of human emotions.”

Another wonderful painting by Tita Halaman entitled "Rose Up From Nothing."
“Rose Up From Nothing”/Photo courtesy of Kim Escalona

Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia September 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.

Banner photo courtesy of Kim Escalona. 

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