Runs In The Blood: This Three-Generation Art Exhibit Shows Talent Is In The Herbosa DNA - Arts & Culture

Ideas run in the family and no one in the family runs out of ideas.

L’Arc en Ciel Atelier and Gallery stands as a permanent witness to the creativity of Mia Herbosa.

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The Filipina artist has seen and done almost all. Earning the prestigious Edward G. McDowell Grant among other awards, traveling to major art capitals, and developing an oeuvre of respected modern and contemporary paintings.

Now, the Herbosa private art gallery is the backdrop of the portraitist’s family picture.

This consists of Mia, Elaine Ongpin Herbosa (her mother), Lana Agoncillo (her daughter), and Nina Herbosa (her niece). All of whom are part of a lineage that inherits and passes down a gift for aptitude in the arts.

Through “Passing On The Torch: A Celebration Of Art And History,” Mia shares the spotlight in a three-generation exhibit that features the works of her family of creatives.

“It’s nice. I’m happy, because before it was just me whenever I had a show to do. Now I’m happy to share…because we all have different styles. We’re all different,” Mia tells Lifestyle Asia.

Passing on the torch

The exhibit partitions into three parts: a space each for Mia and Elaine, as well as a section shared by Lana and Nina.

Mia’s portion of the exhibit

Initially, the event was supposed to be a joint show between Mia and Elaine. However, they soon realized that they shared their interest in the arts with cousins Lana and Nina of the family’s youngest generation.

“We felt that COVID, it’s been so long. We wanted some kind of event that was, in a way, happy. Since it was Alert Level 1 and we just wanted a happy family thing to celebrate,” Mia recalls.

She estimates that 35 of her works are featured in the exhibit, along with 50 or more of her mother’s, and around 10 each for Lana and Nina.

Lana’s portion of the exhibit

Elaine, the stockbroker-turned-artist who established L’Arc en Ciel, said they are ready to pass on the torch to the family’s seventh generation.

“To Nina Herbosa…who painted frenetically through this time of pandemic, creating her own version of modern art and how she perceives it… Lastly, we have Lana… since early childhood, she has been drawing and painting in her own style: cartoon-like depictions of our family,” Elaine explained the aesthetic of her granddaughters.

Elaine’s portion of the exhibit

Not far from the tree

Mia said the public has responded positively to the family exhibit.

Lana’s portion of the exhibit

Over 100 people attended the exhibit’s reception, with some expressing curiosity in the Herbosa background.

“It’s also a show that shows our roots, our descendants,” Mia acknowledges.

Their notable ancestors, according to Elaine, include Damian Domingo, Roman Ongpin, and even national hero Jose Rizal.

Mia emphasized how the family’s youngest descendants of Nina and Lana continue the tradition of channeling and documenting their experiences.

“Art helped them communicate the sort of mental stress that their generation went through,” Mia concluded.

Photos via Mia Herbosa

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