Nemiranda

We recently walked into the Nemiranda Arthouse to meet for the first time the artist who has been instrumental in making Angono a household name in Philippine Art. Nemesio Miranda Jr., popularly known in the art circle as Nemiranda, is a highly figurative artist who stands out in the dynamics of realism.

One does not need to be an art critic to appreciate Nemiranda’s works. A common person can be impressed by his mural at the EDSA Shrine, the 20 relief sculpture of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary along the road to Antipolo Church, and monumental sculptures and stunningly beautiful paintings at his home-studio in Angono.

The same exciting feeling as with our visits to Angono a couple of years ago, we remain in awe at the larger than life sirena that arches above the entrance of the art gallery.

This glaring sculptural monument is repeated at the Nemiranda Arthouse in Doña Justa Subdivision and at the defunct Nemiranda Café located along Angono’s main highway.

In the language of the paintings and sculptures we saw in the Nemiranda Arthouse it tells a fascinating story of Angono’s mystic charm and our country’s timeless legends and traditions seen through the eyes of Nemiranda, the storyteller.

But for us, nothing can be more engaging than having to learn about Nemiranda’s journey as an artist and his views about Philippine art but from the artist himself.

A graduate of Fine Arts at the University of Santo Tomas, Nemiranda has worked for years, partnering with architects to do monumental sculptures and mural paintings capturing scene depicting local folklore and Filipiniana themes and forms. This projects enabled him to support his family at the same time pursue his art.   

As a painter, he is a master of imaginative figurism or drawing the human form from pure imagination. A veteran of numerous art exhibits, locally and abroad, his favorite subjects are women in mythical characters and families in pastoral scenes.

As a member of his community, Nemiranda has contributed in promoting Angono’s rich heritage such as the Higantes Festival and fluvial procession dedicated to Angono’s patron saint, San Clemente.

Putting up the Nemiranda Arthouse is part of his mission in nurturing the artistic consciousness not just for the people in Angono but for all Filipinos as well.  For years, the arthouse has begun workshops and events designed to inspire the youth who by talking to the artist and watching Nemiranda go through the creative process, might see how an idea can grow into a finished work of art.

Sharing his painting techniques and allowing people to watch him work is never a problem with Nemiranda. For him, no one can duplicate an artist’s work. In fact, an artist must teach those who have the talent and inspire them to create works of art.

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Nemiranda Art House

People often think of the museums and art galleries as the primary repository for art. Displayed on large expanses of often white walls are framed paintings, prints and sculptures. But upon seeing Nemiranda ArtHouse in Angono Rizal, we discovered that art can also live in places and homes of the people who actually created it.

Nemesio Miranda or popularly known for his art as Nemiranda is a child of the lakeshore town Angono. His works reflect the mystic charm of his home town. From pastoral and cultural scenes to activities of lake workers, he draws the human form through pure imagination, an art discipline he introduced called Imaginative Figurism.

Nemi built a home-studio called the Nemiranda ArtHouse that in itself captures the images of the town. Reminders of the local culture can be seen on walls from mythical creatures like the sirena (mermaid) to characters from Filipino folklore.

Mommy Julieta (the artist’s mother-in-law) showed us around the house, through the galleries at the first floor and the artist’s studio at the second floor where we chance upon an unfinished work of Nemi. According to Mommy Julieta, then house constantly evolves. When Nemi builds additions to existing structures or rework existing materials, he treat spaces as works of art on his own terms. Often, the materials he chooses to work with  (like wood, metal and concrete) are the same ones he uses in his artworks. These are the materials he is familiar to manipulating, Mommy Julieta added.

This proves that at the Nemiranda ArtHouse, art is not just a mere decorative element to complement the wall coverings, floors, and windows, it is important, as basic, as the house’s foundation.

Visit the Nemiranda ArtHouse at #10 Dona Elena St. Dona Justa Village I, Angono Rizal. Telefax: 451.15.80