Interview by DOM GALEON

Welcome to our Featured Young Artist segment!
Here we feature young, up-and-coming local artists and ask them questions about their art style and how they express themselves through it.

Twenty-eight-year-old Far Eastern University Mass Communication graduate Herminio Tan was first inspired by the anatomical fashion pieces he saw in Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance music video, leading him to dab into art—initially to look cool, but soon turned into a hobby and now a sideline.

Herminio makes art to convey a message that it “can be grotesque, unconventional, or even macabre, and it can still be art with good taste.”

How would you describe your art and yourself as an artist?
I think my art is still evolving and experimental. I describe my art as a combination of beautiful bizarre, grotesque, and graceful mixed with messages of ironies. As an artist with only six years of experience, I’m still learning the right technicalities, higher precision of my vision’s execution—I still have a lot to learn, and I’m still thriving out of my comfort zone. And it’s really uncomfortable out of the comfort zone.

Enlightened One by Herminio Tan

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I get inspiration from a lot of different and random things. I am heavily influenced by ‘90s anime like Digimon and Neon Genesis Evangelion. I also get inspiration from science-fiction films like Alien and Star Wars, and I have homage pieces to Harry Potter. I also get eureka moments from personal experiences, nature walks, and out of town trips, and get my kicks from architectures and fashion designers—the usual but with a twisted twist.

Do you have a particularly favorite piece that you’ve done?
Right now, this assembly is called the Enlightened One. It’s two of my wearable art pieces in one photo. The body armor is made of resin molded from a horse pelvic bone, while the helmet mask is molded from my face. I adore this one cause of the symmetry. I just realized that I’m crazy for symmetry.

What is your personal opinion about young people pursuing arts, whether as a passion or as a profession?
Art is for everyone.

Any message you want give to aspiring artists?
Be kind to others, but most especially, to yourself.