What’s On profiles the artists exhibiting at Philippine Art Month in Abu Dhabi, at the Art Hub, Mussafah. Discover the history of Philippine art in the UAE.

Samuel Penaso, an artist based in the Philippines, has never been to Abu Dhabi. That’s set to change. As part of Abu Dhabi Art Hub’s Philippine month, Penaso has landed in the UAE for a one-month residency. He’s one of seven Filipino artists showcasing work in the Mussafah-based centre. “I’m very excited,” Penaso explains. “I want to see the whole place when I arrive. I have a friend in the UAE and they say it’s hot.” 

Art is a way for Penaso to express his imagination. “It’s free, because for me, I can do what I want. You can make anything in the painting.” Penaso’s mixed-media style sees him working across painting, performance, sculpture, installation, and videos. His work focuses on nostalgia and childhood mixed with modern-day ideas. “This is a great opportunity to expose my art. I will do my best to make my art in Abu Dhabi, so that many people will like Philippine art here.”

Samuel Penaso exhibiting at Philippine Art Week


Dave Lock
With drawings consisting of “tormented, nightmare-infested creatures… squeezed into a metaphoric portrait of the self”, Lock focuses on demise and deterioration. Be prepared for black and white portraits smeared with bold reds and whites. “I believe that the human face is the grand container of all truths,” explains Lock.

Dave Lock exhibiting at Philippine Art Week

JC Jacinto
A finalist in several art competitions with an impressive range of gallery showings under his belt, JC Jacinto mars his works through burning, smearing, and stripping paint. He wants to twist things beyond recognition, “until I breathe new life and meaning into the piece”, he says.

Moreen Austria
With a degree in business administration and another in management, Austria decided several years ago to, “plunge into the unknown” and pursue a dream. “My soul was seeking freedom to let the images out,” she adds. Her acrylic and oil works tend to feature women, while her sculptures utilise metal.

Moreen Austria exhibiting at Philippine Art Week

Eugene Cubillo
A mixed-media artist with works featuring portraits in oranges, blacks, and deep reds, Eugene Cubillo’s paintings are bold and sad. He incorporates cards in his works to suggest, “Life is like a gamble.”

Eugene Cubillo exhibiting at Philippine Art Week

Janos Delacruz
Focusing on both painting and printmaking, Janos Delacruz began drawing when he was six. He learned printmaking from his father. Today his pieces feature surreal imagery in light colours. “I always include humour in my art works,’ he notes. ‘One has to have humour and a positive outlook.”

Salvador Convocar
With a background in teaching at art-related schools, Convocar is currently the president of The Saturday Group of Artists back in his home country. His works are inspired by technology, with abstract geometrical shapes appearing surrounded by bold reds, blues, or burnt greens and yellows.

Salvador Convocar exhibiting at Philippine Art Week