Unconsciously Living
THE PEPPER MILL - Pepper Teehankee (The Philippine Star) - July 30, 2015 - 10:00am

Artists Lendl Arvin and Johanna Helmuth questioned today’s interconnected world, especially social media and the youth, via their joint exhibit titled Unconsciously Living at Secret Fresh Gallery in San Juan City.

Helmuth’s figures are constructed with uneven and rough strokes reminiscent of the artworks of painter Lucian Freud. The gradation of dark colors in her work makes the skin of the figures appear susceptible to decay. This technique is intensified by the smooth-finish background, which allows the bodies on the canvas to achieve a jolting starkness.

Arvin, on the other hand, decides on a more modulated approach, making his figures more solid and yet less threatening.

Art writer Carlomar Arcangel Daoana wrote, “Helmuth and Arvin insist on the solitary individual and his or her struggle in the ‘daily-ness’ of living. In Drag, Helmuth points at betrayal and competition as a woman, climbing a ladder (which represents upward mobility), is pulled down by another as a third subject watches the scene and does not interfere. Transfixed in front of a canvas is the painter in Dirty Days as Always by Arvin, who seems to be either waiting for a bolt of inspiration or internally wrestling with inaction, his hands limp by his side and not holding a brush.”

Arvin’s and Helmuth’s friends, family and equally talented co-members of their 1616 group of artists graced the two-asrtist show.


(Secret Fresh Gallery is located at the ground floor of Ronac Art Center, Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills. For inquiries, call  570-9815 loc. 7.)


Aside from Unconsciously Living, Secret Fresh Gallery also launched the limited edition designer toys of Alfredo Esquillo called the Megaphoniacs.

The imagery of Esquillo often confronts the societal discord that assaults the politically conscious Filipino. For Megaphoniacs, the symbol of the megaphone is extracted from his body of images. The symbolism zooms into how the individual is bombarded with multiple voices. It is also a commentary on the excessive language of the Philippine culture.

Family, friends and toy collectors trooped to Secret Fresh to see the pre-sold designer toys. Also seen at the event was National Artist for Visual Arts BenedictoBenCabCabrera, whose limited edition designer toys will also be launched by Secret Fresh Gallery.

The gallery has also produced designer toys for artists Luis Lorenzana, Lynyrd Paras, Joy Mallari, Mark Justiniani, Geraldine Javier, Gene Paul Martin, Epjey Pacheco, Romeo Lee, Paulo Vinluan, Charlie Co, Yeo Kaa and Iya Consorio.

Welcome the Urban Artisans

Start August with a pleasurable shopping experience at the Urban Artisans pop-up, which will be held at Nest Furniture and Design in Makati City.

The two-day affair (Aug. 1 and 2) will feature a carefully curated selection of handcrafted, homemade, unique and artisanal items from some of the metro’s most talented purveyors of clothing, accessories, home décor, fragrances and gourmet food.

“There are so many great artisans in Manila offering their own uniquely beautiful or delicious specialties,” said Johanna Garcia, owner of Real Girl Toy Kitchen, a line of gourmet prepared foods. She added, “I wanted this community of fellow artisans to come together in a venue that lends itself not only to showcasing these great products but also to a great shopping experience for the customers.”

Participating vendors include Alegre by Techie Hagedorn (women’s fashion); Aware and Present by Carlo Rufino (men and women’s fashion); CMBV Confectionaires Co. by Christian Valdes (fine chocolates); eLIXIR by Lia Bernardo, Edna Chua and Kat Tantoco-Lobregat (home and personal healing fragrances); Ginger Teehankee (food); Moss Manila Home by Cyndi and Happy Fernandez (home accessories and furniture); The Olive Tree by Kyla Olives (home accessories and linen); Gourmet Corner by Bettina Osmeña (food); Real Girl Toy Kitchen by Johanna Garcia (food); Saco Manila by Maita Lauchengco (leather bags), and so many others.

My sister Ginger will be selling her chicken and mushroom crepes, mud pie, salads, cream cheese leche flan, dulong and the “Teehankee siomai” made from our grandmother’s family heirloom recipe. 

(Urban Artisans will be held on Aug. 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Nest Furniture and Design, 40B Jupiter St. cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.)

Movies of their lives

My dear friends Dennis and Tessa Valdes celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary in a lavish movie-themed costume party dubbed #DandTloveHOOQ at their home, also known as the Sea Princess Palace, in Makati City.

Their home was transformed into a grand movie set complete with a purple carpet! Various rooms were converted into viewing areas where guests got to watch movies and TV series on HOOQ, one of the country’s leading online entertainment services. The billiard room showcased throwback movies and TV shows, while the rom-com themed dining room was decorated with teddy bears, rose petals and romantic dim lights. The pool area showed superhero films, while the library hosted Dennis and Tessa’s very own Top 21 movie list.

Guests were treated to movie chow and special cocktails made especially for the event: a 21st anniversary cocktail for the lovely couple, and a HOOQ cocktail concoction for the guests.

Happy anniversary, Dennis and Tessa!


 (Visit www.HOOQ.tv.) (Follow me on Instagram @pepperteehankee.)

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