Kitty Taniguchi‘s is a champion of feminine aesthetic and is among the few Filipina painters who had successfully intruded upon a male-dominated art world—a feat back then. A veteran painter who has devotedly explored and experimented themes of femininity and all of women representation’s that challenged the perception and interpretation of social and cultural conventions.
All of her works are due to her personal experiences and her depictions of women in portraits are of expressions of truth, reality, and challenges that women face through the centuries of oppression—physically and spirituality. Her works are mainly of symbolism in style as she prefers representations that do not follow the traditional concepts that most artist partake.
Her earlier fascination for architecture; interior design and everything that is beautiful; her childhood years in Siquijor and its wealth of cultural rites and folklorist traditions; her love for the words in literature honed under the tutelage of the philosophical and existential musings about modernity, and the unavoidable complexity that is feministic in representation.
She was born with a talent of imagination that is beyond the blue horizon. She spent most of her childhood in convents and churches. Her educational background is in literature which allowed her to sharpen her insights and intellect and where she got to draw her philosophy in life.
Kitty prefers to see life’s realities and conventional traditions, if not side by side, and question, may this be executed on canvas or other art forms? It’s all in the artist prerogative.
Kitty, now in her 60s, who hails from Dumaguete City, a province in Central Visayas Philippines. It was difficult to break in the art mainstream as local art activities were rare if not well-defined. Her hurdles were mostly the absence of good system of communications and hard to find good materials were not as accessible. Despite the obstacles in the 80s, she still pursued her passion as an independent visual artist and by 1992, she even established Mariyah Gallery Restaurant despite the fact that it appeared that the community was not prepared for an artist’s haven. Its first name was Galleria Maria Cristina which is also named after her daughter Mariyah who is an artist as well. She closed the restaurant in 2000 so that she can concentrate more on her art works.
To Kitty, she believes that all women are beautiful. She invites all not only to look at her subjects in her paintings but also, she is asking that you converse with them. Oh yes, all of her women. They are all centered, thinking, feeling, and connecting to a deeper sense of intellectuality and spirituality.
Her art is unconventional as she loathes stereotypes and fixed typesets. All her works explores images with playful masculinity and femininity expressions—sprinkled quirkily with loads of social issues. A self-taught artist, Kitty embodies fluidity in poetry and philosophy, working them into her artist’s hands to the canvas.
What makes an object an artwork a great art work?
What makes the paint shine from above the rest?
What makes art timeless and never forgotten through generations?
In Kitty’s classification of a great work of art is that which could not be ignored and will not be forgotten through time.
As for her works, only time can tell how her art will figure in history. However, there is no worry to be thinking about this as Kitty has successfully already established herself as an artist who can bestow to us a unique brand of aesthetic greatness just like the impressionism and expressionism masters of the past.
“I just really want to produce great works of art,” exclaims Cristina Sollesta-Taniguchi.
Nothing more and nothing less!
For those visiting Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, feel free to stop by her gallery:
Address: Larena Drive, Bogo Junction, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental
Phone:(035) 225 1687
All images provided by the artist, Kitty Taniguchi.