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Qube Gallery brings Cebu’s contemporary artists to MoCAF

How these local contemporary artists interpreted “Urban Vitality” at MoCAF

By: - September 01, 2022

Local artists, including some of Cebu’s homegrown talents, explored the duality of city life in the Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF).


How would you describe city life?   

While we might immediately associate the urban scene with hustle and bustle, we should also see its sides that are brimming with vibrance and vigor. Through Qube Gallery, five contemporary artists highlighted this facet of city life by painting and sculpting their interpretations of “a city for the living.” Their works were showcased at the Modern and Contemporary Art Festival (MoCAF), which was held at The Grand Ballroom, Fairmont Makati from July 29 to 31, 2022.

“Qube Gallery has gathered some of the most interesting, in our opinion, contemporary artists in Cebu. With works themed around an attempt to describe the pulse of our unique art scene, we ask them: what is changing? How do we capture the vitality we see? How is this energy reflected in the visual arts tableau?” stated the gallery. Qube’s main exhibition space is based in Cebu City, which was recognized by UNESCO as the country’s first-ever Creative City of Design in 2019. Just like its location’s globally-acclaimed contributions to art, Qube has also made waves internationally by participating in global art fairs like Art Kaoshiung and Art Tainan in Taiwan, Tokyo International Art Fair in Japan, Art Apart in Singapore, and Art Central in Hongkong. 

(L-F) Pia Mercado and Maris Holopainen | Know more here


With its wide reach and network, Qube Gallery has been uplifting the Filipino contemporary art community as a trusted platform to sell and exhibit their works. Through the years, it has helped connect local artists with collectors and buyers—both online through art marketplaces like Artsy, and offline through physical exhibitions like MoCAF (Modern and Contemporary Art Festival).

“As Qube Gallery enters its second decade both chronicling and influencing our local art scene, we succumb to the temptation to be introspective and ask our artists to dialogue with these questions we pose and respond with the maturity that we, the collective entity, have grown to reflect,”


-Maris Holopainen and Pia Mercado

Exploring “the flexibility in the rigid,” Qube’s exhibit at MoCAF tackled the duality of city life with eye-catching contemporary art pieces. 

“As Qube Gallery enters its second decade both chronicling and influencing our local art scene, we succumb to the temptation to be introspective and ask our artists to dialogue with these questions we pose and respond with the maturity that we, the collective entity, have grown to reflect,” shared the ladies behind the gallery.

Read more: Qube: A platform for creative communities

Check out the five artists, including some of Cebu’s finest talents, whose art took the spotlight at MoCAF’s Urban Vitality exhibit. 

Khriss Bajade

Recyclable metal scraps can be turned into beautiful art—as proven by Cebu’s Kriss Bajade. Born in 1986, this local contemporary artist shapes, welds, nails, and layers found metal onto canvas to create assemblage wall-bound art. 

In his collection for the Urban Vitality exhibit, Bajade used soft ombre colors with pops of muted tones like maroons, greens, and corals to show subtlety in art pieces that resemble romantic cityscapes. Despite their on-trend botanical inspiration and romantic and classical feel, Bajade’s still-life compositions for the exhibit managed to retain the signature industrial grittiness he displays in his works.

KHRISS BAJADE | “The Unexpected Event” | Mixed media, oil, acrylic, steel plates on canvas | 60.96 x 60.96 cm | 2 x 2 ft

The Cebuano artist’s mixed media pieces that were sold in the MoCAF exhibit included “A Brighter Sun,” “A Quiet Place,” and “The Unexpected Event.” These were all made with oil, acrylic, and steel plates on canvas. His other works at the exhibit include “Tabula Rasa 1”, “Resolute,” “Strength and Peace (Triptych),”  and “A Promise To Keep.”

Dennis “Sio” Montera

Dennis “Sio” Montera is the most recognized and prolific non-figurative abstract painter in Cebu. Like the exhibit’s theme, his works displayed at Urban Vitality showcased a certain duality: some say that they are reminiscent of paint peeling off ancient temples, but Montera’s choice of a glossy medium also implied the sheen and luxury of something brand new.

His new palettes contained either extreme neutrals or bold monochromatic with “hints” at the underlay. Through his signature process-oriented abstraction, he narrated urban sights, interactions, and experiences on his canvas pieces using acrylics and non-traditional tools. Montera’s industrial processes also gave an esoteric yet grounded feel to his work. Meanwhile, dissociating his image-making process from any preconceived idea brought out non-representational art characterized by open color fields, excoriated layers, and gestural marks of varying intensity.

  • DENNIS ‘SIO’ MONTERA “Reshaping the Wheel of Unity” | Mixed Media on Canvas| 182.5 x 182.5 | 6 x 6 ft



His mixed media on canvas paintings include “The Best Things Happen Unexpectedly” and “Sending Thoughts Over Your Dreams I and II”, which were both successfully sold at the exhibit. Catching attention at MoCAF as well were the vibrant mixed media on canvas art “Time Is Everything We Have and Don’t”  and “Do Not Just Exist, Live!” Montera also showcased the pieces “Reshaping The Wheel Of Unity” and “The Landscape Of My Soul.”

Popo San Pascual

For his acrylic on canvas paintings “Day (diptych)” and “Night (diptych)” which were both sold at the MoCAF exhibit, Popo San Pascual gathered inspiration from the blue and white ceramics and pottery found in the Forbidden City in Beijing. This blue and white design is loosely called “pinying” and featured floral patterns typically painted with blue cobalt on a white base. Its development started in the first half of the 14th century, replacing the centuries-long tradition of unpainted bluish white Southern Chinese porcelain. 

Qube Gallery shared that “San Pascual’s Night and Day diptychs are drawn from a natural reserve in Puerto Princesa, where you can hardly distinguish which is day or night.” In his works, San Pascual portrayed “a netherworld full of elaborate details” that depicted the mechanics of natural selection—or more known as survival of the fittest.

POPO SAN PASCUAL | “Poblacion Series II” | Acrylic on Canvas | 238 x 140 cm | 7.8 x 4.6 ft

Among the other acrylic on canvas paintings that San Pascual showcased are the colorful “Poblacion Series A” and “Poblacion Series B.” His “Poblacion series I” and “Poblacion series II” paintings also added a burst of color to the MoCAF exhibit.

Anton Quisumbing

Anton Quisumbing is a renowned Cebuano sculptor with both formal education and trade experience that spans a long artistic career. Although he is primarily known for his sculptures, his new works saw his return to the basis of his artistic roots: painting.

Describing his art, Qube Gallery noted that “what looks like intricate long connected lines, or “doodles,” are intertwined on the canvas, punctuated by a discreet central figure almost hidden in the composition.” 

  • ANTON QUINSUMBING “Zaanse Schans” | Oil on Canvas | 3 ft diameter


The gallery also shared that Quisimbing traced over the canvas doodle “in painstaking detail using metal welding to create the negative image on wall-bound sculptural form” for his dialogue piece “Starling’s Trove (Painting and Sculpture).” Along with the oil on canvas painting, the Calatagan-based artist also presented a relief sculpture where he used TIG welding and materials locally used by fishermen and pump boat operators. This included various sizes of stainless steel filler rods, tiger bronze for casting, and silicon bronze filler rods for detailing. The combination of these materials brought unusual color reflections and unique sheens that allowed the piece “Starling’s Trove (Painting and Sculpture)” to be luminescent at different angles.

Quisimbing’s other art pieces at the Urban Vitality exhibit were the oil on canvas paintings “Cartography,” “Zaanse Schans,” and “Summer in Agath,” as well as “View From The Hamlet.”

Jewelle Yeung

Cebuano artist Jewelle Yeung is an established abstract expressionist with a spontaneous process. “She begins with a dramatic gesture, using the first mark on the canvas to guide the rest of the painting,” shared Qube Gallery.

Yeung harnessed bold contrasting colors, vivid strokes, and soft blends through oil and created ethereal landscapes in her work. By painting in layers, she created the illusion of depth while suggesting movement and a hint of mystery. Moreover, her background in the professional fashion design industry shone through her palette choice and the billowy shapes she created in her masterpieces.

  • JEWELLE YEUNG “Twin Cascade” | Oil on Canvas | 81 x 61cm | 2.6 x 2ft


Yeung’s oil on canvas paintings “Twin Cascade” and “Motherhood” were both sold at the MoCAF exhibit.

To know more about Qube Gallery, you can check their website or follow their official Facebook and Instagram pages. To set an appointment, you may also contact the gallery at +63 918 807 4175 or [email protected].


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