FATHER and son are both sculptors, but their journey to their shared aesthetic goal followed starkly disparate paths. The younger one, Jesse Steven, knew sculpting was his vocation as soon as he “borrowed” his father’s sculpting tools and chiseled away at blocks of hardwood at a very tender age. Now at his formative years of twenty, Jesse is poised to reveal to the world his innate aesthetic vision and skills that seem to give credence to the saying that “artists are born, not made”.

The father, on the other hand, is the local version (and with profound apologies to the master) of Leonardo da Vinci. Nicky Wijangco writes, sketches, paints, fabricates, restores art, sculpts and is also an inventor. With many decades separating father and son, it is a given that the former’s aesthetic journey to be more colorful and diverse. Nicky Wijangco illustrated schoolbooks at a very young age including the training manual of Kimberly Clark Philippines. He has designed and executed the renovation of hotel lobbies in Hawaii and has had designing stints in Buena Park, California, Reading, Pennsylvania and Manhattan in New York in the eighties. In the early 90s, he supervised the work of a team of sculptors in Hong Kong with major clients mainly from North America. His articles and illustrations have been published by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, The Manila Times, Manila Standard and several magazines.

In direct contrast to the father’s diversity, the son is singularly focused on sculpture. Herein lays the chasm that divides mediocrity and greatness. Nicky Wijangco is an excellent “Jack of all trades” but Jesse Steven, the son, just may be that catalyst who will help elevate the status of sculpture as an art form in Mindanao.

 A sampling of the father and son sculptures will be on exhibit at SM Exhibit Center beginning March 11 (Saturday) to April 11, 2017.


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