B. Philippines, 1935
Signed “PACUNAYEN” on lower right
Ink and watercolour on paper
53 x 75 cm
Provenance Private Collection, Canada
RM 3,000 – RM 6,000
Pacunayen’s landscapes and seascapes, his houses, his slummy backyard, seems to hover between earth and sky, in a kind of dreamy never-world resting on clouds and mist and smoke, and those ephemeral hazy elements that make up the world of the imagination. Yet for all the mysticism they evoke , these scenes are still so truly Philippines, but a Philippines that only the artist, with the artist’s heart and eye and hand can create.
Leon Pacunayen was born on April 19, 1935 in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. During the early years of his career, the artist used art to explore the constriction of metropolitan landscapes. The wet on wet technique he used rendered these sprawling tableaus in garish, almost dreamlike, hues.
In 1960, Pacunayen arrived in Italy. His residency in the country would have a profound effect on his middle- to late-period works. His landscapes embraced more nuanced themes. Nature played a prominent part in his works, with luminous tropical intensity mingling with the monochromes of the European countryside. Italy provided other outlets for his creativity as well. In 1964, Pacunayen worked as a scenic artist in the studio of esteemed movie director and producer Dino De Laurentiis.
Pacunayen is now considered one of the Philippines’ leading masters of watercolor. When used by Pacunayen, watercolor becomes less of a detached medium and more an extension of the artist’s ethereal worldview.