Star Power: Filipina Artist Jensen Moreno Brightens “Superstars” Exhibition in Beijing
It takes more than hard work, dedication, passion, and luck to reach for the stars. Renowned Filipina artist Jensen Moreno has shone brightly in the arts scene in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines in the past decade, enduring obstacles and turning adversity into inspiration for her masterpieces.
Jensen marks the new decade with a display of her brilliant artworks in “Superstars”, presented by Lladro Art Space in Chaoyang District. I chatted with her to know more about the exhibition, plus why she thinks 2020 will be a memorable year in Beijing’s art scene.
Tell us more about the Superstars exhibition. What is it all about? Jensen Moreno (JM): First of all, I would like to thank all the fans for supporting all of my exhibitions here in Beijing. They have made me become a “Superstar” of this generation. Filipina radio broadcaster Machelle Ramos of CRI (China Radio International) gave me the title, “Cultural Ambassador” in her recently published book about the stories of various Filipino expatriates in China. It is very flattering.
The Superstars exhibition is about standing out from the millions of artists around the world. The artists featured in “Superstars” include me, Liyu Liu from China, and Rember Yahuarcani of the Huitoto Amazonian ethnic group in Peru. Each of us has our stories to tell, and that makes our works unique.
We’ve known each other for quite some time, so I have an idea about your art and style – but for your new audiences, what message do your artworks convey? JM: Each of my paintings has a story. A key message of my journey in the world of art is to never give up and continue chasing your dreams. Do not chase after people; learn to let go of the things that won’t work out. Unfortunate things happen but they should not distract us from achieving our goals in life. We can always try to make changes and rise up from adversities. Things end and begin again, and life is too short to stay in one place or situation that doesn’t work out for you. Be brave to make a change and conquer your fear.
That’s inspirational, Jensen! I’m curious about the narrative of the selection of your artworks at the exhibition. Why did you choose them? JM: The paintings that I contributed to this exhibition are the ones that tell the stories of my childhood: the Butterfly series, the flower paintings, and the “Ave Maria.” These paintings are significant to me, just like the portraits that I did in the past. I chose to exhibit them so that people will better understand where I am coming from and learn about my experiences that have inspired me to become a great artist and to not give up on greatness.
My painting “MARIPOSA” is a story of a younger Jensen chasing butterflies. I grew up in the beautiful country of the Philippines where I was surrounded by nature. I like the freedom and the metaphor of a butterfly soaring high to achieve my goals.
You’ve done your own exhibitions, including the hugely successful “Hall of Fame.” Are we going to see another exhibition this year? JM: Yes, definitely! We are already preparing for “THE BIG 8”, the Jensen Moreno eighth Solo Painting Exhibition! More details will come soon, so watch out!
How would you describe your past decade? Any revelations, experiences, or stories that made an immense impact on you and your art journey? JM: Wow, this is a great question! When we talk about my journey this past decade, we talk about my life from when I was 25 years old! From then on, I have already made a lot of adjustments and decisions in my life that lead me to where I am now. One of these is leaving my country and living in Vietnam and then China.
In the past ten years, I have experienced many awkward and dissatisfying situations and all I did was to adjust whenever I cannot take it anymore. Though I try to design my life well, we still cannot be in control of everything. But when there are signs that direct us to something else, we need to pay attention to that and do something.
It has been more than a decade of hard work and I am not stopping anytime soon! This year, I will begin the operations of my company and there is so much more to look forward to. Having my own company in China is another milestone in my art journey!
It’s a new year — and a new decade. 2020 is quite fitting to the idea of vision, so tell us what your 2020 vision is. Why is that so? JM: This is the Year of the Rat, which happens to be my year! I was born in 1984 and I usually don’t believe in luck, but I believe in getting the fruits of my labor from hard work! There are no shortcuts in this life. We need to have ambitions and design good plans. As a visual artist, I always envision everything—even the smallest plan on my design. And I try my best to make things happen! Most of the time, when I put great effort and imagination into my projects, they become bigger and more significant than what I expected. My exhibitions in the past few years all show success and I am moving forward with my team of talented people to make 2020 one of the greatest years in art history!