Rodel Tapaya

Rodel Tapaya was born in 1980, in Montalban Rizal, Philippines. He broke out in the art scene by earning the coveted top prize in the Nokia Art Awards competed among artists in the Asia-Pacific region which allowed him to pursue intensive drawing and painting courses at Parsons School of Design in New York and from the University of Helsinki in Finland prior to graduating from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. In 2011, he won a landmark achievement for a Filipino artist by winning the Signature Art Prize given by the Asia-Pacific Breweries Foundation and the Singapore Art Museum. He currently lives in Bulacan, Philippines. Tapaya's paintings recurrently depict narratives embedded in Filipino cultural history that offer sharp and often piercing commentary on contemporary life and issues. Through his adept manipulation of folk aesthetic and material, Tapaya provides his mythical characters with allegorical significances that transcend common perception, offering fresh insights about their origins and relevance. The paintings become a tableau of the painter’s articulations and traces of the stories that inspired them. Sometimes his characters appear in archetypes culled from pre-colonial historical research and recorded folktales from recent scholarship."Rodel Tapaya: Folkgotten," was the artist's maiden solo show outside his home country which was organized by the Drawing Room Manila and Utterly Art Singapore in 2008. The exhibit launched Tapaya's direction in painting based on folk myths and narratives and signified a change of styles from his signature burlap paintings, a material which has gained some popularity and copied by other Filipino painters. In 2008, At Sotheby's Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings auction, Tapaya’s The Wedding raked in HKD220,000 while his Donsadat And The Magic Dog sold for HKD90000. At a similar Christie’s auction, his acrylic-on-canvas piece, The Banquet hit HKD137500. At a Borobudur Auction, The Giant Watermelon sold for SGD33600. Tapaya remains a favorite at Southeast Asian auction houses where his works are highly regarded. He is widely in cities in the Southeast Asian region as well as in Beijing, Berlin, New York and Tokyo. Rodel Tapaya's current works are marked by labyrinthine patterns and recurring characters that transmit scenes and figures from folk stories in his pictorial world. His detailed execution and finish was described by critic Patrick Flores as a "practice (that) pursues the process of myth-making, appropriating certain archetypes in the discourse of origin and expanding it to create a visual vocabulary that is entirely his own. The folk aesthetic in this highly mediated and idiosyncratic language becomes part of a contemporary reflection on a sense of belonging to a domain of culture. The style resists nativist appropriation of motif; rather it invents its own, making the artist’s effort an interesting intertext to prevailing mythologies." These qualities have led him to receive positive reception from art collectors. He is one of Southeast Asia's most successful contemporary artist at auctions; the far-reaching appreciation of his works has been part of the wave that gained more attention for Southeast Asian contemporary art in recent years. Rodel Tapaya received the 2011 Signature Art Prize granted by the Asia-Pacific Breweries Foundation and the Singapore Art Museum.[10] He was also among the Thirteen Artists Awardee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2012. Prior to this, he was shortlisted four times to the Ateneo Art Awards in four separate years and won a jury prize to the Phillip-Morris Philippine Art Awards in 2007. As a student he was a semi-finalist of the Metrobank Young Painters' Annual Art Competition.Tapaya also scored first place at the Shell National Students Art Competition in the Watercolor Category. In honor of his achievements, the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, presented him with an Ani ng Dangal Award at the Malacanang Palace. As a twenty-year-old painter he won the Nokia Art Awards competed among young artists in the Southeast Asian region. This gave him the opportunity to study Painting and Drawing at the Parsons School of Design and the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Finland. Tapaya is one of Southeast Asia's most active artists with exhibitions held in the region as well as in Berlin, New York, Tokyo and Beijing


Born 1980

Lives and works in Manila, The Philippines