Lhean Storm (Philippines)
Inspired by music, I paint and draw imagined melodies into paper and canvases. Art is a gift and practising it on a daily basis expresses my gratitude for this gift. When I’m creating, I can choose whether I’m on a playground or in a periphery where I retreat to the source. Either way, it’s therapeutic and I feel fulfilled when a piece of art is complete.
A friend of mine once wrote that when you look at my works, you see a juxtaposition of chaos and harmony: “As if Franz Kafka one day ate a pound of cotton candy, then decided to put fluorescent ink to paper and draw, draw, draw!”
Psytrance, a mesmeric sub-genre of trance music, has inspired my preferred palette composed of mostly vibrant neon colors. Its powerful melodies make bodies move and transport the mind into sublime dimensions. I love to create around this hypnotic and transcendent energy inspiring unconscious, spontaneous movements of the pen or brush. Being one with infinite spaces. I find joy in discovering unexpected patterns when I let my paintings paint themselves. The style is trippy, psychedelic, but the content is very much inspired by reality.
Some of my previous series of works are of bolder painting approaches where I constantly break old habits. As in real life, these wild paint strokes on canvases signify transitions, growth, and liberation- as I veer away from my usual art styles now and then to build fresh ones. I attempt to infuse my earlier obsession on detailed lines and neon colors into these paintings that revel in layers and textures on canvases. Through such a process, I keep some of my distinct aesthetics unraveled throughout the years of practice, which I find significant in my journey as an artist.
I’m fascinated with the galaxy, aliens, dreams, cats, the human eye, female silhouettes, and nature. These are common subjects or elements that you’ll see in oftentimes, maze-like synthesis on my works that add either to an answer or a mystery. My work then invites my audience to an intimate bubble where they see reflections of themselves as if my art has spoken to them alone. This shared meaning-making breathes life into the artwork, making each experience unique.
To constantly keep myself inspired, I listen to music, meditate, travel, and surround myself with artists who practice other forms of art as the diversity complements and fires up my own interests.
This year, 2021, I’m exploring the new creative economy involving digital art and progressive tech, but hope to resume traveling once the restrictions lift and go on a month-long digital-world hiatus. Offline is the new luxury.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lhean studied art education for two years at the University of the Philippines before shifting to Mass Communications. After university, she decided to go back to her passion by pursuing Fine Arts professionally. She has exhibited her works in local art galleries, such as Art Galileia, Sigwada Art Gallery, Kanto Art Space, Erehwon Center for the Arts, My Little Art Place, Big and Small Art Gallery; in alternative spaces as A_Space, Rizal Park; as well as museums in the Philippines and in Kuala Lumpur (Ayala Museum, Museo Orlina, and Creative Space, National Art Gallery of Malaysia.) Lhean, who’s deeply fascinated by the underground music culture, has also been featured as a live art artist in local gigs, and has done independent art projects in Electronic Dance Music and Psytrance festivals such as Dance for Peace in Indonesia, Tagaytay Electronica Festival, and Fractal Moon in the Philippines.