Wandering around Zamboanga City, popularly known as the “Asia’s Latin City,” is like peeking into a kaleidoscope world. From street arts to modes of transportation, to weaves, to festivals, and to its people, every piece of the city just bursts with colors. One of the living proofs to justify that is Rameer Tawasil, a multi-awarded Tausug-Zamboangueno painter, sculptor, architectural designer, and product and graphic designer who have been making waves not only in the country, but also across the globe because of his works especially his paintings.
Rameer uses ‘ukkil’ or carving as his basic form of art with subjects that focus mostly on cultural and social issues in Mindanao, and on his life and peace advocacies that resonate with his mantra, “There are inescapable reasons for Mindanao culture, history, and even social issues not to paint.”
“Yung basic form ng art ko is yung tinatawag na ukkil. When you say ‘ukkil,’ that is carving,” he begins. “”Ukkil” in TauSug or “Okir” in Maranaw of Marawi City. It is the basic indigenous art form of the Sulu Archipelago. Carving or to carve but in my case, I’m using my brush and paint instead of chisel, mallet and wood,”
“That ‘cloud thing’ is my identity and some would say is my unique style (fluid). I called it ‘UKKILISM’ (tawasil) and ‘FLUIDISM'(tawasil), like the ‘ism’ in art thought,”
“During my college years, dito ako nag-aaral [Zamboanga]. Nagta-travel ako sa Sulu by sea, and because Sulu is an island, nakikita ko palagi yung dagat. Kasi di mo namamalayan yang influence eh, even if it’s not intentional, you just go with the flow,” he adds.
By 9 PM to 5 AM, Rameer’s life is being completely absorbed by the spectrum world, and the painting begins. The painter says he gets more focused at this time of the day as no form of distraction can invade his space.
“Meditation only acts once. Minsan lang yan eh,” he says. “Kaya yung isang painting, hindi mo pwedeng gayahin, because yung meditation, magkaiba na yun pag ginaya mo. Yung oras, yung color, pag ginamit mo magkaiba na yun. As much as possible, sa painting ko, kung pwede kong gawing part siya ng documentation, ginagawa ko,”
Here, let us take you on the spectral world of Rammer Tawasil via a virtual exhibit of some of his works below.
Rameer has held more than 50 art exhibitions both locally and internationally in venues such as The Cultural Center of the Philippines, The National Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, UP Vargas Museum, and in countries like Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Sweden, and Italy.
Some of his works are in the collection and/or property of Queen Sophia of Spain, Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shiniwatra, Malaysia Deputy Minister Maglin D’Cruz, U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas, Congressman Manny Pacquiao, The Ayala Foundation, Sulu Provincial Government, and former Italian Senator Luciano Benetton of the United Colors of Benetton, among others.
Currently, Rameer is hopeful to finish a historical painting by March 2017. He spent years of research and meditation to do and develop ideas for it. Also, he is doing an art project with Imao by February 2017. Stay tuned for more of his work.