SELF-TAUGHT artist and impressionist Gil Bumanlag discovered his passion for art without knowing that his works will greatly contribute to both the art and business communities in Mindanao.
Fourteen years ago, Bumanlag started painting as a hobby when his family migrated to Davao City. With no one to teach him the basics, he explored and ended up creating his original works in his own stroke and own imagination.
For quite a while, he kept his works at home and few people came to see it and encouraged him to venture the business industry through his art.
In March 2008, Bumanlag set up his own art gallery where he made his first solo exhibit which was then followed by his second solo exhibit at SM City Davao.
Presently, his works are displayed at the third level of Abreeza Ayala Malls along with his artistic and conversational pieces of furniture.
“Ang sa painting, maraming nakaka-appreciate pero hindi lahat kayang mag-invest. Na-appreciate nila, pero para bumili at mag-invest, hindi masyado. Okay naman ang painting pero kung magde-depend ka doon on your financial side, hindi pwede,” Bumanlag said.
“I incorporated my artistry sa furniture kasi sa furniture, nagagawa mo siyang artwork at magagamit pa kasi functional and somehow, it is a necessity at home,” he added.
Each piece of furniture is unique as some were usually made from steel, scrap metal, and glass. Each design is a limited edition since each was made carefully and passionately. One of his latest designs is the multi-functional Kitchen Island Table made of wood and metal perfect for small-spaced houses.
The demand for his art grew and more influencers in the society have bought some of his unique pieces. He defined his art as a free form of expression. Anyone who looks at his non-objective modern abstract painting will have his or her own original interpretation. It targets emotion.
“This is God’s calling, ito yung binigay ni Lord sa akin. Everytime nan may struggle, ups and downs sa business, nagde-depend ako sa kanya. Lahat ng ginagawa ko ngayon, kung may success man, sa kanya lahat ito.”
Bumanlag said he still has a lot of things he wanted to do such as create large sculpture and unique benches for public spaces. He still has a lot of ideas in mind that he wanted to put into work however, with all his bookings from clients, time has been limited for him.
Despite his growing popularity and demand, Bumanlag said he wanted his business to remain simple. He may have plans for expansion and growth but he wanted to retain how each piece was designed not for profit gain but for the sake of art. He even only has a handful of employees since all his pieces are his personal design.