I bet you think those things have NOTHING in common. Well, you would be wrong. I’m not a big art girl. I like street art. I don’t know much about art, so I’m not that interested. But, my girlfriend want to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. I did not want to go but then she told me about the tapas. Yes! Tapas! So, this exhibit came over from Spain and it’s all about tapas. Okay, I thought, this might be interesting. I sure like to eat tapas!

I liked the show. It was mainly pictures but there were some cool interactive stuff. Another exhibit there was called Bodegones, Kitchen Pictures. It was also cool. Only this show was all about Filipino food and making it. It was just pictures but it was interesting. I liked it.

Speaking of food and kitchens and art… I went shopping with my mom before to look for appliances, remember? Anyway, she ended up redoing her whole kitchen. She hired a designer to help her figure out where to put stuff like all the cabinets, appliances and such. I personally never knew anything about this kinda stuff, and I learned a lot while she did this kitchen remodel.

But what has this got to do with art? Well, like I said, I’m not big into art. But the trip to the museum made me think more about what IS art, diba? Let me explain. See, the designer was showing my mom, who is a more picky kind of lady, and the designer lady was showing her lots of cabinets that are modular. I guess that means they are made somewhere in a factory and then get shipped and you put them in. They all fit in to the room like a puzzle, sort of. So mom chooses some cabinets that are all white. She says she wants it to look clean and new. Then my mother says to the designer that she wants someone to make her a kitchen island out of wood. Ay! The cost, I think. But mom has waited a long time to get the kitchen of her dreams and she wants it exactly right. So, the designer, she introduces my mother (and me) to Perry. He makes cabinets and shelves and benches and tables all from scratch. She says this guy can make her the most beautiful wood island with cabinets underneath and just the way she wants. Here’s his website if you want to check him out click here.

So, we go to see this Perry guy. And the designer is right…his furniture is beautiful. It does not look like IKEA or anything like that. My mom says she wants her island made out of kamagong but the guy tells her that isn’t possible because it is not allowed to cut it anymore. (I guess wood can be endangered just like animals). She tells him her grandmother had a table made from kamagong (sort of like ebony) and she wants her island to be dark wood and she wants the wood to be from here. So Perry offers her something different: a wood called merbau (we usually call this wood ipil). (My mom sees the sample and likes it, even though I think it looks nothing like the really dark kamagong that was my grt-grandmother’s table which now resides in my great-uncle’s house. I am wondering if there is deeper stuff here having to do with wood choices? Hmmmm….)

This is what ipil, or merbau looks like upclose.

ipil (merbau) wood

So, Perry will take the merbau and make a beautiful wood top for her new kitchen island. He will make a simple cabinet base that will be painted a soft green (Mom likes green) and it will all look nice with the cabinets she has chosen. While mom and designer are talking to woodman, I start walking around the workshop and I am seeing the most amazing furniture. The wood grain and the colors are so beautiful especially when they put on oils or finishes. I start thinking that if food can be talked about as art, then of course wood furniture can be seen as art. I think this Perry guy is certainly much more than a woodworker. He is definitely artist too!

Have you ever seen wood not treated? Like, not stained and oiled. It is not so fancy and they don’t all look so different. And then, he takes the wood and cuts it and shapes it and creates an amazing shelf or table. Are you thinking now…man, Asia, you are getting all artsy… anyare?! Nah. It’s still just me. I much more want to go to the concert or shopping than looking at art. Be advised, I will talk about art stuff again because now I am aware. Like putting on new glasses and I can see things I didn’t notice before.

So now you see what I mean by talking about tapas (YUM!) and kitchen remodel and art museum all in one post. They are connected, diba!

Art is not only pictures in the museum. Art is in our food: the colors, the shapes, the plates we use to put the food on. And our furniture can be art, even mom’s kitchen cabinets!