Maningning Miclat's "Soliloquy"
Published April 26, 2022
“...I laughed when he shared his life with me while holding him to make it easier and maybe less painful to live on..”
Twenty two years after poet and painter Maningning Miclat’s tragic death, her art continues to be recognized and honored by fellow artists and followers. Her most remarkable painting “Soliloquy” is a panoramic piece rendered in black and white acrylic on 11 panels of four by eight feet plywood. It was done in 1990 and yet it has endured all other black and white paintings done by Filipino artists who have explored the aesthetic strain of yin and yang.
The all-encompassing view of “Soliloquy” subsequently demonstrated her profound response to the configurations of her soul. With its intense yet celestial shades that seem to have been regulated to some degree to be made flat, Miclat utilized her unique shading strategy to amplify the swells of endless waves. The repetitive, soft patterns form serpentine-like flowers blooming in front of the viewer’s eyes to enjoy the blossoms’ magnificence and gaze upon its subtleties in full detail. “Soliloquy” graced the Cultural Center of the Philippines for four months.
Maningning Miclat was a Filipina poet and painter born in China to Filipino parents. She was known for her Chinese bamboo Zen paintings as well as her poetry. Miclat became a Fellow of the University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop in 1990 and won an award for a Filipino play there. She also became a Fellow of the Silliman National Writers Workshop.
In 1992, she won the Art Association of the Philippines Grand Prize for a painting entitled Trouble in Paradise, and her second book of poetry, Voice from the Underworld, was a finalist in the country's 2001 National Book Award.
Miclat attended the University of the Philippines Diliman to pursue a master's degree in Fine Arts and then taught at the Far Eastern University. In 2000, at the age of 28, Miclat took her own life. In 2001, the Maningning Foundation was founded in her memory to celebrate the talents of young artists both in the visual and written arts.