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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Joel Eugenio Epistola Ferraris appreciates art and art-making not only because of their aesthetic values but also for their potential to become tools to inspire and help bring spiritual enlightenment to people, especially the young. Using diverse subjects, themes and innovative styles, Joel aims to express his inner feelings and thoughts on various factors affecting humanity, employing appropriate techniques that could most effectively portray them.

As an artist, Joel believes in the critical responsibility of gifted people to balance their lives – guided by good morals resting on a strong spiritual foundation. He is convinced that art can provoke a deep reflection on one’s spirituality and purpose in life.

The eldest of five children in a family of artists, Joel has competed and won in various art contests, even pitting himself against – and occasionally losing to – his three brothers and only sister. Neophyte, one of his recent paintings, was among the Top 30 Finalists in the prestigious 2004 Sovereign Asian Art Prize.

Born in Iloilo City, Joel started a trailblazing career in art that inspired his siblings. In 1994 his 100-foot-long anti-Aids campaign mural, Armor of God, commissioned by GUESS? USA was unveiled by the late celebrity and supermodel Anna Nicole Smith and then Philippine Health Secretary Juan Flavier. This was followed by his involvement with the Hong Kong Mural Society in making more than 60 murals around Hong Kong since 1998, including the city’s longest mural on Tsing Yi Island.

Aside from numerous group exhibitions with his siblings in the Philippines and overseas, Joel had five solo shows. Given his wide-ranging and innovative works, Joel has been featured in several radio and TV programmes, such as Tatak Pilipino, in 1993; Filipino Hour on TicTV.com, in 2006; and CNN International Asia’s This Day, with James Lee as host, in 1997.

Joel currently continues to do murals under his own company, Ferraris Art Studio. He also conducts mural-painting workshops for the Hong Kong Mural Society. His latest works are 6 sculpture sets as interactive pieces of public art for SM Sky Garden, SM North Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines.

View Achievements

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Being a self-taught artist who honed my skills and mindset early in life by doing portraits of people as well as joining art competitions extensively while learning the strict rules regarding originality, creativity, visual impact plus all other qualities required in art making I embarked on a journey with the sole purpose of exploring new ideas and manner by which my own kind of art could be expressed. I am not content with confining myself within one single, identifiable style in art.

I have a two-pronged approach in doing my art. To me what matters first are the kind of ideas conceived in my thoughts and to capture each of them, for fleeting as they are and hard to keep track I am lucky to record them on my notebook or a piece of paper. And what follows next is an array of choices of the best ways to express them using the most appropriate materials available that could deliver the best results. On the other hand there are times when a found object or material triggers my mind to come up with novel ideas and turn these things into pieces of art especially in an age where waste disposal has become an urban concern.

My background in architecture proved to be a reliable source of inspiration most especially on matters dealing with aesthetics for interior design as well as for public art. Art, both privately appreciated and owned or as public pieces to serve a community, has this long time partnership with architecture. And as in architecture where form and function are matters of consideration so is in art as the artist is challenged to deliver the most appropriate forms of site-specific art for the right environment.

Art making to me means a partnership of an ever-evolving combination of styles and innovative, novel ideas that could serve both my personal purpose as an artist and the message that each of my art pieces convey or the demands of clients for site specific art projects and purposes as well as the public for whom public art is supposed to satisfy.

View News & Reviews View Achievements

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

A GLIMPSE IN TIME

PHILIPPINES

Selected works of Joel E. Ferraris, Appreciating Art in Deutsche Bank Programme, Deutsche Bank Group Manila Artspace, Ground Floor Lobby, Net Quad Center 31st St. corner 4th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines

2016

TINY STUDIO

HONG KONG

A live painting performance by Artist Joel E. Ferraris, Sara Sene Gallery, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

2008

FREEFLOW

USA

A Solo Exhibition of Constructed Paintings, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pennsylvania

2006

FRAGILE

PHILIPPINES

Joel Ferraris Solo Exhibition, Syano Artlink Art Gallery, Paranaque City, Metro Manila

2003

BAGGAGE

HONG KONG

Joel Ferraris Solo Exhibition, Shaw College Lecture Theatre Gallery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin

2002

ARMOR OF GOD

PHILIPPINES

GUESS? USA Anti-AIDS Campaign 100-foot long Mega-Mural. First public art exhibition, Rustan’s Makati & SM Mall in Cebu City & Davao City, Philippines

1994

GROUP EXHIBITIONS & ART EVENTS

HARAYA 3 (Imagination)

The 6th Annual Philippine Arts Festival in Hong Kong

HONG KONG

Exhibition Gallery 2 and 3, Hong Kong Central Library 66 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

2011

HARAYA 2 (5th Philippine Arts Festival 2010)

HONG KONG

An Array of Contemporary Works by Hong Kong based Filipino Artists Exploring New Boundaries, 4th Floor, Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

2010

Celebration – Haraya Collection

HONG KONG

A group show by Filipino artists based in Hong Kong, June 5 – July 20, 2010, Citywalk Art Gallery, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

2010

Detour 2009 Live Mural Painting

HONG KONG

A Haraya group exhibition, Main Gallery, Anchor Site Main Courtyard, December 5 – December 9, 2009.

2009

HARAYA, An exhibition of contemporary works by Hong Kong-based Filipino artists

HONG KONG

Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, 7A Kennedy Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong

2009

Kulay, Kultura, Kalawili (Color, Culture and Harmony)

HONG KONG

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Main Gallery,10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui , Hong Kong

2009

AWAKENINGS

HONG KONG

OC Gallery G/F, Olympian City 1, 11 Hoi Fai Rd, West Kowloon, Hong Kong

2008

TRICOLOR: A CULTURAL CELEBRATION, 3rd PHILIPPINE ARTS FESTIVAL

HONG KONG

June 8, 2008, The Peak Galleria, Hong Kong

2008

IT RUNS IN THE BLOOD: The Ferraris Family Group Art Exhibition

HONG KONG

Sara Sene Gallery, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong

2008

ArtWalk

HONG KONG

A group exhibition for charity, John Batten Gallery, Aberdeen, Hong Kong SAR

2008

SARASENE ART GALLERY

HONG KONG

-And Studio Plus soft opening group show of multinational artists based in Hong Kong, De A'guilar Road, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2007

Free-Art-In-The-Mart

HONG KONG

The Graham Street Market Festival organized by the Central & Western Concern Group, SEE Network and the Conservancy Association, Central Market, Central Hong Kong SAR

2007

ESTILO

HONG KONG

A group show by Filipino artists and creative professionals based in Hong Kong, in conjunction with the 2nd Philippine Arts Festival, Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong SAR

2007

Sojourn 2

PHILIPPINES

Featuring the works of Cris Villanueva, Joel Ferraris and PG Zoluaga, A Three-man art exhibition at The Art Republic organized by SCINTILLA JURIS – Visayas Alumni Association, Robinson’s Place, Iloilo City, Philippines

2006

Unang Sulyap

HONG KONG

The First Philippine Artsfest in Hong Kong A Survey of Philippine Artworks in Hong Kong, Exhibition Galleries 1 & 2, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong SAR

2006

Filipino Artists in Hong Kong

HONG KONG

Group Art Exhibition of 10 Hong Kong – based Filipino Artists, The Philippine Consulate General Hong Kong SAR

2006

Contemporary Filipino Artists Exhibition 2005

HONG KONG

Exhibition Gallery, City Hall in Central, Hong Kong SAR

2005

Mind & Soul

HONG KONG

Two-man Art Exhibition: Joel Ferraris & Bobit Segismundo, V13 Vodkabar, Old Bailey St., SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2005

REDiscovery

HONG KONG

Group Art Exhibition of 5 Hong Kong – based Filipino Artists, The Philippine Consulate General, Hong Kong SAR

2005

Buas Damgo

PHILIPPINES

Group Art Exhibition Iloilo National High School Exhibition Gallery, Iloilo City, Philippines

2005

Culture in Motion: The Philippines

HONG KONG

A day-long outdoor art exhibition featuring 5 Hong Kong-based Filipino artists: Arnel Agawin, Justo Cascante, Joel Ferraris, Noel de Guzman and Bobit Segismundo, Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2005

Sovereign Art Prize Winners Exhibition

HONG KONG

Pacific Place Lobby, The Sovereign Art Foundation Annual Asian Art Competition for Asia Pacific, Exhibiting Top 30 Winning entries (out of more than 178 participating entries), Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong SAR

2004

ArtWalk

HONG KONG

A group exhibition for Charity, John Batten Gallery SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2004

Contemporary Filipino Artists

HONG KONG

Philippine Consulate Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

2003

ArtWalk

HONG KONG

A group exhibition for Charity, John Batten Gallery, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2003

John Batten Gallery 5th Anniversary Group Exhibition

HONG KONG

John Batten Gallery, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2002

Window Installation for CityPoetry2001

HONG KONG

Amida Bar, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2001

300 Days Along the Escalator

HONG KONG

Window Installation, Amida Bar, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2001

The Gambling Show

HONG KONG

A group show of selected international artists, John Batten Gallery, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

2001

Rapid Reflections

HONG KONG

Joel Ferraris & Justo Cascante: A Two-Man Art Exhibition, John Batten Gallery, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong SAR

1997

Ang Delatang Pinoy I, II & III (Yes, The Filipino Can!)

PHILIPPINES

A Philippine Centennial Art Exhibition on three sites: Hiraya Gallery, Vargas Museum at the University of the Philippines and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Manila, Philippines

1996

5 e`me Salon International Des Arts

LUXEMBOURG

Centre Culturel de Hollerich, Luxembourg

1996

“FERRARIS” A Two-Man Art Exhibition

JAPAN

A Two-Man Art Exhibition of Joel Ferraris & Nelson Ferraris, Mandai Gallery, Moto-Azabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan

1991

“FERRARIS” A Two-Man Art Exhibition

JAPAN

A Two-Man Art Exhibition of Joel Ferraris & Nelson Ferraris, Mandai Gallery, Nagano Prefecture, Karuizawa, Japan

1991

“Third Filipino Visual Arts Festival”

PHILIPPINES

Phil-Am Life Lobby, Metro Manila, Philippines

1991

"Tagipusuon”

PHILIPPINES

Ilonggo Artists Exhibition, Madrigal Center, Alabang, Metro Manila, Philippines

1991

On-the-Spot Poster Making Competition And Exhibition

PHILIPPINES

Philippine Heart Center for Asia, Diliman, QC, Philippines

1991

Artist’s Reflections

PHILIPPINES

City Gallery, Ermita St., Manila, Philippines

1991

Philippine Commission on Culture & Arts National Assembly

PHILIPPINES

Group Art Exhibition, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines

1990

"Hublag 3”, Third Ilonggo Art Festival

PHILIPPINES

Philippine National Bank (PNB) Lobby, Iloilo City, Philippines

1990

“Kinaadman”

PHILIPPINES

Ilonggo Art Exhibition, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

1990

“Art Preview”

PHILIPPINES

National Museum, Manila, Philippines

1990

14th Annual Bamboo Organ

PHILIPPINES

National Art Competition and Exhibition, Kristi Regi Galleries, Las Piñas, Metro Manila, Philippines

1989

“Human Resources, Productivity & Cooperation”

PHILIPPINES

Titanium Group and Hiraya Gallery National Art Competition and Exhibition, Hiraya Gallery, Malate, Metro Manila, Philippines

1989

“Presyon-Pigilin Ang Pagtaas, Puso’y Makaligtas”

PHILIPPINES

National Poster Competition & Exhibition, Philippine Heart Center for Asia, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

1989

“Painting Exhibition”

PHILIPPINES

Valera Gallery, Abra, Philippines

1989

“Global Warning, Global Warming”

PHILIPPINES

Environmental Management Bureau National Painting Competition & Exhibition Philippine Heart Center for Asia, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

1989

“Rural Electrification: A Key To Countryside Progress”

PHILIPPINES

1989 National Electrification Administration Nationwide Painting Competition & Exhibition, Heritage Art Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines

1989

“Intramuros Artists Group Exhibit”

PHILIPPINES

Galleria Varidades, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

1989

Philippine Commission on Culture & Arts (PCCA)

PHILIPPINES

National Assembly Group Exhibit, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila. Philippines

1989

“Hublag” Ilonggo Arts Festival”

PHILIPPINES

Philippine National Bank (PNB), Iloilo City, Philippines

1988

Anniversary Group Show

PHILIPPINES

Hubon Madia-as, The Panay Arts Association, (PAA) Galleria Panayana, Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City, Philippines

1988

PEN-ART National Competition and Exhibition

PHILIPPINES

Phil-Am Life Building, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

1987

Galleria Madia-as at the Tavern

PHILIPPINES

Initial Opening: Hubon Madia-as, The Panay Arts Association (PAA) Group Exhibit, Tavern Pub and Restaurant, Iloilo City, Philippines

1987

Art Association of the Philippines (AAP)

PHILIPPINES

Open Art Competition & Exhibit, Philippine International Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines

1987

Association of the Philippine-Chinese Undestanding (APCU)

PHILIPPINES

Art Exhibition, Ramada Midtown Hotel, Manila, Philippines

1986

“Tali-Ambong”

PHILIPPINES

Art Exhibition Hubon Madia-as, The Panay Art Association,Manila Garden Hotel, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

1986

Philippine Association of Figure Artist(PAFA)

PHILIPPINES

Inaugural Exhibitions, Gallery Genesis, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines ASEAN Art Competition and Exhibition Metro Manila, Philippines

1986

“Piglas” Art Exhibition

PHILIPPINES

Philippine National Bank, Escolta, Metro Manila, Philippines

1986

“Piglas” – Art at the Crossroads

PHILIPPINES

Art Exhibition, Cultural Center of the Philippines Galleries, Metro Manila, Philippines

1986

First Anniversary Group Show

PHILIPPINES

Hubon Madia-as, The Panay Art Association, Galleria Madia-as, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

1985

Special Show: Hubon Madia-as , PAA

PHILIPPINES

Galleria Madia-as, Jaro, Iloilo City

1985

"Kinaadman”

PHILIPPINES

A Four-Man Art Exhibit featuring Artists Joel Ferraris, Nelson Ferraris, Levy Salmon and PG Zoluaga, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Iloilo City, Philippines

1984

“Pamasad”

PHILIPPINES

Initial and Opening Art Exhibition, Hubon Madia-as, The Panay Art Association, Galleria Madia-as, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

1984

Grand Exhibition

PHILIPPINES

Iloilo Society of Arts (ISA), Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City, Philippines

1983

“Pantay-pantay Anumang Kulay”

PHILIPPINES

Art Competition and Exhibition, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

1982

“Hugpong” Iloilo Artist Show

PHILIPPINES

Museo Iloilo, Iloilo City, Philippines

1979

“Barter of Panay”

PHILIPPINES

Art Competition and Exhibition, Marikudo Country Club, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

1979

Shankar’s International Children Art

INDIA

Competition and Exhibition, New Delhi, India

1974

“Community Chest of Iloilo Inc.”

PHILIPPINES

Painting Competition and Exhibition, West Visayas State University, La Paz, Iloilo City, Philippines

1974

Boy Scout of the Philippines Confessor

PHILIPPINES

Council Wide Painting Competition and Exhibition, Iloilo City, Philippines

1974

“Liberation of Panay – World War II”

PHILIPPINES

Painting Competition and Exhibition, Guild of Iloilo Artists, Iloilo City

1974

“Aviation for Progress”

PHILIPPINES

Painting Competition and Exhibition, Civil Aeronautic Association, Iloilo Airport, Iloilo City, Philippines

1973

PRESS INTERVIEWS

"My Take On Artists": "JOEL FERRARIS: THE MAN, THE ARTIST, THE BELIEVER"

FACEBOOK

By Gary Gravador, New York

2010

Interview: Joel Ferraris

TIMEOUT HONG KONG

By Clair Morin, Hong Kong

2008

Morning Brew: Philippine Arts Festival”

RTHK RADIO 3

Presenter Phil Whelan, Hong Kong

2008

“The Works” Reviews on the first Philippine Arts Festival

RTHK

Hosted by Ben Pelletier and Lorea Solabarrieta in Hong Kong

2006

Home Away From Home (The Filipino Hour)

TICTV.COM

Hosted by Jong Inocencio and Federico Paragas in Hong Kong

2006

Ferraris has heart and art on life's canvas

FILGLOBE.COM

By Rex Aguado, Hong Kong

2006

Mural Art in Hong Kong

CABLE TV

Hosted by Grace Ng in Hong Kong

2004

ASIA THIS DAY

CNN INTERNATIONAL

Hosted by James Lee in Hong Kong

1997

TATAK PLILPINO

ABS-CBN

Hosted by by Jim Paredes & Gel Santos Relos, Philippines

1994

AWARDS & DISTINCTIONS

Sovereign Art Prize

TOP 30 FINALIST

The Sovereign Art Foundation Annual Asian Art Competition for Asia Pacific, Hong Kong SAR

2004

“Lek Yuen Jewel”

SECOND PLACE | MURAL

Hong Kong Housing Authority “ Vote For Your Favorite Hong Kong Housing Authority “ Vote For Your Favorite Mural”, Hong Kong SAR

1999

“Global Warming, Global Warning”

FIRST PLACE | MIXED MEDIA

Environmental Management Bureau National Painting Competition, Philippine Heart Center For Asia, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines

1989

“Ang Patuloy Na Paghihirap Ng Anak Ng Tao”

(“The Continuing Agony of the Son of Man”)

HONORABLE MENTION | OIL PAINTING

Metrobank 5th Annual Painting Competition, Metrobank Plaza, Makati, Philippines

1988

KAPATID

(Association for the Release of Political Detainees in the Philippines)

FIRST PLACE

Poster Design Competition, Quezon City, Philippines

1981

“Barter of Panay”

SECOND PLACE

Art Competition and Exhibition, Marikudo Country Club, Jaro, Iloilo City, Philippines

1979

“FREEDOM?”

FIRST PLACE

University of the Philippines in the Visayas On-The-Spot Art Competition, UP Visayas Campus, Iloilo City, Philippines

1976

“Aviation for Progress”

(the title of the winning piece)

FIRST PLACE

Painting Competition and Exhibition
Civil Aeronautic Association, Iloilo Airport, Iloilo City

1973

Boy Scouts of the Philippines National

FIRST PLACE

On-The-Spot Painting Competition, Luneta Park, Metro Manila, Philippines

1971

Boy Scouts of the Philippines Regional

FIRST PLACE

On-The-Spot Painting Competition (Western Visayas), Bacolod City, Philippines

1971

Boy Scouts of the Philippines Local

FIRST PLACE

On-The-Spot Painting Competition, Iloilo City, Philippines

1971

ART PROJECTS

Stamati Residence

Art Commission (Large Painting)

Ayala Alabang, Metro Manila, Philippines

2011-2012

Tiu Residence

Art Commission (5 paintings)

Iloilo City, Philippines

2011-2012

SKY GARDEN SCULPTURES

6 Interactive Sculptures

SM North Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines

2009

Shadow Painting

MURAL

Environmental Management Bureau National Painting Competition, Philippine Heart Center For Asia, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines

2008

“The Wrong Sacrifice”

PAINTING

Art for the campaign against fraternity violence, an acrylic on canvas art piece, done in collaboration with Bro. Robert Reyes. Donated to the National College of Public Administration and Governance, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

2007

Indoor Mural for the Culhane Residence

MURAL

A project of Ferraris Art Studio for the Culhane Family, Tai Tam, Hong Kong

2005

ART PROJECTS INVOLVED IN

‘Mix Media Art and the Fun Of Doing It’

SEMINAR/WORKSHOP

Hong Kong Museum of Art, presented by LCSD and HKMOA

2010

Sai Kung Tsun Catholic Secondary School Old Mural Restoration

MURAL

Sai Kung Catholic Secondary School old mural restoration project commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society, Hong Kong

2009

Social Welfare Department Outdoor Murals

MURAL WORKSHOP SERIES

A series of community mural workshops in 40 locations all around Hong Kong commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society, Hong Kong

2005

Care for Children Carnival

ARTISTS CORNER

An on-the-spot portrait sketching project for charity, 20 November 2004, Victoria Peak Gardens, The Peak., Hong Kong

2004

Hong Kong’s Giant Mural

MURAL

A 7-meter high 128-meter long mural in Cheung Wang Estate, Tsing Yi. Island. A project of the Housing Department and the Hong Kong Mural Society, Hong Kong

2004

Beyond the Boundary

MURAL WORKSHOP

A 66-meter long mural project of Race Relations Unit. Home Affairs Bureau commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society, Hong Kong

2003

260 feet long China Light and Power Mural

MURAL

Black Point Power Plant, commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society, Long Kuo Tan, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong

2002

On Mural Painting

WORKSHOPS

Hosted in several Secondary Schools, the Girls Home, the Scouts Association of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Disabled Organization and the Chinese University of Hong Kong commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society, Hong Kong

1999-2001

Scouts Millennium International Jamboree Mural

MURAL

Sponsored by The Scout Association of Hong Kong and commissioned to Hong Kong Mural Society Hong Kong

2000

Shaw Podium Mural Project

MURAL

Shaw College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Co-painted with the members of the Hong Kong Mural Society Hong Kong

1999

Mural Painting Educational Video

VIDEO

Produced and directed for the Hong Kong Mural Society, funded by the Arts Development Council, Hong Kong

1999

NEWS

SUCCESSFUL US SHOW:
A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE FOR JOEL FERRARIS

Filglobe.com, Hong Kong | REX AGUADO HONG KONG 2007

Artists are typically notorious for their hissy fits, egos as expansive as the cosmos and attitude to match.

In this respect, Joel Ferraris is a major failure. Not only is he so down to earth as to be almost subterranean, he is also brutally honest about his spirituality, a frankness that can be initially disquieting to some but refreshing to others.

While a handful of people may quibble over this seemingly outdated mix of art and heart, Ferraris – a Filipino artist long based in Hong Kong – believes that it is precisely this spirituality that has brought him to a new level in his craft.

Late last year, Ferraris was asked to show what amounted to a retrospective of his works as part of the Spectrum Series program of the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford – the first Filipino invited to the prestigious multicultural and multinational event.

It was my first solo exhibition in the US. It was my first time to apply for a US visa and my first time to go to the US. All were first attempts,” said Ferraris, who started showing his works in Hong Kong with the John Batten Gallery in Sheung Wan in 1997, along with Filipino artist Tito Cascante.

“The Spectrum Series presents a wide array of art and aesthetic expressions from the rest of the world,” he added. “Being the first and only Filipino invited to this program means to share with them our culture where religion and spirituality are a major player.”

But it wasn’t that straightforward. After receiving the Spectrum Series invitation in 2005, Ferraris found himself in a major quandary.

“I am a family man and my youngest kid was only a year old. That was also the time I was doing a big mural project for a clubhouse in Tseung Kwan O under my company [Ferraris Art Studio]. I was also facilitating two mural projects for a hotel in Hawaii, which my two brothers in the Philippines were working on.”

Fortunately, in a confluence of events that Ferraris could only describe as divinely inspired, he was able to surmount major financial and logistical hurdles with the help of family members and friends from Hong Kong and his native province of Iloilo (including a crucial assistance from a former elementary school classmate from 35 years ago who is now based in Chicago) and new acquaintances in the US, both Americans and Filipinos.

“This was the main reason the title of my show is Free Flow,” Ferraris said. “Simply put, it is accepting gladly whatever blessing that God the Father Almighty has granted without being bitter if the things we expect did not happen.

“All in all, I didn’t have a hard time applying for a US visa and entering the US. People welcomed me and I received some kind of respect and special treatment after they learned that I am an artist.

“It’s strange, but I feel that even the weather welcomed me in Pennsylvania. A freak snow that was so thick at 30 inches – the last time it occurred was in the 1800s according to Bradford residents – made it possible for me to experience it. And when I was going to the airport for my trip back to Hong Kong, a double rainbow adorned the California sky as if to bid me goodbye.”

Looking back at his experience in Bradford, Ferraris cannot help but be philosophical.

“In the US exhibition, especially after I visited some art galleries, I realised many things. What is the goal of artists? Is it fame, fortune or the guarantee to have one’s name remembered in history? Or is it using one’s talent just to survive when others are having a hard time surviving?

“The exhibition was not just about how an artist’s talent or his fame can turn his every artwork into cash, but to make people realize that there’s more to life than just being talented or gifted or rich. The show identifies and stresses the need for spiritual enlightenment.

“It aims to encourage people, artists most especially, to examine themselves and see their relevance in a society hungry for good role models amid the effects of drug addiction, homesickness and separation, immorality and decadence and all those negative things and influences that are targeting the young.

“I did hope that in my small way, I was able to contribute to international understanding and in making people realize the hardships experienced by foreign workers forced to work abroad just to make sure their families survive back home.”

REVIEWS

Art Epiphany

Rex Aguado | Sunday, August 02, 1998

"That process took a major leap when Dee and John Batten of the eponymous gallery joined forces for a show marking the Philippines' independence day in June last year. Unlike the LKF show, the Philippine exhibition at John Batten's was imbued with the gallery's typical expert curatorship. This was effectively the first time Hong Kong caught a glimpse of the richness of Philippine contemporary art and its evolution. The show also inspired the formation of a core of Hong Kong-based Filipino artists led by Justo Cascante and Joel Ferraris, as well as the organisation of a controversial exhibition at Club 64 in Lan Kwai Fong featuring works by Jojo Legaspi."

3rd Philippine Arts Festival

The Peak Galleria | 08 June 2008

"It is an honor for me to address this auspicious occasion, no less auspicious and equally

Unang Sulyap:
The First Philippine Artsfest
in Hong Kong

Ina Alleco R. Silverio | Contributed to Bulatlat

“Meron naman talagang effort, pero di lang coordinated. Hiwa-hiwalay kami, pa-isa-isa ang mga show. Nasa lungga kasi lahat. Ngayon, sana magtuloy-tuloy na ito (There is in fact effort, but it is not coordinated. It’s because the artists work separately, preferring to hold one-man shows. They’re all holed up. I hope this continues). We want to show that Filipino artists in Hong Kong are united. We want to establish a strong art community para na rin sa mga kapwa Pilipino natin (for our fellow Filipinos),” said Joel Ferraris.

Tsang's creative arts centre
A misconceived idea in artists' eyes

Rex Aguado | Saturday October 22 2005

Joel Ferraris, a Filipino artist based in Hong Kong who has been involved in some public mural projects, also wonders why the government is willing to spend so much money on WKCD. He believes the city has a surfeit of potential art space - the huge lobbies of privately owned buildings.

'The spacious lobbies and other strategic spaces indoors and outdoors could offer suitable exhibition venues and other art-and-culture-related events to artists. These must be all for free. Therefore, there's no need actually to build more exhibition areas or centres and waste more money,' he says.

Wealth of Art Flows
From the Philippines

John Cairns | Cairns Media Magazine, September 10, 2010

In one creation, artist Joel Ferraris shows images of people using hi-tech devices, like laptops or mobile phones, inside plastic bubbles linked by wire-like strands. Titled Pry Buzz See, this artwork suggests that modern communications lead to individual isolation.

Third Philippine Arts Festival

Clare Morin | Time Out, Hong Kong 2008

The festival closes with a fascinating family show by another pioneer Joel Ferraris, who is showing his paintings alongside more than 20 relatives in “It Runs In The Blood” at the Sera Sene Gallery in Lan Kwai Fong.

In praise of the unsung

Annemarie Evans | South China Morning Post, June 20, 2006

While most artists in the Philippines struggle to make a living, those in Hong Kong - such as Justo Cascante, Bobit Segismundo and Joel Ferraris - pursue their art while holding down jobs as graphic designers, advertising art directors, and film animators.

Culture amid the concrete

STAFF REPORTER | The Standard, August 20, 2009

Mural painter Joel Ferraris said among the many who visited the exhibition were tourists from New York "who left a note on our guestbook, stating that they cannot wait to see this kind of art in New York."