There’s no place like home–this is what Daniel Tingcungco realized after his travels abroad. Tingcungco is a Senior Art Director for Leo Burnett Vietnam. But, before relocating in Ho Chi Minh City, he was born and raised in Marikina City.
Whenever we visit a different country, it’s hard not to compare our own. According to him, “there was always this frustration of what a certain country has, that Manila doesn’t, especially in terms of aesthetics.” As time went by though, Tingcungco discovered a whole new appreciation for Manila during his visits back home. “I was able to change those feelings by looking at Manila differently–accepting it for what it is now, but also hopeful of what it can be,” he said. “I realize through every artwork that there is so much beauty in this city. If you just keep looking, a lot can surprise you. It’s when you’re far away from home that you realize how important it is to you.”
This led him to create his passion project, “100 Views of Manila”. The project is noticeably inspired by Hiroshige’s “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” a compilation of scenic landscapes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo. Tingcungco, however, incorporated the nostalgic and heartwarming feels of each of his homecoming to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, his artistic style was influenced by Tatsuro Kiuchi, whom Tingcungco considers as his illustration hero. “The simplicity and texture of his work brings a rich and nostalgic feeling that is pleasant to look at every time. It feels ‘complete’ even with minimal details,” he explained. “I have followed his work so much and even tried to emulate his style until I kept going to explore what I could do on my own.” He even shared how Kiuchi mentored him. “Being able to meet him twice the past years in his studio in Tokyo has given me so much insight on how I should always strive for ‘completeness’ in my work. I would not be here if not for his inspiration,” he noted.
As for how he creates these digital masterpieces, we found out that Tingcungco’s works stems from traditional media. He said, “I enjoy painting with watercolors, acrylic and gouache, which I do my best to emulate a similar vibe with the iPad.” But first, the artist needs to experience the place and feel the moment before grabbing his pen. He expounded, “Thinking about how I would want to convey it takes a lot of time as I would take in the feeling, the aroma, the heat or coolness, the vibe, and the taste–the overall experience.”
“If necessary, I would capture photographic references just as a guide, then later on translating it in my own way through illustration where I do my best to draw the fondest moments of the experience,” he continued. This do not come as a surprise with Tingcungco’s fondness for film photography since his days as a student. He recalled, “I enjoy film photography from time to time, which is also a hobby I’ve done since my college days. Whenever I have free time, I’d go around the city or travel to different places to experience new things, either by myself or hanging out with friends.”
In his message to aspiring artists, Tingcungco quoted American artist Chuck Close: “The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” In reference to this, Tingcungco emphasized the importance of including your passion in your daily routine. “In my case, I spend at least an hour every morning to draw no matter what. The next thing you know, you’d have created a great volume of work. Whether you’re in the mood or not, just being present every day creates a spark that will compel you to just keep going,” he shared.
Two years in the making, the complete collection of “100 Views of Manila” by Daniel Tingcungco can now be viewed on behance.net/danieltingcungco. It also includes the continuation of the project titled “100 Views of Saigon”. He also uploads his illustrations on Instagram, @cafedandy.
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