Sinag Creates Stunning Handcrafted Paper Rainbows that You Simply Must See!
When in Manila, you will find that Filipinos can always make something great out of the ordinary.
On a cloudy Saturday morning, I met with Sinag de Leon at Likha Diwa Vegetarian and Seafood Cafe. Despite the gloomy weather, Sinag greeted with such glowing radiance. The papercut exhibit housed in the cafe is a lot like her, exuding vibrancy in itself, with no need for any fancy paraphernalia. Her works are likewise charming in their own right. Each piece seems to tell its own story.
Malakas and Maganda are my favorites from her collection. Staying true to the Filipino legend they were named after, Malakas screams out masculinity, while Maganda celebrates femininity. Placed side by side, their contrasting traits are highlighted; one uses subdued colors, while the other is filled with bright hues; one seems to declare stern righteousness and the other proclaims delicate grace.
I also found Sinag’s papercut-designed horses fascinating. Having been decorated with lace-like patterns, they looked as magical as unicorns. Standing one foot tall, these pieces bring enchantment to all parts of the room.
Sinag began paper cutting when she was seven years old. Reading Childcraft books as a young girl, she learned how to make paper snowflakes. From there, her creativity soared. She made cards, paperweights, bottles, and pencil holders that were designed with her very own papercuts. Over time, she experimented with her craft, and her works bloomed into the intricately made art pieces they are today.
Sinag was kind enough to show me a demo on how she makes her papercuts. When I asked what kinds of paper she uses, she shares that she makes use of all kinds — newspapers, magazines, handmade paper, art paper, etc. An advocate of green living, she makes use of what she has. Once she has a vision of what she wants to do, she picks up her scissors and cuts away. Strongly driven, Sinag’s secret is to simply stop thinking of the final output and allow her own creativity to guide her.
“You should not be afraid to make mistakes. There are times when things don’t turn out the way you planned them to, and that is okay,” she told me. Accidents happen as you cut, but you will be surprised at how these supposed flaws may unfold beautifully and contribute significantly to what you never thought would be a masterpiece.
In line with the recent Yolanda tragedy, part of the proceeds generated from Sinag’s ongoing solo exhibit will go to the UP Mountaineers Search and Rescue Team (UPMSAR), a group that she is proudly a part of. This pro-active group deploys individuals to places that are in need of immediate assistance during times of calamities and disasters. Framed papercuts are priced at P1,800 – P5,000 each, while the horses cost P3,000 – P5,000. All these and more, When in Manila.
Paper Rainbows (a solo exhibit by Sinag)
November 16, 2013-January 14, 2014
Likha Diwa Vegetarian and Seafood Café
#1 Lt. Street, Krus na Ligas, Diliman, Q.C.