Quaderno: Page Talk with Kevin Roque

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This February, Looking For Juan celebrates National Arts Month by highlighting Filipino artists through Quaderno's Page Talk—a series of conversations featuring the extraordinary talents shaping the present and future of Philippine art.

Kevin Roque’s illustrations are a product of keen observation. His detailed pen-on-paper artworks examine light, darkness, and shadows, unfolding distinct vignettes of the human experience.


Casa | graphite on paper (2017)

Roque has mounted three solo shows, including “2020,” aptly named after the year that upended our old norma. The exhibit is a visual journal of narrative drawings with coded references to political and social conditions that Roque and other Filipinos experienced in that year. It was exhibited on Marahuyo Art Projects, an online platform and virtual art space.

Below, Roque talks briefly with Looking for Juan about his art and the role of the Filipino artist in this uncertain climate.

What inspires/motivates you to create?

“The little detours in life as well as addressing the needs of humanity.”

What does your art represent?

“I reflect the reality surrounding me by using metaphors. I use art to share my vision of better future or to raise awareness of particular social concern.”

Lutang | graphite on paper (2020)

How can art influence change?

“Art not only mirrors our reality, but it can also break current systems and shape our future.”

What's the role of Filipino artists in this time of misinformation, division and pandemic?

“In this time of disillusionment, Filipino artists should unite and move as one to dispel the current mass hypnosis brought by those people in power.”

Odisea | graphite on paper (2017)

Inspired by Roque’s art? Support Philippine art while you write with Quaderno by Kevin Roque, featuring four limited-edition notebooks designed in collaboration with the artist, created to creatively.

Each collection contains four notebooks (lined, blank, dotted, and grid) with 64 pages each of 100 GSM cream textured paper, perfect for journaling, calligraphy, watercolor painting, and more.

Take-out | graphite on paper (2017)

A part of the proceeds from the collection will go to book donations to children in disadvantaged communities in the Philippines in support of CANVAS' One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.



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