Primer: Kublai Millan

Kublai was born on July 8, 1974 in Cotabato City. Kublai started his career when he made all the artworks both inside and outside of his family’s hotel; Ponce Suites. His mother is the manager of the hotel. He studied at the University of the Philippines for his higher education and attained a degree in Fine Arts. After his graduation from college he returned to Mindanao, painting and sculpting subjects relating to the culture of his hometown.

He is responsible for two giant works: “Kampilan” by Sultan Kudarat in the city of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao and the “Risen Christ” in the church of Tagum City. He is also responsible for the giant durian monument in Davao International Airport, the giant eagle and Bagobo children in People’s Park, Davao City.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I’ve always been inclined to drawing even as a child. It’s not an inspiration, it just is.

What are you currently working on?

Project-wise, many. I work on projects all at the same time. Real work? Myself. A person has to keep on working on himself, his rootedness, his connection to his being, the Supreme Being, and the Earth.

What was your first exhibit like?

Much like all other exhibits. Exhibits are social events that’s part of marketing your art and the self. It’s the end. There’s nothing there but the appreciation. It’s the creation process that’s of greater value to me.

What is your process like?

Nothing special. I think, I dream. Or I dream, I think. Depends on the project and the depth of the inspiration.

What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?

Rootedness, identity. Rootedness and identity define the artist’s soul. Anyone can put paint on canvas, but the person that does his work well is aware of his soul and his purpose here on earth lives up to his soul existence.

What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

My children. In them I see the depths of human love and the power of the Divine Creator.

What is your favorite piece by another artist?

My favorite is an artist, not his piece. Antonio Gaudi because his works assault all your senses and reflect a mind that challenges all conventions and his audience. His work is unapologetic and yet are products of unfathomable thoughts that are his alone but that he has committed his whole life to share to the world. They’re not just random abstracts built to impress and in the process beautify the absence of depths. His works hold his soul.

Why do you work in the medium that you do?

It’s what I’m most comfortable with.

What is your favorite place to create in?

Inside my head.


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