A Tale of Two Cities 为心爱的城市创作一百幅画

June 24, 2021 2021年6月24日

Daniel Tingcungco stumbled upon Utagawa Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo while studying the art of Japanese woodblock prints. Ukiyo-e, which translates to “picture of the floating world,” refers to the Japanese style of painting and woodblock printing that portrays travel and city life, grand landscapes, theater actors, and erotic scenes of the Edo period. Inspired by this art movement, Tingcungco embarked on a journey to paint 100 Views of Manila and Saigon.

While Ukiyo-e served as the creative bedrock, the Filipino artist was also influenced by Shin-hanga, an art movement that fused Japanese woodblock prints and paintings with Western elements. His digital works are equally inspired by the strokes of John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, and Nicolas Uribe, which he reinterprets through watercolor and gouache. “Being inspired by these different styles, I desired to create art that features Manila and Saigon, as there was not anyone that I knew locally who had done such a series of 100,” he explains.

菲律宾艺术家 Daniel Tingcungco 最早在研究日本木刻版画艺术时,偶然发现了歌川广重的浮世绘名作《名所江户百景图》,随即对这种艺术一发不可收拾。浮世绘(Ukiyo-e)是指“虚浮世界的绘画”,是源于日本的传统绘画风格,主要描绘了江户时代的城市、风景及人间冷暖的景象。很快,Daniel 开始创作属于自己的浮世绘作品,并相继推出《马尼拉百景图》和《西贡百景图》系列作品。

虽灵感来源于浮世绘,但在 Daniel 在创作时也融入了新版画(Shin-hanga)元素,这是一种将日本木版画与西方绘画元素相融合的艺术风格。此外,他的数字作品还受到了美国肖像画家萨金特(John Singer Sargent)、法国印象派画家埃德加·德加(Edgar Degas)和美国油画艺术家尼古拉斯·尤里伯(Nicolás Uribe)的启发,以水彩和水粉对传统进行了重新诠释。“在受到这些艺术形式的启发之后,我决定以马尼拉为主题画出一百幅作品。据我所知,当时还没人做过这样的事。”他笑着道。

Central Post 《Central Post》
MRT on a Sunday 《MRT on a Sunday》

Tingcungco, who was born in Baguio City and moved to Manila in 1994, often compared Manila with cities abroad—these comparisons usually left him feeling frustrated at how much his home lagged behind. Yet, Tingcungco admired the local way of life. Despite the weather, governance, and environment, Manila and its communities still thrived in their own way. “Through my illustrations, I was able to see Manila with fresh eyes and discover places and elements that I have never encountered before,” he says. “It changed the way I view the city, accepting it for what it is, but also hopeful of what it can be. Through every artwork I create, the beauty of it unravels.”

Daniel 出生于菲律宾碧瑶市,1994 年移居马尼拉。和很多人一样,他喜欢将自己的居住地和其他城市比较,也曾为家乡的落后而感到沮丧。但他依旧热爱这片热土。尽管气候和环境治理的状况都不尽如人意,但马尼拉仍以自己独特的方式向前迈进。他说:“创作这些插图让我能够以一种新的眼光去看待马尼拉,尝试去发现一些曾经被忽视的地方,从而改变了我对这座城市的看法,渐渐变得更乐于接受它原本的面貌,也对城市的未来充满希望。创作过程中我意识到,我每画一幅作品就像赞美这座城市的诗歌。每一首,都能够呈现出这座城市一点美的轮廓。”

Sunken Garden at UP Diliman 《Sunken Garden at UP Diliman》
Taking a Break Near the Ayala Tower One 《Taking a Break Near the Ayala Tower One》
Rajah Sulayman Theater at Fort Santiago 《Rajah Sulayman Theater at Fort Santiago》
Double Rainbow at the UP College of Science Amphitheater 《Double Rainbow at the UP College of Science Amphitheater》

Within the first few illustrations of the project, Tingcungco was in awe of Manila—what made the city so beautiful was only revealed once he opened his eyes. His newfound appreciation of its nuances is fully manifested in 100 Views of Manila. In many of the illustrations, Tingcungco is even part of the scene, appearing to be soaking it all in. Take for example, in Sunken Garden at UP Diliman, he rests beneath a tree, its leaves and branches protecting him from the glare of the sun as he takes in the greenery and an open field before him. In Taking a Break Near the Ayala Tower One at the Ayala Triangle, one of the city’s most iconic skyscrapers is framed by a cluster of trees, Tingcungco reclines on a bench to revel in the quiet moment.

In Rajah Sulayman Theater at Fort Santiago, he strolls through the historical site with hands in his pockets, enjoying the rarely crowd-less landmark. In View from the %Arabica Maisonette Space, he enjoys a coffee in the air-conditioned cafe. In Double Rainbow at the UP College of Science Amphitheater, he watches a pair of rainbows stretching across the burnt-orange dusk sky.

马尼拉总能带给 Daniel 很多惊喜——在他看来,只要用心去观察,城市之美总会被发现。他在《马尼拉百景图》(100 Views of Manila)系列里不断挖掘这座城市容易被人们忽视的美好。甚至在许多作品中,Daniel 将自己“画”入场景的一部分,全然融入其中。他坐在《菲律宾迪里曼大学下沉花园》(Sunken Garden at UP Diliman)的树下,一边享受大树的凉荫,一边望向草地上空旷的远方,很是惬意;在《小憩在阿亚拉三角花园》(Taking a Break Near the Ayala Tower One at the Ayala Triangle)中,绿色植物拥簇在摩天大楼四周,Daniel 正坐在长椅之上,他双手搭在椅背,沉浸在这片刻的宁静。

在《圣地亚哥堡的拉亚索莱曼剧院》(Rajah Sulayman Theater at Fort Santiago)旁,他双手插进口袋,漫步在历史遗迹之间,孤独地行走在游客地标;在《阿拉比卡别墅空间》(%Arabica Maisonette Space)的咖啡馆里,他手握马克杯,端详着窗外的喧嚷;在《菲律宾理工大的露天剧院》(Double Rainbow at the UP College of Science Amphitheater)的黄昏时分,Daniel 仰望天空,一览橘红色天空中划过的双道彩虹。

Rizal Monument 《Rizal Monument》
Pares House 《Pares House》
Lantern Illumination at the Lucky Chinatown Mall 《Lantern Illumination at the Lucky Chinatown Mall》
Morning Ride Along the Marikina Cityhood Park 《Morning Ride Along the Marikina Cityhood Park》

“With these illustrations, I feel that I have overcome my fear of drawing backgrounds,” he says. “I used to be scared and felt pressured by the details I had to draw, but later on, I learned to be more selective of what to paint by giving a personal impression and interpretation of the city. It is more about capturing the mood and the feeling Manila gives off, which I hope the people who have seen my works have felt.”


Nguyễn Thái Bình Morning 《Nguyễn Thái Bình Morning》

In 2019, Tingcungco moved to Ho Chi Minh City for a job offer at an ad agency. There, he continued working on his Manila project. But after a few days of exploring the city, he found himself under the spell of Saigon, and he decided to extend the project to include the Vietnam capital. “I did not plan on continuing with Saigon and wanted to move on to create another project, but within a few days of roaming around Ho Chi Minh, I decided it could be a way to keep refining my artistic skills and learn more about the city.” 

With a camera in tow, Tingcungco strolls around Ho Chi Minh to capture the city’s defining nuances and components, the same method he employed for his Manila series. For the artist, photography solidifies his art as it bestows him the ability to register the places and spaces he visits during his walk. While the camera collects the information about the design of what he will create, the way he replicates the ambiance and emotions of a setting is a quality that no camera lens can duplicate.

He shrugs off the stigma that surrounds the use of references in illustration, believing that reproducing photographs in paintings doesn’t necessarily shred originality. Tingcungco believes that having images at hand can bring about clarity in the direction of his artworks. “As long as there is a transformative effect that I can apply to the final work, such as tweaking the details, colors, and mood, then it would not just be a direct copy of the photograph, but rather turning the creation as my own.”

2019 年,Daniel 移居胡志明市(旧称西贡),并在一家广告公司上班。他原本打算继续创作马尼拉系列,但很快又被胡志明市迷住。他决定把创作方向扩展到这座越南首都。“我原本没打算创作西贡系列,但在那里溜达了几天之后,我发现画这座城市的绘画素材很多,同时也可以进一步提高我的创作技术。那时候刚来胡志明市没多久,我想绘画能帮助我快速了解这座城市。”


Daniel 并不认为参考照片来进行艺术创作是一件羞愧的事,相反,他认为这样做能让作品更真实、更贴近生活。在他看来,参考影像还有助于明确作品的创作方向。他说:“我会在作品的细节、色彩和情绪上融入自己的理解,它不是对照片的临摹,而是我自己创作的成果。”

On Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Passing by Convent Saint Paul de Chartres 《On Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Passing by Convent Saint Paul de Chartres》
The Old Banyan Tree at Bach Tung Diep Park 《The Old Banyan Tree at Bach Tung Diep Park》
Afternoon Ride along Dakao 《Afternoon Ride along Dakao》
Hot Hủ Tiếu Mì at Tân Định Market 《Hot Hủ Tiếu Mì at Tân Định Market》

Tingcungco believes that Saigon is often subject to misconceptions. Through the project, he yearns to paint the city in a new light, depicting it for what it is—a progressive and vibrant place that’s retained its customs and traditions in the face of modernity. The way he paints 100 Views of Saigon is slightly different from his Manila compendium: the strokes are broadened, the hues are more subdued, but the smudges and grainy textures of the original project have carried over as well as the artist’s own presence in the majority of the scenes.  

In the first illustration of the series, On Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Passing by Convent Saint Paul de Chartres, Tingcungco rides on the back of a motorbike taxi. In the background, the beige facade of the iconic chapel fills out the composition. In The Old Banyan Tree at Bach Tung Diep Park, he’s hardly visible in frame, a tiny figure dwarfed by the towering tree. 

In Hot Hủ Tiếu Mì at Tân Định Market, Tingcungco is seated at a streetside stall enjoying a bowl of hot Hủ Tiếu Mì, a rice noodles soup with pork stock, fresh herbs, and onions. In Afternoon Ride along Dakao, he rides on the back of another motorbike taxi, taking in the sun rays peeking through a row of trees.

Daniel 认为胡志明市(西贡)是一座经常被人误解的城市。他希望通过这个项目,以自己的视角解读并还原这座城市的本来面貌——不断前进、活力四射,能在提升现代化的同时保留当地的习俗和传统。《西贡百景图》的风格与《马尼拉百景图》略有不同:笔画更宽广,色调更柔和,也延续着前作中晕染和颗粒纹理的质感,而 Daniel 本人也同样被画入了进场景中。

此系列第一幅作品名为《当阮有镜路过圣保罗德沙特尔修道院》(On Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Passing by Convent Saint Paul de Chartres),Daniel 坐在辆摩的后座,他们穿行于修道院的一侧,背景里一袭乳白色墙壁格外清爽。在《巴赫同迪普公园的老榕树》(The Old Banyan Tree at Bach Tung Diep Park)下,Daniel 的身躯与参天大树相互映衬,显得十分渺小。

《新定坊的面铺》(Hot Hủ Tiếu Mì at Tân Định Market)是街边的一个小摊铺,汤面(Hủ Tiếu Mì)的腾腾热气扑在 Daniel 的脸上,裹挟着肉汤和洋葱的香气。《多高坊午后骑行》(Afternoon Ride along Dakao)的途中,金色的阳光穿过大树洒在路面上,摩的后视镜里,Daniel 露出喜悦的面庞。

Hoa Đông Quán 《Hoa Đông Quán》
Chợ Hoa Hồ Thị Kỷ 《Chợ Hoa Hồ Thị Kỷ》
Nhà thờ Thánh Jeanne d'Arc 《Nhà thờ Thánh Jeanne d'Arc》

Having now lived in Saigon for over two years, Tingcungco has noticed many parallels with Manila, such as its scorching climates and the friendly locals. These similarities have allowed him to feel as if he had never left the Philippines in the first place. “But between the two cities, there is less traffic in Ho Chi Minh due to the number of bikes, which take up less space on the roads,” he says. “There are also tons of green areas around the city as the country gives importance to parks and recreation for its people. There is not much of a mall culture here unlike in Manila; it is more traditional, with people visiting small shops situated in alleys of buildings.”

在胡志明市(西贡)生活了两年过后,Daniel 发现了这里与马尼拉的许多相似之处,例如炎炎夏日和热情友善的路人。正是这些相似之处,让他觉得自己仿佛从未离开过家乡。他说:“胡志明市的交通没有马尼拉那么繁忙,这里自行车较多,占用空间相对较少。城市周围还有大片绿地,修建了公园和休闲娱乐设施。这里也没有太多的购物中心,这一点不像马尼拉;当地人比较传统,喜欢游逛在各种小街小巷的店铺。”

Saigon Over the Sky 《Saigon Over the Sky》
Breakfast at Bánh Mì Hòa Mã 《Breakfast at Bánh Mì Hòa Mã》

The ongoing projects have yet to reach his goal of 100 paintings, but Tingcungco isn’t in a rush. He’s happy with savoring the journey, taking his time to explore the city at his own pace, snapping interesting photos along the way, and learning more about the two cities. “Wherever I go somewhere, there will always be a part of that place that I carry with me, whether it is a song I hear, the scent of the air, or the lighting of that time of day.”

目前胡志明市(西贡)项目的一百幅画作尚未完成,但 Daniel 并不着急。他很享受这段旅程,喜欢按照自己的节奏探索这座城市,他说:“无论我走到哪里,总会把这个地方的一部分装在心里,有时是我听到的一首歌,有时是空气的芬芳,或是一天中某个时刻的阳光。这些不同经历,都让我与这座城市发生着亲密的联系。”

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Website: www.danieltingcungco.com
: @cafedandy


Contributor: Matthew Burgos
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

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网站: www.danieltingcungco.com
: @cafedandy


供稿人: Matthew Burgos
英译中: Olivia Li