Artist in Pampanga wows netizens with miniature scale ‘barong-barong’
MANILA, Philippines – Pampanga-based artist Nhoda Muñoz proved that great things come in small packages, as he wowed netizens with intricate miniature models of “barong-barong na bahay” or shanty houses.
Muñoz told INQUIRER.net on Wednesday that he started doing “barong-barong” miniature models in December, 2020, during the rigid lockdowns brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a full-time tattoo artist before ako mag-create ng diorama. So ginawa ko po tong brain therapy para malabanan yung depresyon ko during the lockdown. Kasi po as a full time artist po, nawalan po ako ng kita nung panahon ng pandemic ang bansa natin” shared Muñoz.
(I was a full-time artist before I started creating dioramas. I made this as a brain therapy to combat the depression I was feeling during the lockdown. As a full-time tattoo artist, I lost my livelihood when our country faced pandemic).
He redirected his energy into changing his medium: from permanently painting on human bodies to recreating people’s homes with recycled materials.
The miniature models he have shared prove his works are inspired by his own life.
“[Barong-barong] po ang naisip ko na konsepto para po balikan ang nakaraan ko… batang riles po ako kaya lumaki ako sa ganitong klaseng bahay, ganitong klaseng pamumuhay,” he said.
(I thought of shanty houses as a concept because it goes back to my past. I grew up along railroad tracks that is why I lived in this kind of house, in this type of life).
Despite his creations being a reflection of his history, Muñoz hopes that it stays there, as he is aware of the poverty it represents.
“Umaasa po ako someday na mawala na ang ganitong klaseng bahay sa Pilipinas, maging replika na lang ito ng nakaraan,” he said.
(I am hoping that someday, there will be no more houses like this in the Philippines, that it will just be a replica of our past.)
He said that he wants future generations of Filipinos to look at his miniature art in a museum to look at it and see their past and not the present situation.
Muñoz now makes a living from these miniatures. From a struggling tattoo artist that was affected by the pandemic, he now makes at least P15,000 pesos from each miniature model. He also has a Facebook page — Nhoda’s crafts — where he displays all of his work.
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