Toym de Leon Imao Interview at Periveo | Golden Home Realty

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Golden Home Realty interviews award-winning multimedia artist Toym de Leon Imao where he shares his creative process behind his latest sculpture at the forefront of Periveo in Lipa, Batangas. Entitled “Tuloy tuloy”, this work of art is set to provide a warm and grand welcome to future homeowners and the public.


Toym Leon Imao
Toym de Leon Imao is pictured next to his array of exceptional artworks.


1. Please describe your identity as an artist. What do you think is most notable about your style/technique?

I think of myself primarily as a storyteller. I am lucky that I have varying mediums that I can explore to help me tell different narratives.

I started my career in the 1990s as an artist doing classical sculptures of Philippine heroes and events. Starting 2010, however, after four years in the USA to take my Master in Fine Arts under a Fulbright scholarship and as an Artist-in Residence of the Baltimore Creative Alliance, I started doing less traditional and more experimental works. When I returned to the Philippines I started getting involved in film and theater by designing theater sets and movie productions. I also started doing more public art installations like the ones I do annually for the University of the Philippines where I currently teach.

I always do intensive research as preparation for doing detailed artworks. You can see the results of my research in the creative integration of features, icons and symbolisms in my artworks

2. For this particular sculpture, what was your inspiration?

I drew my inspiration from the Periveo logo. For me, it represented continuity/infinity. We see a family  – parents, children – dancing on the loops of the infinity symbol, happy and carefree because they have found their forever home in a community where they can grow individually and as a family.

3. What was your thought process upon Periveo contacting you for this art piece?

I immediately started reading and learning about Golden Home Realty and Periveo. I have previously worked with the owners when I designed some artistic features in their home and I was excited to go large-scale. Now, I don’t just design for the owners, I design for a whole community of dwellers with varying tastes and expectations.

4. What would you want the audience to glean from this art piece? How would you want them to feel upon seeing it?

I want to the audience to see harmony and love in the sculpture. I want them to feel light, that happiness can be found within the development, and when they step inside I want them to see the possibilities of hopes and dreams. But like I said above, people would have varying tastes and expectations, but I hope they see the message we are trying to convey here. It is not about what you literally see before you, but in what the sculptures make you feel. I hope the audience feels the same way I do.

5. Do you personally identify with this piece in any way?

Yes, I have been married for more than twenty years, and luckily blessed with three children. We have our home in the city, but we have always imagined ourselves living in the suburbs, in a community that is well-planned and safe. And where you are far enough to have privacy from the neighbors but also close enough to know them personally and interact with them regularly. I think the whole family will feel carefree but secure when that happens.

6. What is the final name for this piece? Is there a story behind the name?

I call this piece: “Tuloy Tuloy.” The title pertains to the infinity loop, which can be described as tuloy-tuloy (never-ending). And also tuloy-tuloy in the vernacular means nonstop or continuing. The idea of continuity, of passing a home from one generation to another is a Filipino time-honored tradition. Tuloy tuloy is also a positive action: of moving forward regardless of challenges. It also conveys a warm and enthusiastic welcome to allow passage inside one’s house. Tuloy, tuloy is a greeting we give our guests when we welcome them in our homes.

7. What’s next for Toym Imao?

I still do public art. I am currently working with both the private and public sectors on making statues and monuments of our national and local heroes. I also continue to make public art installations for the University of the Philippines. Right now, we are preparing for the Commencement Exercises in July.

We are happy that theaters are slowly opening up for face to face to performances, so I am back to working with Tanghalang Pilipino. We are planning to mount a semi-musical play about a young man from Mindanao, based on the book “Anak Datu” that my father National Artist Abdulmari Asia Imao wrote in the seventies. We are also working on an exhibition of small cast bronze sculptures and some paintings with Galerie Joaquin in September this year.


Toym de Leon Imao talks more about his latest sculpture at Periveo and the importance of making art accessible in communities in this video: