(16 October 2023, Singapore) – The Philippine Embassy in Singapore opened on 13 October 2023 its second of Art Trek 15 exhibit entitled “Cacao Dream: Realism Unveiled in Cebu” featuring the art work of 17-year-old Filipino cacao artist John Paul Toquero Choa.
John Paul, or JP, was born in 2006 and is the 9th child of Mr. Raquel Toquero Choa, dubbed as the “Chocolate Queen”. An inborn artist who utilizes cacao as a medium to express his creativity, JP draws inspiration from his surroundings, incorporating local elements and narratives into his artwork, creating a distinctly Cebuano flavor in realism.
Presented by Singapore art gallery Olal’Art, the art exhibit was a showcase of JP’s dreams, aspirations, and cultural heritage of a young Cebuano artist through realism art. At the heart of this exhibition is the enchanting theme of cacao, which serves as a metaphor for his desire to bring his vivid dreams to life on canvas.
Several of JP’s featured paintings were reminiscent of the works of Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch impressionist painter, who served as an inspiration for JP.
In his remarks during the program, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Medardo G. Macaraig expressed that JP’s solo exhibition was aptly titled, as this was what dreams and their realization are made of: passion, a lot of hard work, talent, and the unwavering support of family and friends.
Mr. Edu Pantino, Chief Operating Officer of The Chocolate Chamber, moderated the Q and A and fielded questions from the audience. A highlight of the program was a demonstration by Ms. Raquel Toquero Choa of how to create a cacao de bola or chocolate ball by pounding roasted cacao beans with mortar and pestle.
Guests were also treated to a wafting smell of chocolate spread and had a sampling of sikwate, Cebu’s version of hot chocolate.
The “Cacao Dream: Realism Unveiled in Cebu” exhibit is open until 25 October 2023 at the Philippine Embassy. For viewing, reservations can be coursed through Eventbrite. END