Chito Maravilla: Mankind

“Mankind takes shape in many ways. Beauty, joy, tragedy, corruption. A village, a nation, or a movement, which comes alive through the distinct characteristics of my observations, both from the past and present. As some issues and aspects of life become clichés, their normalcy stirs in the back of my mind, and I confront and address them through these re-imagined portrayals to re-contextualize their significance. These snapshots are my way of documenting the social nature of life, formulated from discarded print materials and repurposed into a collage of found objects. This brings about a practice of sustainability and finds beauty in the mundane or the disregarded and mirrors my fantastical recollections of the Philippines with my observations of everyday life abroad.” – Chito Maravilla

About the Artist

“Ferdinand “Chito” Maravilla, an artist from the Philippines, has lived in Canada for more than 20 years. Fueled by a passion to draw, Maravilla’s love for art started during his younger days at Malate Catholic School in the Philippines, which inspired him to pursue a career in arts and finished a
Bachelor’s degree in fine arts, Major in Advertising from the University of Santo Tomas. He was an art director at Campaigns & Grey Advertising in Manila for 14 years.”

In 2002, he and his family migrated to Canada where he started working as a playground designer, with works that are widespread across Canada and United States of America. Since then, he has had an eclectic and successful career. With a portfolio ranging from fashion design, playground design to graphic design, the diverse commercial experience shaped him into a versatile and thoughtful artist. “From a young age, I have held the passion of understanding the aesthetics and impulses of abstract art. I try to expand on various concepts, influenced also by my long-term work experience in the advertising agency;” he adds. Aside from painting fragments and observations of his new home in Canada, the artist also paints his experiences in the Philippines. Maravilla seeks inspiration from real life. When he came to Canada, on his daily commute, he would illustrate the other passengers he saw on the Skytrain. These illustrations eventually culminated into an exhibition at the Vancouver International Airport from 2012 to 2014. “A lot of my works do not require reference; the subjects are captured spontaneously. I try to keep that drive, and when I see something, I make a sketch immediately, I want to put the impulse in there. That way, it preserves the energy and sincerity of how I see that moment,” he explains. Blending surrealism and expressionism, his artworks are imaginative, dreamy and full of symbolism, representing people and places, and encapsulating a complex range of emotions, from grandiose celebration to everyday beauty and simplicity, from the quaint and the familiar to the unexplored and surreal, from introspection and calm to comedy and love.

Currently, he works as a full-time graphic designer at Smartfilms where he creates for various commercial and corporate institutions. One of his recent designs is a mural at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Outside the corporate commercial work, Maravilla works part-time as a painter. In his expansive career as a multi-faceted artist bringing to life a diverse range of styles, subjects, and themes, his works have been displayed in many venues and public spaces, such as the Vancouver International Airport, SPAA in New York, the Surrey Art Gallery, the Lipont Centre in Richmond, playgrounds across North America, and a mural at a Khalsa school in Surrey.

In 2018, two of his art installation designs were awarded by the City of Surrey and built in 2019 for Maple Green Park. The following are the artworks that gained awards and recognition:

2022 “Skytrain Girl”- 2nd Place- Surrey Art Gallery 2022 Juried Exhibition 2019 “
View from the Top” and “Lifting Hands”- 2 designs awarded by the City of Surrey for a public art installation at the Maple Green Park, Surrey BC Canada. Both works are now part of the Public Art Collection of the City of Surrey

2019 “No Fuss Filming”- 1st Place – Surrey Art Gallery 2019 Juried Exhibition
2019 “Cosmo Rising”- People’s Choice Award given by the Surrey Photography Club- “The Built
World Around Us” exhibit
2017 “Commercial Drive”- 3rd Place- Surrey Art Gallery 2017 Juried Exhibition
2014 “Skytrain Fashion” – Honourable Mention- Surrey Art Gallery 2014 Juried Exhibition
2014 “Shadows of Green Timbers” – 1st Place awarded by the Arts Council of Surrey- Silver Screen
Classics Competition
2013 “Dance the Night Away” – 1st Place & People’s Choice Award given by the Arts Council of
Surrey- Just Dance Juried Arts Exhibition

2011 “City’s Fireworks Display” – 1st Place Surrey Art Gallery 2011 Juried Exhibition
Chito is an Active Member of The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA), Society of Philippine
American Artists (SPAA) and the Arts Council of Surrey.