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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

COVID-19 fundraiser: Artist Van Tuico steps up for friend's family

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Abstract and mixed media artist Van Tuico has been using art to celebrate the everyday trials and triumphs of families.

Understandably, Van, whose artworks have been featured in multiple local and international exhibitions, was deeply affected when the entire family of his friend Sean Luke Dado contracted COVID-19.

Most of Sean's family developed a mild case of the Coronavirus disease but sadly, his wife Hazel passed away due to COVID-19 on July 30.

As a way of expressing his support for his friend, Van is putting up his artworks for sale for the benefit of Sean's family.

To view the artworks, please visit Van's website:

Those interested in Van's artworks may contact him directly:


Van's healing art

Van's medical background might explain the "healing" and calming nature of his art.

Van is a graduate of Dental Medicine at the Centro Escolar University (1991) and Nursing at the Laguna North Western College (2007).

He began his career as an artist in 2005 while taking up nursing and held his first art exhibit in 2007, the year he finished the course.

On his website, Van says, "My artwork expresses serenity and calmness of the mind. I use space as a location for thought, which allows me to venture into using other materials as part of the canvas."

Van also highlights the value of family. "I make use of four elements in my work, signifying the number of people in my family (each member playing a vital role)," he says.

Van’s works are mostly mid to large-scale pieces formed from industrial materials such as concrete, wood, and metal.

"The use of materials such as metal and cement play a vital part in my composition. I use stainless steel because of its rigidity and strength as a metal, symbolizing the strength in character I get from overcoming trials in my life. Using cement as a material interests me because of its raw form," he says.

From rough elements, Van creates artworks that evoke tranquility and composure.

Van's art reflects his amiable and pleasant disposition. "I have always been a very simple person, going with the flow of triumphs and trials life offers. Learning from my past experiences inspires me to look forward to a future full of hope. It teaches me to focus on the simple joys brought about by seeing families smiling and laughing together," he says.

Van's works are featured in galleries such Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery, Underground Gallery and Mono8 Gallery and premiere hotels such as Solaire Resort and Casino, Novotel Manila, Shangri-la at the Fort, Ascott, and Conrad Manila, among others.

He has also participated in solo and group exhibitions in Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

Sean's family

The Dado family's ordeal was featured on ABS CBN after Sean and Hazel's daughter Dr. Arielle Dado participated in the call for a return to Enhanced Community Quarantine due to the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

Author's Note: Sean and Van are the high school batch mates of my husband Riz Pulumbarit at the Benedictine Abbey School (now San Beda College Alabang).

Below is a photo of Van (left) the artist (called "Van Gogh" by his batchmates) and Riz (right), a photographer.

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