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Pi according to a Pilipino

Luis Lorenzana, a Manila-based artist was shortlisted for a competition to find an illustrator for a new edition of Life of Pi, Yann Martel's Booker Prize-winning novel, out of 600 entries. His work along with 14 others will be required to submit three more illustrations before determining an overall winner this April.

He went out of his way to read the book inside a bookstore (just like what I did for some good readings as Einstein's Dreams) because he didn't have money to spend for it (just like most Filipinos do) but everything turned out fine.

"I never bought the book. When the competition came to my knowledge, I didn’t have any cents in my pocket but I wanted to enter so I went to the bookstore four days in a row to read it. I’m happy to be shortlisted. I put a lot of work in: it’s a long walk to the bookstore! My illustration is entitled The Greatest Show on Earth — it shows the scene where Pi is taming Richard Parker. It is full of emotion, conflict and excitement. Pi could die at that moment. I wanted to emphasise the space between them; to capture the intensity of the tiger and the mix of coolness and terror in Pi.

I use all sorts of media, but this was done by layering acrylic paint on paper. I wanted to make it look old and blurred, to fit the magical, mysterious effect of Pi’s story. I plan a completely different style to illustrate the alternative story that Pi tells at the end." [Times Online]

I'm in a dilemma here, because I'm rooting for Sophia Hanover's illustration as well as Victor Tkachenko's because of their not-so-children's-bookish approach. Luis' reminds me of an ancient fresco, or an antique turn-of-the-century print. Enough of the pseudo-artistic language, out of national pride, go Luis!

via bibliobibuli


Tschüss Hamburg! I'm now in nippy Nijmegen.

“Pi according to a Pilipino”

  1. Anonymous bibliobibuli Says:

    made me smile to think of the poor guy reading the entire book in the bookshop! i love this illustration and yes I'm rooting for him as well as Tkachenko!

    has this story hit the newspapers in manila? it ought to!

  2. Anonymous sky Says:

    sharon, as far as i know it hasn't. maybe if some journalist winds up in my blog it will be. thanks for rooting for luis.

  3. Anonymous bibliobibuli Says:

    maybe you should contact the papers, sky ... the philippines has had so much bad news lately that something like this would make folks feel justifiably proud of their own ... maybe the bookshops ought to know about it too ...

  4. Anonymous sarah Says:

    i love it that he spent four days reading it in a bookstore. =)

    team luis!

  5. Anonymous rachelle Says:

    this is nice, sky. luis was a college classmate. he's actually having his one-man exhibit at One Workshop Gallery in Chino Roces Ave. in Makati from 1-28 March 2006. he'd love to have team luis drop by.

  6. Anonymous sky Says:

    sharon: i've tried a search but nothing's showing. i hope the papers can pick it up here or anywhere else.

    sarah: wanna form a fan club?

    rachelle: that's great! i hope i can drop by even on a weekend.