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Meet Nicole Coson, The 24-Year-Old Artist On The Rise

Filipino visual artist Nicole Coson doesn't need her grandfather's help to get where she wants to be.

Henry Sy's granddaughter has made a name for herself in the art scene, totally independent of the SM business empire. And by the way, she's just 24.

After graduating with first honors in fine arts from Central Saint Martins in London, Nicole developed her own distinct style, which revolves around analogue printmaking methods and techniques.

At the opening show of Camouflage, her solo exhibition at Silverlens Galleries, we got to snatch an exclusive interview with this artist on the rise.

Nicole Coson with her favorite piece from Camouflage, in a dress created by Filipino designer CJ Cruz.          Photo by Anna Cruz


Metro.Style: Give us a background on your collection, Camouflage

Nicole Coson: I find camouflage, or the print itself, interesting because it is loaded with history and meaning. In 1898, American soldiers in the Philippines dropped their blue uniforms and changed to khaki in order to blend in. I thought that the way they utilized our environment to colonize us was really interesting.

Camouflage is basically an image of nature synthesized by computers. It's a far cry from what nature really looks like; we've been fed this image again and again, and we perceive that as truth. I'm interested in natural forms, in simplifying them and condensing them into a painting.


M.S.: How long did it take you to finish?

N.C.: Each piece took a month to make, but I did all simultaneously. Each painting has 3-4 layers, and each layer takes a week to dry, which is why it took a really long time.


Practicing my moves for tonight! First solo show with @silverlensgalleries installed and ready for you from 6-9pm

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M.S.: How did you choose your medium for this collection?

N.C.: I prefer working in a way where it’s not just paint brush to canvas. I prefer working with machines and with chance—because working with machines also means working with chance. A lot of things can go wrong.


Congratulations love @nicolecoson ??

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M.S.: Can you describe your style?

N.C.: All my works are made with one machine. It’s called an etching press—it’s a really, really old machine, and I happen to have one of London’s largest in my studio. 


M.S.: What influences you to create?

N.C.: Films and documentaries, because I see my work as a way to do research. If something fascinates me—like camouflage, the way we synthesize nature and paradise—I look into it. I reveal what makes it interesting by isolating certain features of it.

After all, creating art is the same as documentary and film making. It's about response, research, learning, obtaining more information, and giving it out there again. 


Catch Nicole Coson's solo exhibit at Silverlens Galleries until January 6, 2018.

2263 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila