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Rishab Tibon: “Surreal but Nice”

You might have heard of the phrase “surreal but nice” back in the 90’s from Notting Hill (1999) starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, but this article can take you to another surreal-but-nice moment through Rishab’s body of works.

Roger Tibon, more popularly known as “Rishab” , is a self-taught artist born in Aklan (1960). He considered art as a hobby by designing t-shirts and jeepney signboards in his town.

He worked in the advertising industry as an art director of Ogilvy when he relocated to Cebu. In the mid-90’s, Rishab settled in Baguio. Apart from teaching art in a private school, he also taught martial arts and arnis.

Taking a big leap from the advertising industry to the academe, he decided to become a full-time artist when he met National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab). From an article by ABS-CBN News, he shares that if not for BenCab, then he wouldn’t be full-time artist now. 

“Feral Garden” (2015) | Acrylic on canvas | 90.5 x 60 cm | Photo from


Rishab can compete with other contemporary artists across the globe. He was part of many group exhibitions in well-known galleries and museums such as BenCab Museum (2010 and 2009), Vargas Museum (2008), Yuchengco Museum (2007), Ayala Museum (2005), Metropolitan Museum of Manila (2001), and a lot more. His first solo exhibition in Manila was “Musings” (2014) at Art Elements Gallery in SM Aura Premier Taguig. He has had various exhibitions in diverse countries, including Taichung Art Fair in Taiwan (2013), Affordable Art Fair Singapore (2012), 2nd Spraygraphics and Hoodlums Vinyl Art Exhibition in the US (2009), and many more.

“Fragments of Heaven” (2012) | Acrylic on canvas | 114.3 x 88.9 cm


In 2014, he was invited to become part of an exhibit to honor Frida Kahlo at Chim Maya Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Among the 50 artists gathered from the US and Mexico, he was the only Filipino.

‘‘After Velaszquez’s ‘Les Meninas’”’ from Art Fair Philippines 2017 |
Oil on canvas | 182.88 x 243.84 cm | Photo from


Aside from his practice, Rishab is a member of the Art Association of the Philippines, Baguio Writers Group, and concurrent international coordinator for the Yatoo-Korean Nature Art Group, as per An Binh Gallery.

People know Rishab as having picturesque works with lively colors, surreal elements, and the littlest details. He takes inspiration from Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, and Max Ernst. Rishab describes his work as surreal with an influence of popular art from his advertising background and experiences.