Niccolo Jose’s Wonderland

Niccolo Jose, a 26-year old visual artist trained at the Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, opened his second one-man exhibit dubbed Wonderland last Thursday, November 8, 2012, at the Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea Gallery in Greenbelt 5.

Niccolo Jose wonderland exhibit- oh my buhay

While guests enjoyed the artist’s pieces, Cibo ‘s waiters went around serving cocktails.


Table decor by Margarita Fores


I ate 6 pieces of this barquillos with mousse chives.

Tiny filo pastries with cream cheese and asparagus

I was surprised to see Suzette Cocuaco (far left) at the cutting of the ribbon ceremony.   She’s an old friend and I haven’t seen her for maybe 15 years.

Cutting of the Ribbon Niccolo Jose- oh my buhay

Niccolo Jose mentioned in his welcome speech that this was his first exhibit. I thought it’s not because I attended his first exhibit in Rockwell last year. Maybe he meant his first exhibit showcasing furniture pieces. Kasi the first one had more of wall art.

The Jose family
Niccolo Jose with his family - oh my buhay

Jose was inspired by the use of antique wood. He never painted the wood, but simply polished them to bring out its natural grain and color.

This Cheshire rocker measuring 53 x 30 x 31 inches is made of mahogany, sampaloc, narig, molave and mongkono (P150,000).
Niccolo drew inspiration from the Cheshire cat in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
The cheshire rocking chair - oh my buhay

Your Majesty chair,  46 x 33 x 45 inches, combination of narig and mahogany  (P150,000)
Frog footman- oh my buhay

I didn’t want to sit on this chair because it’s for sale but Mr. & Mrs. Rene Puno insisted that I joined them in this photo. The chair I sat on is called Butter (obvious ba as in butterfly) and is made of narig, molave, yakal, alupang, toog  (P100,000). Para akong lola ni Alice. Sinong Alice?

Mr. & Mrs. Puno with oh my buhay

March Hare, made of narig, molave and leather (P60,000)
March Hare chair - oh my buhay

Interior Designer Suzette Cocuaco and Mrs. Fores
Suzette Cocuaco and Ms, Fores - oh my buhay

Pocket Watch 9 x 17 x 18 inches made of mahogany, molave, narig, tindalo and sampaloc P38,000
Pocket watch - oh my buhay

Storybook bench 20 x 18 x 44 inches made of narig, toog, yakal, acle, makaasim, mongkono (P75,000)
Story book chair- oh my buhay

Frog Footman rocking chair 40 x 32 x 26 inches made of mahogany, sampaloc, makaasim, alupag, toog, dao, kamagong, narra, acle, (P85,000)
frog footman - oh my buhay

Suzette Cocuaco, Mrs. Fores and Johnny Hubilla
Johnny Hubilla, Suzette Cocuaco - oh my buhay

Niccolo Jose with Angie Sison, sister of Grace Tiongco
Angie Sison and Niccolo Jose- oh my buhay

Johnny Litton’s official photographer Vangie.

I was instantly attracted to this tiny end table the minute I saw it standing in the corner. Must be the little girl in me. It’s a work of art, with sculptures of teapots and cups in the center. According to Niccolo Jose, it took him 3 weeks to execute this heirloom piece. It’s made of 200-year -old mongkono or iron wood and the lighter wood is a 150-year-old molave.
Mongkono is used as bushings for ships because they can last longer even if they are submerged in the water.

Tea Party coffee table - oh my buhay

I asked Niccolo how he knew the exact age of the woods. He told me he goes to the UP Los Banos Department of Forestry and there’s also an office of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources there. They’re the ones who identify the kind of wood and they do carbon dating to determine the wood’s age.

Tea Party 24 x 28 x 28 inches (P45,000)
Niccolo Jose & oh my buhay


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