Divinized Maroon

Jian Von Esmane

Male subject wearing dress looking afar

The Black Nazarene is believed to bring blessings and divine interventions to its patrons and devotees. Many Filipino Catholics believe the statue has miraculous powers and can heal physically and spiritually. I am deeply inspired by its rich cultural and spiritual impact in the Philippines. The intense, euphoric commitment and unwavering faith of its devotees have fuelled my creativity and sparked my imagination to create the following images.

In this fashion-inspired portraits series entitled Divinized Maroon, I imagined the power, fantasy and beauty around the Black Nazarene into my subjects. The series also intertwines its aesthetic and conceptual elements to fully evoke the awe and wonder surrounding it.

At the heart of this project is the idea of blessing – both the concept of being blessed and the act of blessing others. Through this series, I seek to transcend viewers into an imagined wonder and fantasy of the Black Nazarene and its miraculous powers and invite them to recognize the idea of being blessed by divine power and encourage an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness for all of the blessings that surround us every day.

Female subject holding rope 1
Female subject posing gracefully while holding necklace
Female subject close up beauty with red tears
Female subject holding rope 2
Covered male subject with custom bejeweled head wear
Female subject holding small cross looking afar
Male subject posing with cross
Jian Von Esmane

Jian Von Esmane

Toronto-based Filipino visual artist Jian Von Esmane was born and raised in a coastal city in the Philippines. From taking portraits of his siblings and creating short visual presentations of lived experiences of friends, his creative thinking and interest in visual making grew from an early age. These became essential factors in developing his obsession with media and entertainment. After working in the independent filmmaking industry, he immigrated to Canada with his family, where his interest and enthusiasm in art and design, fashion and pop culture grew deeper.

Jian Von is now focusing his art on fashion and beauty image-making. He aims to apply both cinematography and photography to all of his projects while respecting both disciplines by telling stylized fantasies and positive narratives about each of his subject matter.