Lifestyle Asia

COVER STORY

SOLENN HEUSSAFF expresses her deep love for her fellow Filipinos by working with and supporting talented artists and depicting our people’s passion through her own art

- Text MICA TORRES CRUZ Photos MARK NICDAO Creative Direction MARC YELLOW Styling MAITA BAELLO, & CLAIRE FERNANDO of QURATOR STUDIO Makeup LALA FLORES Hair FRANCIS GUINTU Shot on location at THE METROPOLIT­AN THEATER The MET is owned and managed by THE

Solenn Heussaff-Bolzico wants her art to talk about what is real and what can uplift her countrymen: "I have always painted people I see on a day-to-day basis. I take their photos and imagine what kind of day they have had”

Abrowse through Solenn Heussaff’s Instagram conveys the many hats she wears: mother, wife, artist, actress, fitness fanatic, brand ambassador, and business owner. But that's just the tip of the iceberg of what she wants to become.

“I just want to keep growing and learning. I am excited to see what I am capable of doing," she shares.

In the middle of the pandemic we are all living through, Heussaff finds the drive to broaden her horizons by knowing that humans have the capabiliti­es to adapt.

The 35-year-old has faced difficult circumstan­ces in the past year. She went through postpartum depression after the birth of her and husband Nico Bolzico’s first child, Thylane Katana. Heussaff’s father, Louis Paul, was also infected with COVID-19 last July. (He has since gotten better.)

Despite these, Heussaff leans into the comforting prospects of the situation. “There have been many silver linings like being able to really spend time with family, being 101 percent handson with my daughter, giving life a new perspectiv­e, and actually seeing what's important and what isn't,” she says.

MAGNIFYING COMMUNITIE­S

In March, Heussaff premiered “Kudiman,” her third solo art exhibit, at Modeka Art Gallery. Just like the exhibition's title, her collection of paintings is a love song to Filipinos.

“I have always painted people I see on a dayto-day basis,” she says. “I take their photos and imagine what kind of day they have had.”

“Many people say my artwork is social realism, yes in a way because I paint from photos I take, but I also re-write a part of the person's story... which is why I like to paint people that I don't know”

“Ihave always painted people I see on a dayto-day basis. I take their photos and imagine what kind ofday theyhave had”

The collection opens with a piece called “The Beginning,” which portrays the abundance of life. The exhibit then flows to paintings that revolve around the disorder of living in Metro Manila and the cry for change as led by the younger generation. At its conclusion, Kundiman ends with “Paradise,” a painting about how there is hope in moving forward.

The exhibit derives through the union of Heussaff’s artistic process: taking candid shots of Filipinos in their communitie­s, being informed of the country’s current state, and seeing real people for who they are. “Then things just flow together from there,” she explains.

Heussaff started her art journey at three years old through painting classes. She started working with acrylic, oil, then tapestry painting, a form of textile art. When she was 18 years old, she developed her signature style and preferred techniques.

"Many people say my artwork is social realism, yes in a way because I paint from photos I take, but I also re-write a part of the person's story. Which is why I like to paint people that I don't know," Heussaff shares.

Social realism is an art movement that sheds light on sociopolit­ical conditions. It sometimes critiques the power structure behind the shape of the working class's quality of life. Varying from nation to nation, the movement depends on the current socio-political tensions relevant to the time.

The artist adds that friends have asked her to create commission­ed pieces of themselves. But being acquainted with the painting's subject would remove her ability to render an original story for them, and so she respectful­ly declines.

“There have beenmany silverlini­ngs like being able to really spend timewith family, being 101percent hands-on- with mydaughter, giving life a new perspectiv­e, and actually seeing what's important and what isn't.”

INVESTING IN GROWTH

Heussaff’s 7.8 million followers on Instagram are always updated as she actively shares posts and stories of her life at home, from what she cooks to how she unwinds.

“Many times, people message asking where I got my mugs or certain ingredient­s I use and more. So, I thought, why not have a place that sells all the things I love?” she shares. This led to the the creation of Solenn Manila, which caters to the influx of inquiries the French-Filipina receives.

“I love passionate people that share their talent. So, with partners, we decided to open Solenn Manila, a brand that reflects my philosophy on what makes life beautiful and a place where I can collaborat­e with my favorite brands,” she explains.

In her quest for personal growth, the actress has been pivoting toward more entreprene­urial ventures. “I am more business-minded now because of the pandemic and having time at home to study and take a breath to think of what I want,” Heussaff shares. “I am enjoying this part of my life, but I also love shooting films. I want to have the liberty to choose the projects I accept.”

As an artist, Heussaff is working on artwork for the renowned event Art Basel. While as an actress, she is auditionin­g for a role in an internatio­nal film. Of course, among her top prioritize­s is her health, so she can be the best version of herself for her family.

Heussaff has become a multi-hyphenate because she refuses to limit her abilities and the ways she can impact others. “I need to keep working hard,” she says. “I know things will unfold nicely.”

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 ??  ?? Cut-out dress by
MIKEE ANDREI; Serpenti bracelet in 18Kt ros gold, set with rubellite eyes and Demi-pavé diamonds on the head the tail, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rode gold set with mother-orpearl elements and pavé diamond, and Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds all from
BVLGARI
Cut-out dress by MIKEE ANDREI; Serpenti bracelet in 18Kt ros gold, set with rubellite eyes and Demi-pavé diamonds on the head the tail, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rode gold set with mother-orpearl elements and pavé diamond, and Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds all from BVLGARI
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 ??  ?? "Busilak," which Heussaff says is paired with "Walang Hanggan" by Quest
"Busilak," which Heussaff says is paired with "Walang Hanggan" by Quest
 ?? BVLGARI ?? White backless top by ERENETA; CHRIS NICK Serpenti Viper necklace with 18kt rose gold chain pendant set with carnelian elements and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Tubigas double spiral watch in stainless steel case and bracelet, with silver opaline dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold necklace set with onyx elements and pavé diamonds on the pendant, Serpenti Viper bind ring in 19kt rose gold set with mother-ofpearl elements and pavé diamonds, Serpenti 18kt white gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper wedding band in 18 kt white gold, set with full pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt white gold set with demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rose gold with mother-of-pearls elements and pavé diamonds, all by
BVLGARI White backless top by ERENETA; CHRIS NICK Serpenti Viper necklace with 18kt rose gold chain pendant set with carnelian elements and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Tubigas double spiral watch in stainless steel case and bracelet, with silver opaline dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold necklace set with onyx elements and pavé diamonds on the pendant, Serpenti Viper bind ring in 19kt rose gold set with mother-ofpearl elements and pavé diamonds, Serpenti 18kt white gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper wedding band in 18 kt white gold, set with full pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt white gold set with demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rose gold with mother-of-pearls elements and pavé diamonds, all by
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 ??  ?? Black sequin gown
by CHRIS NICK; BVLGARI Serpenti Necklace in 18 kt white gold and pavé diamonds
and Serpenti earrings in 18 kt white gold, set with
pavé diamonds
Black sequin gown by CHRIS NICK; BVLGARI Serpenti Necklace in 18 kt white gold and pavé diamonds and Serpenti earrings in 18 kt white gold, set with pavé diamonds
 ??  ?? "The Beginning," which Heussaff says goes along with "Earth Song" by Michael Jackson
"The Beginning," which Heussaff says goes along with "Earth Song" by Michael Jackson
 ??  ?? White dress by MIKEE ANDREI;
Heels by
GUISEPPE;
Serpenti Tubigas double spiral watch in stainless steel case and bracelet, with silver opaline dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt white earrings set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt white gold set with demi pavé diamonds, all from BVLGARI
White dress by MIKEE ANDREI; Heels by GUISEPPE; Serpenti Tubigas double spiral watch in stainless steel case and bracelet, with silver opaline dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt white earrings set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt white gold set with demi pavé diamonds, all from BVLGARI
 ??  ?? Pleated burgundy skirt by YOYA; Black JACQUEMUS Samba leather sandals;
BVLGARI Serpenti Viper necklace with 18 kt rose gold chain and 18 kt gold pendant set with carnelian elements
and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti 18 kt rose gold bracelet
set with rubellite and pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, and Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rose gold set with mother-ofpearl-elements and
pavé diamonds
Pleated burgundy skirt by YOYA; Black JACQUEMUS Samba leather sandals; BVLGARI Serpenti Viper necklace with 18 kt rose gold chain and 18 kt gold pendant set with carnelian elements and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti 18 kt rose gold bracelet set with rubellite and pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, and Serpenti Viper band ring in 18kt rose gold set with mother-ofpearl-elements and pavé diamonds
 ??  ?? Electric red Suit set by CAROLINA HERRERA; Serpenti necklace with 18kt rose gold chain and pendant, set with malachite eyes and demi pavé diamonds, Seprenti bracelet in 18kt rose gold, set with rubellite eyes and demi pavé diamonds on the head and the tail, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ting set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Seduttori watch with 18kt rose gold case and bracelet both set with diamonds, and white dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18 kt rose gold set with mother-of-pearl elements and pavé diamonds, all from
BVLGARI
Electric red Suit set by CAROLINA HERRERA; Serpenti necklace with 18kt rose gold chain and pendant, set with malachite eyes and demi pavé diamonds, Seprenti bracelet in 18kt rose gold, set with rubellite eyes and demi pavé diamonds on the head and the tail, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ting set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Seduttori watch with 18kt rose gold case and bracelet both set with diamonds, and white dial, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper band ring in 18 kt rose gold set with mother-of-pearl elements and pavé diamonds, all from BVLGARI
 ??  ?? Navy Blue dress by
RAJO LAUREL; Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold earrings,
Serpenti Viper necklace with 18kt rose gold chain and 18kt
rose gold pendant set with carnelian elements and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold necklace set with onyx elements and pavé diamonds on the pendant, Serpenti bracelet in 18kt rose gold, set with rubellite eyes and demi-pavé diamonds on the head and tail, Serpenti 18 kt rose gold bracelet set with rubellite and pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds all from BVLGARI
Navy Blue dress by RAJO LAUREL; Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold earrings, Serpenti Viper necklace with 18kt rose gold chain and 18kt rose gold pendant set with carnelian elements and demi pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold necklace set with onyx elements and pavé diamonds on the pendant, Serpenti bracelet in 18kt rose gold, set with rubellite eyes and demi-pavé diamonds on the head and tail, Serpenti 18 kt rose gold bracelet set with rubellite and pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18kt rose gold set with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds all from BVLGARI

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