Moms and Dads
Bubbles Bermudez: Creativity And Motherhood
Mother and Modeka Art Space co-founder Bubbles Bermudez speaks about the creative ways she’s endeavored to balance being both parent and art professional.
Learning to Love Art
Bubbles Bermudez’ affinity with art began as a little girl growing up with parents who were avid art collectors. Her love for Filipino art in particular was awakened later on due to the influence of her eldest sister, Sheila.
Bubbles shares, “Sheila and her husband (Congressman) Mikee started their collection years ago, and have since gathered a wide selection of works by national artists and masters along with pieces by some of the most well-known contemporary artists.” Her other sister Tricia collected works of foreign artists, so one could say Bubbles was exposed to the best of both worlds.
It’s no surprise then, that she would gravitate towards a career connected to the arts. In 2019, she co-founded the Modeka Creative Space along with business partners Riccardo Corsini and Jove Schrottman. Described by Bubbles as being a contemporary art gallery and art consultancy group located in Makati, Modeka is a space where visual artists can show their work as part of an immersive, multi-sensory experience alongside other art forms such as music/sound, dance, video and digital art. She declares, “Our hope is to create an inclusive playground for artists where they can freely express themselves and step out of their comfort zone.”
Apart from her work keeping her busy, Bubbles Bermudez is also Mom to three boys: Liam 22, Lucas 14 and Lucho 12. She happily shares that becoming a mother made her more mindful of her surroundings and that this habit of paying careful attention to even the smallest of details has carried over into her work, making her more appreciative of each art piece she views.
A Multi-Dimensional Art Space
Bubbles says that her forte lies in Event Management, declaring that she has always been drawn to the creation of experiences. Together with Riccardo, who has a background in film and whose expertise in creativity and marketing spans fifteen years and Jove with his experience in hospitality industry, they established a gallery to feature both local and foreign artists while employing methods not traditionally used for exhibitions. “Thanks to Riccardo, who is our Creative Director, Modeka is also a tech-driven space, where we explore not only the physical but also the digital/virtual fields.”
Having had collaborations with galleries in Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, one of the team’s main goals is to show the work of Filipino artists in those international venues. Currently, Modeka presents 13 X 13/13 Lucky Monkey & Friends, featuring jewelry brand 13 Lucky Monkey, which specializes in rings and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Bubbles elaborates, “We approached them and asked them to create a big piece out of a skull mold, which is their signature symbol and to invite 13 artists to each create their own art work. Mixed Media artist 0270501 was brought on board to create soundscapes using audio and ambient sound recordings which are currently being played during the exhibit.
While safety restrictions forced the temporary closure of their event space, the Modeka team had to find new ways of bringing the art to their audience because of safety restrictions, beginning with switching to paperless catalogues and the use of various software apps to show their collection.
“Since the pandemic began, we created what we call ‘Experiences,’ which is the digital version of our physical exhibits.” These have allowed them to retain the interactive quality of their shows, through the use of sound and video art paired with the pieces of each artist. They as well launched a live dialogue hosted by Bubbles called “In Conversation: Live,” where artists discuss their creative process and which also serves as a way of promoting them.
Much like other families, Bubbles’ family life has also experienced some significant changes. “Definitely my outlook on life has changed. I’ve learned to cherish what’s most important. I used to spend hours on end working and was unable to spend much time with my kids; these days I spend most of my free time with them and our modern family, which includes my ex-husband, his girlfriend and their daughter.”
Since the kids live with their father, Bubbles regularly visits and video chats with them and makes sure to check on their online learning schoolwork at day’s end. Being stuck at home has also fostered creativity in the ways they enjoy their time together. “My kids are very much into sports and martial arts, so whenever I visit them we have dunking contests or arnis/kalis with me acting as judge and my ex-husband as their teacher.”
Carefully managing her family and work life has taken some ingenuity and patience, but Bubbles is more than up to the task. Being one of six children who grew up in a loving atmosphere, she’s learned valuable lessons which she now applies in raising her own children.
“It’s about working to live and not living to work. Having this mentality teaches our children values and soft skills that will help them live good lives.” For Bubbles, loving and respecting herself is what makes her the best parent she can be to her children.