Zebv Diez is a Filipino Canadian Toronto-based digital artist, animator and painter. Currently studying in OCAD University for animation and digital painting, his body of work explores the intricate relationships of identity and navigating predominant western spaces as an Asian Minority. Born in the Philippines, he uses his experiences as an immigrant to produce idealized spaces to portray the experiences of marginalized bodies and the second-generation Asian diaspora. The work heavily relies on Asian aesthetics within a high-gloss 3D environment to convey the struggles of generational trauma, fetishization, assimilation and the othering of ethnic bodies.

Artist Statement

Zebv Diez started his post-secondary education in OCAD University where he honed his traditional mark making skills in drawing and painting. Using acrylic as well as graphite, his older works often captured the human figure. Using the human figure as a proxy to imagine marginalized bodies and their right to occupy space. This brings insight to pertaining to ethnic bodies and the hostilities within predominantly white spaces. Through this, it allows a sense of what it means to be a minority and the complicated relationship we have with occupancy, where gaze and subtle nuances of racism are brought into questioning. How often are marginalized bodies made to become more palatable or project a sense of excellency to simply fit the model minority role and be deemed a sense of respect or the right to humanity? To create a collective body of work that really emphasizes one’s agency is what motivates this artist to continue with this line of work.

In the more recent years, Zebv Diez has shifted his focus in creating 3D animations using Cinema4D. While continuing with the themes of his older work, experimenting with 3D space has allowed him reinvent the narrative within his work. Currently focusing on the feelings of isolation, vanity and longing. The vulnerability of the work coming from feelings of inadequacy, in which he creates these virtual “pockets of space” that cater to marginalized bodies as a new form of escapism and fantasy. While working with 3D space, it gives a certain insight or accessibility to these animations, being able to be seen at any given space. With designing these spaces often comes with extensive research into the cultures spoken about, then a rough story board and animatic is creates using traditional drawing/painting techniques before the scenes are fully rendered in a digital space, ready for production then later viewing.

While studying at OCAD Zebv Diez has been a part of several group exhibitions, recent works being displayed in Public Art Exhibition with YDS, as well as BigArtTO with ArtworxTO. Both public exhibitions showcased at University of Toronto, Scarborough Student Centre as well as Younge-Dundas Square. Both being public video projections, easily accessible to the public.

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