©️ Galerie Joaquin

TOYM IMAO is a teacher, human rights advocate, multi-discipline artist in both classical and contemporary styles, set/production designer, and storyteller.

He was mentored in both sculpture and painting by National Artists Napoleon Abueva and Abdulmari Asia Imao, his father. He studied at the University of the Philippines (Architecture, MFA Fine Arts) and graduated with honors and distinction at the Maryland Institute College of Arts (MFA Sculpture) under a Fulbright Scholarship. Toym also took up film making and apprenticed under director Marilou Diaz-Abaya, and credits Alejandro Roces for his grounding in Philippine history and culture - whom he has also worked under in the Manila Times as a features writer and illustrator.

Toym continues to create large scale historical public art for both public and private institutions, and is known for his large-scale art installations that serve as political commentaries of the times. He has exhibited at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Ayala Museum, Lopez Museum, and many others. He was an Artist-in-Residence at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, and exhibited in galleries abroad such as in New York and Washington, D.C.

He has done two major art installations in the past years: “Barikada” at UP Diliman and “Whispering Flower Beds” at the Philippine General Hospital. Together with 11 other artists, his work, “A Confluence of Wings”, was featured at the World Expo in Dubai last October 2021 to March 2022. Last year, he held a solo exhibition, “Analog Childhood”, at the Art Lounge at the Podium; and created “Remains To Be Seen”, an art installation at the University of the Philippines commemorating the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the country.

Toym is also experienced with working in theater and film. He was awarded the Cinemalaya Best Production Design for “K’na the Dreamweaver”, and was a two-time Gawad Buhay awardee for Scenic Design for Tanghalang Pilipino’s (TP) “Mabining Mandirigma” and “Anak Datu”. He also designed the sets for Ballet Philippines' “Crisostomo Ibarra/Simoun”, “Balag at Angud” and TP's “Pangarap sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-araw”.

He is a multi-awarded artist. He was given the Distinguished Alumni Awards for the Visual Arts by the UP Alumni Association in 2022; the Gawad Lampara ng Kultura at Sining in 2021; ; the Metrobank MADE Achievement in Sculpture in 2017; a Para sa Sining Biswal Citation, given by the Centre of UNESCO- International Theatre Institute in 2017; Gawad Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (Sculpture), given by the City of Manila in 2017, and; the Gawad Parangal para sa Sining, sa Larangan ng Eskultura (Achievement Award for Arts in the Field of Sculpture), given by Quezon City in 2010 - among many other distinctions.

Toym is the current chair of the President’s Committee for Culture and the Arts (PCCA) for for the entire University of the Philippines system, while working as an Assistant Professor at the UP College of Fine Arts. He is also co-chair of a comprehensive master development plan for the college, along with co-developing its new programs. He also works with the Angat Buhay Foundation on its Angat Sining program to provide mentorship and scholarship for public school students in the arts and culture.