|Mary Ann Jimenez (left) is her husband Lirio Salvador's savior|
Vim Nadera: How is Lirio now?
MaryAnn Salvador: He is in the process of recuperating in our temporary home in Dasmariñas City. He is showing some improvements like scratching his face and head. He pinches us whenever his diaper is full. His facial expressions also tell us whenever he is in pain or in a relaxed mood. There were also attempts to raise his head while lying on his back.
VN: How great is the chance for his recovery?
MS: According to the doctor, everything that is happening to him is a miracle. We just take it one day at a time. We are not in a hurry. We are not expecting that he can go back to his normal life, just like what the doctor said. He is a fighter and so are we. We are happy to see him improve little by little everyday.
VN: How can we help?
MS: We need a lot of prayers. We also appreciate financial help because Lirio is undergoing regular physical therapy and soon he will be having speech therapy. He is also undergoing regular check-up with his neurologist, neuro-surgeon, internist, etc. There were times too when we brought him to the emergency room for some medical reason (ex. seizure). We also appreciate personal visit of his friends and relatives. Sharing and spending an hour or two with Lirio might help him regain his memory. For those who are interested to help, they may check our facebook account “Help Lirio Salvador” or they may get in touch with me.
VN: What do you miss most about him?
MS: I miss his enigmatic look and smile.
VN: By the way, how did you meet him?
MS: We met at the National Commission for Culture and the Arts where I worked as a librarian. He organized a group exhibition there in 1997 entitled Pangunahing Udyok (Primal Urge). Melanie Casul, my former officemate and our common friend introduced us.
VN: Could you tell us more about your love story?
MS: Lirio and I were brought and united together not just because of romantic love we have for each other but because of our creative endeavors. Our passion for the arts sustained our relationships for nine years until we finally decided to tie the knot in a unique veggie wedding experience we called Bigkis-Sining: Pag-iisa sa Buhay at Sining on 22 December 2007 at former Penguin Café in Malate, Manila. Bigkis means union of two souls who are both art lovers and practitioners. It turned out to be a celebration of love in art and life.
VN: How is he as a husband?
MS: He is a very cool husband, he never puts a hand on me. If we have a misunderstanding, he tries to settle it right then and there. Lirio is also a very spiritual person. He has introduced me to Lord Krishna, Bhagavad gita, and vegetarianism. We don’t have kids but he is a father to many young and emerging artists. He is a very generous, thoughtful, and kind person. He used to surprise us with ice cream and pizza.
VN: As an artist?
MS: He is an inventor, explorer, and most often relies on serendipity. He is a very spontaneous person which he applies in his music and art making. He loves watching foreign movies, surfing the net, and read books. He used to hangout before at the Thomas Jefferson Cultural Center and Goethe Institut to do research and get ideas. He is not stingy when it comes to sharing knowledge and art secret.
VN: What is his main contribution to Philippine art or music?
MS: He is one of the main proponents of sound art in the Philippines, along with Tad Ermitanyo, Jing Garcia, and Blums Borres of The Children of Cathode Ray. He is the only Filipino artist I know whose artwork could pass both as a musical instrument and as a museum piece. His artworks are interactive -- an amalgamation of different disciplines and an assemblage of ready-made objects.
VN: Among his works, what is your favorite? Why?
MS: Sandata ni Mary Ann, of course, because it was named after me. I also like the sculptural assemblage named Sandata of Something Wonderful. This sandata has multi-function and multi-sound. It has USB port, synthesizer, air synth, circuit bent, etc. Actually, he invested a lot of time in doing this instrument which is actually an art work in progress. He named and called his artworks sandata (or arm or weapon in Filipino) because he believes that the world we live in is a battlefield and his artworks are his weapons. For him, there are no other means of ending and winning this life struggle except through creativity and spirituality.
VN: What is the price range of his musical instruments? What is the most expensive?
MS: Php 20k and up. His Sandata: Four Head Brahma Minus One was sold for 17,741 USD in 2009 Sotheby’s Auction.
VN: Who are his customers here and abroad?
MS: National Artist BenCab owned a Baby Sandata which you can find in his museum in Baguio. I also saw in a magazine that actress and TV host Iya Villania owns Lirio’s Sandata ni Juan while cyclist and art collector Raymond See wrote in his blog that he has Sandata 12 Liquid Angel dated 2005. Yoga guru Rina Ortiz also owned Lirio’s work which was featured in November 2010 issue of Rogue magazine. Since some of his artworks were sold in Christie’s and Sotheby’s Auction Houses as well as International Art Fairs definitely there were foreign collectors who also own his works but I cannot name them here.
VN: How would you like us to remember Lirio?
MS: If Lirio could speak, he wanted to be remembered not as a sound artist or sound assemblage creator but as who he is as a person – a passionate and creative soul. You know that and those who had a chance to talk and be with him. Moreover, this article of yours is now part of his life documentation which will remind us of who Lirio Salvador is. Thank you, sir Vim for being part of our creative life. Mabuhay!