Bert Monterona

As part of Virtual explorASIAN 2020, the Interconnected Project continues its celebration of Asian Heritage Month online, casting a light on art that focus on Pan-Asian heritage and culture. In this article we feature the work of artist Bert Monterona.

Norberto “Bert” Monterona is a Filipino-Canadian visual artist living in West Vancouver. The work he is presenting for Asian Heritage month presents a merging of the two cultures. In this series, we see the origins of his palette, one that is rooted in art of the Southern Philippines. This influence is most apparent in the way his images are inspired by the mythical Sarimanok, a colourful bird that is also the wellspring of Bert’s resplendent colour combinations.

Bert Monterona. Waves of Culture, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

Apart from the mythology of Mindanao, Philippines, Bert also draws from the richness of BC’s wildlife. Where Philippine wildlife and sociopolitical commentary commonly dominate the artist’s body of work, now these images share space with the province’s most iconic animals.

Bert Monterona. Sense of Belonging, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Artist.
Bert Monterona. Fishing, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

Bert obtained a BS Industrial Education with a major in architectural drafting technology from the Mindanao State University-IIT in the Philippines.  An artist, educator and cultural worker, he designs, paints on canvas, tapestry and murals. He also creates sculpture and installations. Bert has received numerous recognition from his work, including the Australia Council for the Arts Grants, University of Western Australia School of Architecture and Fine Arts, and Residency Grant at the Vermont Studio Centre USA from the Asian Artists Awards.  He was winner of the International Mural Festival and Competition in Manitoba, Canada. Among his solo exhibitions were those held at Green Wave Art Gallery in Hongkong, the Grand BAZ’ART International Festival in Gisors, France, and the National Museum of the Philippines. 

Bert believes “… that art communicates universal elements of human experience that can foster cross-cultural dialogue among people of global diversity.”  

Bert Monterona. Wild Flowers, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Artist.

To learn more about Bert’s body of work, visit