Meet a proudly Igorot artist; Jordan Mang-osan
HE was once a nobody in the “elite” world of the artists, until one day he became someone who is not only recognized but multi-awarded with his great skill in drawing and painting.
Jordan Mang-osan started drawing as a hobby since elementary until he was awarded as “Artist of the Year” upon graduation in Pico Elementary School, La Trinidad, Benguet back in 1981. The recognition inspired him to continue his hobby and eventually it became his career when he was 19 years of age.
He first attended charcoal drawing in BSBT to develop his skill in drawing which qualified him to become a member of the Baguio Artist Guild in 1988.
The Tam-awan circle of artist
WHEN the Tam-awan Village is on track of development in 1985, Jordan became the care taker until the Chanum Foundation Inc. was established in 1986 that he became an automatic member as well as the Tam-awan circle of artists.
Starting to be an artist he said entailed a lot of struggles. Being born from a not so well-off family, being an artist as a profession is like a joke, with the revenue not even enough to feed him.
“In the beginning as usual if you are an artist the primary problem is the financial especially if you are still an aspiring artist not known in the world of famous artists,” he said.
But he said that the lack of finances did not hinder them not to pursue their career as artist. They made remedies by printing t-shirts, tarpaulin and cards so they could have a source of income to sustain their daily needs. “This became our bread and butter at the same painting”, he added.
Jordan is a full-time artist in the Tam-awan Village together with other artists.
His encouragements as an artist
MORE than the fame of being a locally and nationally known artist, Jordan said that what matter to him most being an artist is the help that he renders to the community for every masterpiece he makes that depicts the culture and tradition of the Cordillerans.
“For me as an Igorot artist, I think that it is big help in tradition and culture because as an artist you can preserve, develop or show to other cultures the Cordilleran culture through art specially that our culture is already changing”, he said.
Moreover, he said that the role of the Tam-awan artists is to bring to life the Cordilleran culture and tradition that the next generation will see what happened before and today. This he said is one way of preserving the vanishing culture of the Cordillera.
This can be evidenced with his works with most of his subjects presenting the culture, tradition, images and landscape in the Cordillera. He likewise focuses on motif and symbols of the Cordillerans although he said that he change subjects when he go to exhibits depending on the theme.
The Tam-awan artists have already been joining local, national and international exhibits which he said had slowly uplifted their economic status in life.
“We inspire workshops for the young and we encourage building of talents in art through workshops so that the next generation will continue what we have started as a legacy to the Cordillerans”, he added.
The medium he uses
JOARDAN specializes in solar drawing, charcoal, acrylic paint, mix media and the latest which is pyrography.
Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object also known as wood burning. Pyrography means “writing with fire” and is the traditional art of using a heated tip or wire to burn scorch designs to wood or leather.
Pyrography is using electrical burning pen while solar drawing is using magnifying lens and heat of the sun. Drawing using pyrography would consume about seven days of straight working while the solar drawing would require a longer time depending on the light of the sun.
Awards and Exhibits
JORDAN had received several awards in his lifetime career as an artist. He was recognized as the Outstanding Artist in 1993 during the 84th Anniversary of Baguio City’s Charter Day and in 1994 he was awarded the Special Recognition for Arts and Culture during the 44th Foundation Day of La Trinidad, Benguet. The same title was awarded to him in 1997 by the Baguio Midland Courier on its 5oth Anniversary.
In 1999, he was nominated to the Annual Search for Baguio City’s Outstanding Citizens and was also given a Special Recognition in the Field of Arts and Culture by the Department of Tourism.
He won first prize in 2002’s Cordillera Ecological Painting Competition held in Baguio City and landed finalist in 2005’s Phillip Morris Philippine Painting Competition held in National Museum in Manila. He was also included in the Top 10 during the Philippine Regional Art Award in 2007 held in National Museum, Manila.
He had individual exhibits first of which was in 1992 entitled “Kaigorotan” held in Benguet State University, La Trinidad, Benguet followed by another exhibit with the title “Cordillera Day” held in Melvin Jones, Burnham Park, Baguio City and “Launching of the World Indigenous People” in New York City, USA. He also exhibited in the “International Year for the World Indigenous People Poster Exhibit in 1993 at New York City; “Igorot in the Moon” held in 1994 at Mt. Provinces Museum, Baguio City; “Tribal Art Performance” in the same year at Tokyo, Japan.
Following that, he had exhibitions in South Korea in 1995 with the themes; “The International Nature Art Exhibit and Symposium” in Kong-Ju City; Dot Seom Biennale” in Masan City; “Puyo Art Festival” in Puyo; and “Environmental Art Festival” in Seoul.
The year after, he held the exhibit “Peace Pact” at Christine’s Gallery in Baguio City; and in 1998 he was in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia for the 13th ASEAN Art Exhibition. He had his first Solar Paintings exhibit in 2001 at the Tam-awan Village Art Gallery in Baguio City and in 2002 he had “Kawing Gawa” in Darwin, Australia.
Other exhibits that he had include; “Motifs and Images” in 2003 and “One Man Show” in 2004 both held in Tam-awan Village; “Solar Painting II” in 2005 at Hotel Tepeyec, Baguio City; and “Rituals of the Igorot” in 2007 held in Pasay City.* originally published in Baguio Chronicle