Photo Credit: Ompong Tan
Solar Drawing Artist
Photo Credit: Ompong Tan
Solar Drawing Artist
Jordan Mang-osan is a Filipino artist from La Trinidad, Benguet in the Philippines. Well known as a Solar Drawing Artist. The proper term for his medium is Pyrography, an ancient technique that is growing popularity with modern-day artists.
His tools. A prevalent device for pyrography is soldering iron. But not Jordan, he creates his art using only direct sunlight and magnifying glass
He is currently the only known artist in the entire Philippines wielding the sun and magnifying glass to create art. Talk about national pride! Which is why Jordan Mang-osan has become a household name. If you look up his name, the internet will generate numerous articles published by renowned blog sites and media alike. History Channel even featured him along with a French pyrograph artist who also uses the magnifying glass and sunlight. But even with all the acclamation, he remains a humble Igorot artist living in his childhood home in Pico La Trinidad with his family.
Did you know solar drawing was not his first art technique? As a young boy, he noticed he had the artist gene in him. Starting with the traditional pen and paper, he loved to draw, and his talent for art showed at a young age.
But it was not until his early adult stage that he focused on art as a career more than just a passion. At 19, he met his would-be solar drawing mentor, the late Santiago Bose, and their meeting completely changed his path in the world of art. Since then, his mastery of his craft using the sun to create art on wood has been a radical climb. His big break came later at the age of 26 when he represented Asia for a poster exhibit in New York hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) working with the United Nations.
He starts his masterpieces by sketching the pattern on the wood. He then proceeds to burn the design in with sunlight and his trusty magnifying glass. At times he deviates from using wood and burns his designs into paper, canvas, and other Cordilleran wood crafts.
Why did he choose wood and sunlight as his ultimate materials? Jordan chose this medium because of its rarity and it is inexpensive. Art materials can be costly, and wood and sunlight cost almost close to nothing. Even commercial wood costs less than professional artist paint. To a novice artist, this would be a perfect choice, especially if you are struggling to pick up on your art career. In the beginning, he started working on wood planks, driftwoods, and paper that he created out of maguey fiber.
He is of the Cordillera decent, which is why his art subjects are about Cordilleran people, culture, and their life. He also made portraits of famous Filipino icons such as Pinoy Boxing Pride, Manny Pacquiao. Miss Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach, and current President Rodrigo Duterte, to name a few.
As a proud man of his Igorot heritage, it is his principle to guide the Igorot youth to represent and promote the Igorot people to the world using art. He calls on all the Igorot youth and people alike not to be ashamed of their Ethnic roots and redirecting them to be proud people of their tribe.
He holds Solar Drawing workshops at the exclusive studio he calls, Roofless Art Studio, which you will find at the roof of his home in La Trinidad. His workshops even brought him to sponsored international events and exhibits.
He bagged awards from prestigious artist competitions and received an Outstanding Citizen recognition from the city of Baguio. He makes his artwork sales through his affiliate galleries, and patron clients of the solar drawing style.
His solar drawing art pieces can reach up to ₱100,000 (USD 2,000). It is very uplifting to hear about a Filipino artist making his name in the Art Industry by using economy materials – wood and sunlight to build his career and make a living.
He is one of the living proof that art has no limitations. Art is indispensable. Culture and ethnicity are beautiful, as these will contribute to your art story. No matter what your chosen craft or style is, your art will speak to the right person.
Each artist will go through their own art journey. Artists evolve at different paces. Just keep on painting, creating your artwork, build your profile, and be proud of your work. Put yourself out there! Allow yourself to be visible, and art collectors and fans will surely find you. Good luck and remember to keep the art alive!
Join Jordan Mang-osan on his next workshop, send him a message through his Facebook page. Like his page and give him a follow.