The award wining Filipino artist, Jordan Mang-osan does not use traditional tools to create his works of art. Instead, he utilizes the power of the sun through a magnifying glass to burn drawings onto wooden boards. As a member of the native Igorot people from the Cordilleras region, Mang-osan uses the history of his culture as inspiration, along with the surrounding sceneries of his hometown.
When you think of art being burned into a piece of wood you might be thinking of random symbols or even incoherant scribbles, but Mang-osan knows how to use his magnify glass in such a way that he can create the most detailed and incredible images, as if he drew them by hand. Check out some of his unmatched work here!
In the left or right bottom corner you can often find the date and title of the artwork, along with Mang-osan’s signature.
Mang-osan is the president of the Chanum Foundation, an organization he also helped found. Its purpose is to give artists in the village of Baguio City a chance to become inspired, show off, and improve upon their work. The foundation started from humble beginnings, but has since attracted audiences from all across the country.
In 1998 the Chanum Foundation expanded and created the Tam-awan village, a colony for artists located on the outskirts of Baguio City. “Tam-awan” stands for “vantage point,” a fitting name since the artsy colony sits atop a hill that overlooks the South China Sea, offering impeccable views on clear, sunny days.
Mang-osan’s foundation began transforming the area by rebuilding Ifugao houses, so that visitors could see artwork as well as the natural homes found through the Cordillera village. Visitors can pay to enter the grounds and see the collection of authentic Ifugao and Kalinga huts, which include an art gallery and a coffee shop.
Within each hut different workshops and exhibits thrive, offering a great way to purchase authentic artwork full of history, culture, and charm. The artists represented here use different methods to create their stunning collections. For instance one artist, Rhona Carantes uses special tools to carve incredible designs out of leather.
Mang-osan is a native of the Igorot people, which includes a collection of a few Austronesian groups from the Philippines that still reside in the Luzon mountains. Interestingly, Igorot is derived from a Tagalog term which means “mountain people.” Originally an agrarian society, many of the Igorot members still live an old fashioned life style consisting of agriculture farming and rice cultivation.
Mang-osan’s foundation for artists is located on the outskirts of Baguio city. Situated in Southern Benguet, it is considered the “Summer Capital of the Philippines.” This nick name comes from the fact it is safe haven during the summer becuase it has a much cooler climate than other parts of the Philippines, offering people an escape from the heat during the hottest months of the year.
Baguio is a very urbanized location with a lot of businesses and education centers, as well as the seat of the government. As of 2010 it had a population of 318,676. The reigning religion here is Roman Catholic followed by the Episcopal Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Clearly Mang-osen’s artwork is worthy of the attention it continues to receive, in fact he has earned a number of awards for his sun-created artwork that has been displayed in exhibitions all over the world since 1993.
Mang-osan knows just how to use his giant magnify glass in order to create even the smallest of details.
You can purchase Mang-osan’s artwork through Fine Art America, or by traveling to the popular tourist destination where his incredible art colony is situated in Tam-awan Village.