Sunday, April 5, 2015

Art Gallery : Filipino Ivatan Art @ Batanes

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Filipino Ivatan Art @ Batanes
Batanes, Philippines - March 2015
While on a little cycling adventure in the Batanes, I rode pass this attractive shop with a wall of colourful art, and I am always attracted by art. As it turns out this "shop" turned out to be an art gallery and shop run by a cooperative of Ivatan artists with a mission.
The mission in their own words:
The Yaru nu Artes Ivatan is an association of artists from Batanes whose mission is to help make the arts an eco-friendly industry for sustainable livelihood that supports the indigenous culture and heritage of the islands. We promote fellowship in the visual, written and performing arts. We are passionate young artists who paint, teach others and help local groups and visiting artists with their artistic needs."

Inside, I met with Xavier. He and a few artists were manning the gallery which was founded in February 2011 by the Ivatan artists group Yaru nu Artes Ivatan in collaboration with Fudacion Pacita, a resort hotel which was the former home of renown Ivatan artist, Pacita Abad. See the inspriing work of Pacita Abad at the website
In a backroom is a studio where some artists we doing their art pieces. Batanes is a lovely place, full of breathtaking sceneries and lovely people that can inspire and bring forth the creativity.

Below are some of the beautiful pieces of art that I saw at the gallery. Photos of the art may miss out some of the fine features such as brush strokes, etc. Because of the photography angle, I have cropped them to present them better, so some pieces may not be fully complete. It would be better to go there and see these artwork for yourselves and perhaps talk to the artists. Most of these artwork are up for sale.
In the meantime, enjoy:
A series of painting rendered in tribal style on wood, depicting a fish vendor. Cogwheels had been creatively superimposed onto the headpieces of the vendor. As we all interpret artwork in our individual manners, I leave the interpretation to viewers.

A close-up view of one of the pieces.

Another "cog-style" painting on wood; this one looks like a couple of fisherman in a boat netting their fishy catch.

A pair of paintings showing Mother and Child, wearing nice floral shirts.
The frame is interesting, with two side borders of round sticks.

Close-up of one of the Mother & Child pieces; I love the colourful dresses. Note the mother is wearing vakul, an abaca fiber-made wig-like headgear for sunlight and rain protection.

This watercolour painting is based on the iconic image of an Ivatan fisherman with his catch of Dorado fish hanging from a stick.

Under a surrealistic purple sky, an Ivatan man retruning home with his harvest in a rattan-weave basket (Watercolour).
Note: the two pieces on the bottom left are not part of this painting; those depict the timber window shutters of a typical Ivatan stone house.

"Joseph & Mary"
Mary seems to be wearing a vakul, and their haloes are comprised of barnacle shells.

"Praying Mother & Child"
A composite painting with pvc wire strips used to decorate the hair of the mother and child's blouse. Within the mother's hair is the classic Batanes image of a stone house. Behind them should be the Sabtang lighthouse.

A fisherman at doorway of stonehouse.
This is an interesting piece, rendered in such a way that it has a 3-D feel.

A young Ivatan girl saying thankful grace for a fruitful harvest.

Batanes houses rendered in pastel colours; a composite oil & ceramic artwork.

Sketch of Ivatan woman wearing a Vakul wig.

Sketch of Batanes houses with thatch roof.

Basco Lighthouse.

Ivatan Vernacular House.

Sunset At Basco Lighthouse.

Blue doorway with flowering tree.

Young Ivatan girl with offering.

Fudacion Pacita, the home of Pacita Abad, Now a resort hotel.

Country scene with two vernacular stone-houses.

Stonehouses at Sabtang.

Ivatan kitchen.

Coconut crab eating coconut.

Lilac Orchids.

Boy cutting timber at Mt. Iraya.

Ivatan villagers building a new thatch roof at Itbayat.

Ivatan boy harvesting corn.

Ivatan Farmer & His Carabao.
This one has an unique mother of pearl frame.

A string of garlic - panel wood carving.

Ivatan Children.

Old Ivatan farmer woman wearing a Vakul.

Facial Expressions.
Ivatan woman in Vakul wig.

Playing the violin.

El Dorado Harvest.

Dreamy Ivatan Girl

Basco Lighthouse in technicolor.
A composite artform using pvc wires.

Batanes house doorway.
A composite painting with cut barnacles shells, rope, etc.

A dove bearing flowers at Basco Lighthouse.

A Heavy Metal Rock Guitarist?
A composite form.

A family at the window.
Interesting art form of a painting within a painting.

A good effect by the artist; wired art but from afar it looks like ozone glass.

Showing the ropes.


A harvest basket of garlic.

A pair of happy Dorado fish.

A giant sea snail.

Wheels & Bearings Easy Chair.

Metallic Dog.
This seems to be Yaru's pet; one moment it was here, another moment it was there.

National Road, Kaychanarianan, Basco, Batanes 3900, Philippines.
Tel: +63949 9857037 / +63905 4098536
Email:     Facebook: https: Yaru nu Artes Ivatan
Hours: Monday to Friday - 10am to 6pm     Saturday & Sunday - 2pm to 6pm
GPS: 20.447210, 121.968169

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1 comment:

  1. I always wanted to explore the beauty and the art scene of Batanes... My personal art collection would not be complete if I have not explored the artist from Batanes... Someday... I will...

    Jason @ Macuha Art Gallery