Sun.Star Davao

PAINTING WITH AND FOR THE LAND

- BY JOY M. MONTECALVO / Contributo­r

The art scene in Davao City is very alive this February as we celebrate the National Art’s Month with different art exhibits and art-related activities around.

Before the end of the celebratio­n, I joined the Gugma sa Yuta: Soil Painting Art Workshop organized by the Mindanaoan Youth Developmen­t Inc. (MYDC), a non-government organizati­on on February 23 at People’s Park. We were a total of 15 participan­ts who made it to the art workshop.

In this activity I met the speakers who were two inspiring Talaandig artists RJ Sumingsang B. Saway and Donald V. Barranco from Lantapan, Bukidnon.

I always love to draw especially using watercolor­s, but it was my first time to try painting using soil. This material is very affordable and we only needed glue to add in the soil-water mixture and some sealer for the final coating of the finished work.

Soil produces natural pigments. Although it might be a little difficult to mix in the be- ginning, I later on got used to it. We tried soil with colors black, orange, yellow, brown, and maroon. There are also other available colors like gray and violet which are rare to find.

The soil painting for the Talaandig has a humble beginning in 1994. RJ Saway’s father Rodelio “Waway” Saway Sr., who was an artist and a musician, used to do clay painting

together with fellow artists Tatting Soliva and Egay Dy. They realized that they could actually use soil in painting since different types of soil produces different pigments and it would not cost much for them.

This experiment became successful and since then they have already discovered 14 colors of soil in their ancestral land in Bukidnon. They continued to hone their craft and taught the new generation of artists, not only of soil painting but also embroidery, flute making, drum making, and music.

RJ is one of the 15 artists in their tribe. He is also a musician himself while his brother Rodelio Saway Jr. is a flute maker. Their tribe ensures that their culture and arts continue to flourish by passing the knowledge to the next generation.

Soil painting has been part of their advocacy to show the importance of their land for them. By showing the world the beauty of their art, they hope it will help in preserving their tradition and in educating people about Lumad not only of the Talaandig tribe but other indigenous people’s groups in the country as well.

“Ang yuta sumpay sa kinabuhi sa tawo. Importante pud ang art sa amoa kay ginapakita kung unsa ka nindot ang among tribu ug aron dili nila ika ulaw kung asa sila gikan,” said RJ Saway.

Their connection to nature brings life to their artwork. Their painting is a proof that the soil is not only for planting our food but it also has other uses. Their identity as Talaandig started on the land they cultivate and they have seen the need to protect it ever since.

 ??  ?? 1A visit to their exhibit booth in Abreeza Ayala Malls during the Art Market. The four soil paintings on the background (right side) are already sold. 1
1A visit to their exhibit booth in Abreeza Ayala Malls during the Art Market. The four soil paintings on the background (right side) are already sold. 1
 ??  ?? 3 Traditiona­l flute sold at Abreeza Ayala Malls Art Market. These are crafts of Rodelio Saway Jr., a young flute maker from Talaan- 3
3 Traditiona­l flute sold at Abreeza Ayala Malls Art Market. These are crafts of Rodelio Saway Jr., a young flute maker from Talaan- 3
 ??  ?? 22Another artwork by RJ Saway with the use of soil for coloring and creating the art.
22Another artwork by RJ Saway with the use of soil for coloring and creating the art.
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ?? PHOTO BY MYDC ?? MYDC is an NGO which focuses on (5) key programs which includes Youth Empowermen­t and Good Governance; Environmen­tal Sustainabi­lit; Intre and Inter Faith Dialogues; Promotion of Culture and Traditions of Mindanao; and Social Entreprene­urship.
PHOTO BY MYDC MYDC is an NGO which focuses on (5) key programs which includes Youth Empowermen­t and Good Governance; Environmen­tal Sustainabi­lit; Intre and Inter Faith Dialogues; Promotion of Culture and Traditions of Mindanao; and Social Entreprene­urship.
 ??  ?? 8My finished painting (Sunset in Tawi-tawi) 8
8My finished painting (Sunset in Tawi-tawi) 8
 ??  ?? 6 Memories of the Peoples of the Earth: The Talaandig R/ evolution, Singapore Biennale 2013. One of their biggest paintings done by more than 10 artists who are also part of Saway’s family. 6
6 Memories of the Peoples of the Earth: The Talaandig R/ evolution, Singapore Biennale 2013. One of their biggest paintings done by more than 10 artists who are also part of Saway’s family. 6
 ??  ?? 5 Young flute maker Rodelio Saway Jr. who also carved designs on the flute they are selling 5
5 Young flute maker Rodelio Saway Jr. who also carved designs on the flute they are selling 5
 ??  ?? 4 Soil samples they gathered from their ancestral land. ( from left: red, black, yellow, brown, orange, maroon) 4
4 Soil samples they gathered from their ancestral land. ( from left: red, black, yellow, brown, orange, maroon) 4
 ??  ?? 7 Soil colors on canvas with water and glue mixture. 7
7 Soil colors on canvas with water and glue mixture. 7
 ??  ?? Photo op after the Gugma sa Yuta: Soil Painting Art Workshop ( from left: Donald V. Barranco, RJ Sumingsang B. Saway, and Joy Montecalvo)
Photo op after the Gugma sa Yuta: Soil Painting Art Workshop ( from left: Donald V. Barranco, RJ Sumingsang B. Saway, and Joy Montecalvo)
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines