As a child, I was left in awe after I discovered that the sun is the source of the earth’s heat and energy. I can still recall hunching over a piece of paper with a magnifying glass to test if the sun would leave a burn mark. As it turned it out, this was a much harder task than I had anticipated. Unlike Toy Story, where it only took Sid a few seconds to burn a spot on Woody’s forehead, this task required a lot of patience and a steady hand– I had neither.
However, in the Philippines, Jordan Mang-osan is doing what my 5-year-old self couldn’t do. He uses the power of the sun to create images from vast landscapes of Philippine’s cascading green rice terraces to larger-than-life portraits of Manny Pacquaio. Many pieces draw inspiration from the natural beauty of his home–the Cordilllera mountains. Much like Kalinga’s last traditional tattoo artist, his choice in medium stays true to his roots as he uses only a magnifying glass, the sun and wood– a method that has been coined as “solar pyrography.” It requires the utmost patience and poise.
All photos courtesy of Jordan Mang-osan.