One of the incredible things that I've discovered during my last trip to the Philippines was this artist called Ian Valladarez. I came across his amazing wire sculptures when I stopped by at a tiny gift shop in one of the historic houses in Bacolod (Balay Negrense).
It was one of those amazing moments when you connect with a piece of art and you know that you will never forget the work. I was just completely blown away by the talent of this artist who tells stories with his sculptures using wires.
Perhaps, the work reminded me a bit of the tiny wire sculptures that my late dad used to make for me as a child. But, of course, these sculptures I saw were created with much more power and purpose. They told of stories in the province of Negros... and of the Filipino people in general: Farmers harvesting sugar canes, men fishing under the coconut tree, a kalabaw pulling a cart full of sugar canes, a man with a 'song hits' and a guitar, kids playing street games... There were other more foreign looking pieces - like a skier and a woman playing violin...
But, regardless of the topic of the sculpture, each one was just as beautiful as the next.
That's why it was with a heavy heart that I left without one of the bigger pieces that I really liked. At least I managed to buy and keep a tiny sculpture as a souvenir. It's all I could hope to own by this fantastic artist for now. Perhaps, one day, I'd have a better piece to admire.