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.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.