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Baguio-based artist pioneers textile ink and sand art in the Philippines

Edwin with one of his very own textile-ink and sand art piece being featured to the 12th Tam-Awan International Arts Festival

Artists need to develop their distinctive style that will make them stand out from the rest. And so Baguio-based artist Edwin Macadaeg discovered his very own, albeit through accident, and pioneer the textile-ink and sand art in the Philippines. Edwin has been an artist for years. He has called the Tam- Awan Village his home. He loves art so much that he literally paid a very expensive “tuition fee” – so he could be the best in what he does – using his own blood, sweat and tears. He struggled to make a name for himself in art. He was initially into painting using acrylic and oil paints just like many visual artist. He believed that everyone has something to offer and so he strove to achieve it.

Then the accident happened which changed everything. One humid afternoon, while he was finishing an art piece, he accidentally tipped a sand on the work which he thought ruined it. Frustrated that such a thing happened, Macadaeg set aside the “damaged” artwork and tried to forget about it. A few days later, he caught a glimpse of the “damaged” artwork, saw it in a different light and the beauty he created. He then started experimenting on the sand’s adhesion in his paintings using all medium be it oil-based, water-color or acrylic paint. And much later, using textile-ink which is now his trademark. Now his works are being praised not just by his colleagues but also by art collectors.

Using sand has opened a door for him and found success. Although he is much admired, he needs yet to find a steady market and of course income from it. Edwin knows the struggles of Filipino artists but swore that he will not exchange it for a better paying job.

He said: “Dito na ako mamatay. Ito lang kasi yung gusto ko talagang gawin. Ito ang nagsalba sa akin noong panahong akala ko (ay) katapusan na ng lahat (It is where I am going to die. This is the only thing I really want to do. This is what saved me when I thought it was the end of everything.)”

Macadaeg believed that his sacrifices as an artist is what defines him, and experience had been his best teacher. During the on-going 12th Tam-Awan International Arts Festival backed by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, he was one of the invited speakers to share his talent in the hope to inspire young and aspiring artists.

He believes in the comfort that passion gives to one’s self and calls it as an art therapy. It is something that warms his heart, his soul. It is his safe haven.

Story by Jobelle Galapate

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