In 2015, Baguio-based artist Jef Cablog was awarded an artist’s residency in Brittany, France through the assistance of Alliance Francaise de Manille and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Like all epic journeys, the artist returns to Alliance Francaise de Manille transformed, and with a powerful message for us: to be aware of our impact on the environment, and be conscious of how modernization is changing culture.
An accomplished artist, Cablog has exhibited in France, USA, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea, aside from various cities within the Philippines, since being a finalist in art competitions like Metrobank Art and Design Excellence in 2010. Born in Barlig, Mountain Province, he has always been aware of how unique his culture is, coming from the Cordillera region. Living in a mountainous environment engenders a respect for nature, as resources like water, fertile topsoil, and animals for hunting, are greatly affected by human activity; as not doing so usually means scarcity or hunger. Unhampered by colonial requirements, their culture has evolved to meet this balance over millennia in their own terms, and in a healthy relationship with nature.
Back in August 2015, my artwork “LUSH” was chosen by FIFIG (Festival International du Film Insulaire) in Île de Groix in Britanny, France as the banner artwork for their annual Film Festival which featured the Philippine islands during that year.
Pierre Bernardo once said, “To Travel is to Evolve”. To be exposed to the French culture, having had the chance to marvel at European art from paintings and sculptures of famous masters to historic structures and buildings, and to see for the first time the colors of autumn, provided great inspiration and growth in me as an artist.
In “Confluence”, people will see my transformation and the influence of my travels in France, Geneva, Italy and Spain in my subjects and color palette and the improvement in technique with the use of palette knife with teeth/