Art beyond craft

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Saturday, February 8, 2014


HE ONCE opened a furniture and art shop, but decided to just work on his shop, for custom-made designs.

Meet Jon Traya, who once had the Raya Art along Jacinto Extension that featured his furniture designs and the painting of Kublai P. Millan.

Like many artists who grew up in Mindanao, he believes that there are a lot of designs that can be explored such that a Mindanao art will be mainstreamed.

It is just a matter of taking time to look into the patterns and crafts of the Mindanaoan and bring the work of these craftsmen to the level of art.

“Like the bamboo weaving of Tedurays, it has been their craft since generations back, and they are not earning a living from it,” he said during last Tuesday’s Arttalk, a monthly forum of media executives behind the celebration of the Davao media Freedom Day on arts and culture regularly held at the Park Inn by Radisson.

“If I can integrate that into my furniture designs, then it becomes art,” he said, “Mas tataas ang value.”

He thus cited the furniture makers along Quezon Boulevard who has the potential of making even better furniture if only they upgrade their designs and skills.

The Mindanao tribes have various patterns that can be studied and developed, he said. All it takes is to study them.

He recently met with Tedurays in South Upi and is working out a cooperation where the weavers will work on his design that he will use as centerpieces for his furnitures.

In between being a furniture designer and maker, Jon runs the Calle 5 bar along J.P.Laurel Avenue in Bajada.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 09, 2014.

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