Maela Jose

Maela Jose

Maela Liwanag Jose is a practicing Baguio-based Tinatik artist whose resist process textile installations have successfully been employed in rituals as well as performance contexts. Tinatik, which is a technique developed by Maela, is a portmanteau of the Filipino word “tina” (color) and the Indonesian word “tik” (drop), thus, tinatik, or drop of colors.

For Maela, who was originally from Pampanga, her true birth as an artist was during the explosion of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. At the time, with the atmosphere being totally gray, and smog and ashes coating the sky, life appeared to be dull in Pampanga. As the region moved towards rehabilitation, Maela wanted to make a change in her life by adding colors. She grabbed some paint, and thus, her colorful journey began.

She has exhibited in such venues as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum, Crucible Gallery, Baguio Museum, Baguio Convention Center and the Angeles Museum, among others. She was commissioned to exhibit an installation at the opening of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. She is known to create gigantic Tinatik works as installations, one of which was the 2017 Baguio Christmas Tree atop the Session Road Rotunda. The 74 feet tall cone-shaped structure, painted with different shapes and patterns in bright colors, tells the story of creation starting from the sun, rain, mountains, plants, animals and man. Maela represented the symbols of the Cordillera including the ‘bulul’, the lizard and the tattoo patterns such as spirals for hills, zigzags for fish, and diamonds for day and night.

Her latest works have evolved into mixed media employing Tinatik art on pintagraph, and she continues to share her Tinatik art through workshops. Apart from being an officer of the Baguio Arts Guild and the Third Baguio International Arts Festival, she is a founding officer of the Pampanga Arts Guild and its first president.