Text and photos by Maia San Diego
When you hear the name “Is Jumalon”, you would probably think, “She must belong to the family of artists.” In fact, she does. “It’s a nice kind of hell,” says Is, referring to the experience of living under her family’s shadow. She finds that having artist relatives keeps her grounded, and focused on her purpose. Now, it’s time for the spotlight to shine on her as an individual. Through her bold strokes, Is has definitely established her own terrain – away from the influence of her family’s name, and fearless, as one may say, in facing possible criticism.
Jumalon has an ongoing exhibition together with several other young artists at Underground Gallery. Titled, “Elsewhere The Landscape is More Frank,” it revolves around the theme of landscape interpretations. Exhibited are her series of works, “Whose world is it anyway? I and II,” this time in mixed media.
According to Jumalon, she got the idea for her recent works by chance – seeing landscapes through the tape margins while working on a different piece. She compares this accident with reality, where one plots, discovers, establishes a terrain, or even where people tend to be eager to claim their respective spaces.
Her monochromatic works, framed in white are prominently hung on a corner of the Gallery as they depict a panoramic scene. Upon close observation, the dry strokes of charcoal, soft pastel, and graphite, and the fluid strokes of paint evoke the strong presence of the artist on the surface.
The images show impressions of mountains. The works contrast each other, one loud, stormy weather, while the other, a quiet blanket of snow. The strokes of Is Jumalon appear to be expressions of parallel worlds – of chaos and of silence, but both of piercing coldness. The works have a tendency to be aggressive yet somehow comforting, which poses the question: “Do her works reflect her reality?”
A hunter, and an observer, Is Jumalon looks for inspiration by interacting with people, with artists, and through observations of her surroundings. Jumalon creates art to share something fresh through her craft, to push other people to create.
“It’s a nice kind of hell,” says Is Jumalon, as she marks her individual path by using her visual language in offering her voice to the art world. She is an artist, an individual, her own person. Is is, simply, is.
This article is part of a series of submissions from the “Art Writing for Media” workshop hosted by Art+ Magazine and Kwago.