June 14, 2024

Roger “Rishab” Tibon, is a self-taught artist who was born in Aklan. He grew up in Manila and moved to Baguio in the 90s.

Just like many artists who made Baguio their home. Baguio is really an art haven with its natural magnet.

“I moved to Baguio thru the invitation of my friend to teach in his private international art school. There, I met Bencab (national artist for visual arts Benedicto Cabrera) who encouraged me to do fulltime art, as we formed the original Tam-awan Artists Group. I was inspired and influenced by  many internationally-known artists like Bencab, Kidlat Tahimik (national artist for film), Santiago Bose, and many of their proteges,” shares Rishab.

Rishab as he is fondly called by friends is also into Filipino martial arts called arnis, kali eskrima, taekwondo, and wing chun.

He informally joined the Baguio Arts Guild (BAG) and its events,  exhibits, installations, festivals, music, dances, etc.

“It was a memorable and artful experience and I immersed myself in indigenous arts. It was also in Baguio where I was introduced to international art-fairs, festivals, fora and in situ installations,” says Rishab.

 He was an informal member of the BAG,  a member of the Art Association of the Philippines, Baguio Writers Group, and was an international coordinator for the Yatoo – Korean Nature Art Group. He was also an art director for two advertising agencies before he did fulltime painting. 

He traveled to other countries like  Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, China. Australia, Mexico, and the United States to do collaboration works, art fairs and exhibits. 

Rishab  is a recipient of many awards in painting competitions. He was invited to several art biennales and  residency programs. He plays the guitar, chess, and basketball during his younger. days.

“I did installations in Korea, One of the most memorable installations I did was “Bridging Peace” in 2011. It was a Korean project for encouraging peace and unification between the two separated Koreas – North and South. The incomplete bridge represented both Koreas with the middle peace yet to be installed, connecting them as one. It was installed at the  Dorasan Peace Park in the demilitarized zone in South Korea. Three international artists were also invited to participate,” adds Rishab.

I asked Rishab about his paintings and the influence of Baguio culture in his arts and paintings, he says: “My painting journey was  predisposed by many factors, natural and imaginary. I combined these inspirations in a whimsical, playful, neo-surreal, pop culture and low brow art, .but with often underlying philosophical undertones. They are  open-ended and open to interpretations. I myself sometimes could not  discern their deeper meaning.  I was inspired by  Cordillera indigenous culture,  tribal art, costumes, clothing, jewelries, dances, practices, lily flowers, weapons and everyday utensils, bulol, and many others.”

What could he share with fourth generation artists?  

“ My advice to upcoming artists is, it is okay to copy the art style you like the most. Study the basics, attend and join exhibitions. Learn from social media, it can help with all kinds of arts and techniques.  Have an enormous amount of  dedication and perseverance to hone your talents.  Later on, as you progress, your own style will come out naturally and find its way. Just follow your dream.  There is no right and wrong art, it will all depend on what you want. Frustrations and discouragements are real, but don’t dwell on them. No one started a virtuoso in any art form. It takes dedicated practice. Every artist has his own preference,  subject, materials, style, temperament. Don’t compare yourself with the works and progress of other artists. Work at your own pace.  It is not a race of who is  the best. Every work of art has its own merit, aesthetics and beauty,” says Rishab.

Bravo Roger “Rishab Tibon! You have indeed dreamt your art and your  life with fleeting whispers of the wind. I end this article by singing the song of the Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream.” I will get there.