Is Jumalon

“I am not drawing nature.”

This is how Filipina Contemporary artist Is Jumalon describes creating her mostly large scale drawings in charcoal and soft pastel. Based on photos of nature walks, she likens drawing them to gardening and calls her pieces houseplants. She nevertheless says, “I don’t paint nature as nature.”

With the occasional flashes of color across their surfaces, her large drawings are like black and white windows rich with patterns and nuances. Jumalon calls their installation with gallery and studio, the creation of a habitat. The word reveals itself to be a multi-layered assessment of her drawings. It instinctively corresponds to the viewer’s body, its relationship to these looming hand-made patterns of marks based on the land and its flora. In an exhibition space, their stillness and visuality confront and surround the viewer.

In the studio, they are wild, coming into being from determined impulsive markings and accidents. Waiting is just as essential as actively drawing. They have their own life. They are “houseplants” she has lived with, talked to, caressed, pressed, forced into subservience, and finally accepted as something out of her complete control..

Is Jumalon is a Filipina contemporary artist who is fast becoming known for her arresting drawings. Her latest solo exhibitions, featuring her distinct work, were “Visitant” in 2020 and “The Self-Same Power That Brought Me Here Brought You” in 2021, both at Blanc. The pictures here feature those two shows.