Done by the Sun

In the world of art, one of the hindrances of artists in creating a masterpiece is the expensive materials used to get the right output. This drives the artist to be resourceful and to create a different kind of masterpiece from their ingenuity and creativity.

Sun Painting

A certain art was developed using the rays of the sun and a magnifying lens to create a masterpiece. When the sunlight passes through a magnifying lens, it becomes super-hot enough to burn paper and wood. Burning a paper using a magnifying lens is common especially for the grade schoolers and we know how hard it is to wait for enough sunlight to focus and burn the paper. Broken bottles or glasses which are thrown and left lying on the forest floor being exposed to sunlight could result in a disaster like forest fires.

This kind of art was embraced by an award-winning Filipino artist Jordan Mang-osan. While the paper takes a while to get burned by a magnifying lens, burning a wood is much more tiresome and needs extra patience. One needs to stay under the heat of the sun for a long period of time while the masterpiece slowly comes into completion. This art requires a tremendous amount of patience, dedication, and passion which the artist pours out in every millimeter of wood being burned. The depth of burn varies to get the correct shade which requires skill and talent to get it done perfectly. In this art, there is no room for mistake.

Jordan Mang-osan is an artist inspired by the native tribes of Philippine’s Mountain Region of Cordillera. Its rich culture, history, and environment deeply moved Jordan Mang-osan which is also a native of the region to use the Igorot ingenuity as his inspiration on his masterpieces.


Other than a pencil Jordan used to sign his artwork, the rest of the materials he used are totally ecological or ergonomic. To complete a single output, one has to count several months. The artist depends on the exposure of the sun to burn the wood at a faster rate. Thus, rainy days usually a problem for Jordan. But, satisfaction will not be enjoyed to its fullest when it is done without effort; it must be through sacrifice, wisdom, patience, and understanding that one could say he finished it wholeheartedly.

Duterte painting

sun-painting the Philippine president

Now, laser printers are readily available in the market to engrave images using a laser to burn the wood. This is the same concept of Jordan and is now very popular in the market world.  This innovation also provides an outstanding and accurate result as the laser printer slowly burns the details in the wood. But, in spite of this precise technology, it can never surpass the dedication and hard work that was done under the sun —  driven by passion and love of nature and the arts.