Why “Tulaan”? In English, it roughly translates to catchment, referring to a stream down below the gallery, which catches water quietly flowing from springs around it and from constant rains that keep the surroundings green. The stream then meanders through the hillsides and fields where farmers use it to water their crops or quench the thirst of their cattle, until it finally flows out and joins one of the biggest seas in the world, the Pacific Ocean.This is how we envision the “Galerie du Tulaan” to be: a catchment where artists, from Batanes and afar, can converge, share their talents and experience and work together to promote our unique Ivatan history, culture and heritage among Ivatans, as well as, visitors who have been coming to our islands in increasing numbers.Hopefully, from the exhibits, workshops and conferences we will organize during the course of the year, Ivatans will have a better appreciation of and value for their unique heritage and the world outside will develop a deeper understanding of our treasured province and its hardy people beyond the beauty of its landscapes and seascapes and the friendly and welcoming demeanor of its people. Galerie du Tulaan opened last January 10, 2018. It is located at the Fundacion Pacita complex.
Like the waters that collect in a small stream in Tulaan and eventually flowing out into the big ocean that is he Pacific, Pio Abad ventured out from his small and isolated province of Batanes into among the world’s great centers of art and history—first in Glasgow, Scotland, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts at the Glasgow School of Arts and eventually in London, United Kingdom, where he earned his Masters in Art at the Royal Academy.
With courage, hard work and determination, he has carved out a name for himself in the art capitals of the world. Employing a range of media, including textiles, drawings, installation and photography, Pio practices his craft to present in sharp and graphic ways his perspective and commentary on historical, social and political events, personalities and incidents. Often times, he draws out or expresses his reflections and insights on the most mundane local materials, artifacts and accessories.
With this exhibit, Pio has come home from his adventures and struggles in the big ocean of art life to share his learnings and new found skill with his fellow Ivatans.