Based in Quezon City, self-taught artist Iyan de Jesus softens the metallic edge of steampunk with a pastel-hued post-apocalyptic technofantasy. Against a background of mechanical complications are nymph-like cyborgs – more human than robot – whose dignified expressions hide stories rooted in mythology, literature, snatches of song, and fleeting moments between lucidity and sleep. To help viewers divine a work’s narrative, Iyan camouflages elements among a multitude of gears – owls, hearts, snowflakes, gas lamps, and totem poles – all serving as subtle bearers of meaning.
Her obsession with geometric compositions and patterns harkens back to her background in architecture and computer-aided design. Unlike formally trained artists who went from canvas to screen, Iyan started “painting” with a mouse before she shifted to brushes and glazes. The jump from digital to traditional was a rebellion against the ephemeral nature of bits and bytes, as well as a surrender to the soul’s desire to create something lasting.
Her work has been featured in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, Manila Standard, Mega Magazine, Philippine Panorama, International Opulence Magazine, and Garage Magazine, and has been exhibited at Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery and the Village Art Gallery.
You can view more of Iyan’s art on her Instagram page at instagram.com/iyandejesus/.