Dark blue sky with white stars, brown mountain in an acrylic painting "Twilight Mountains" by J.A. Tan

Celebrating Artistic Collaboration: J.A. Tan’s Multifaceted Journey

In the vibrant tapestry of the art world, few stories resonate as profoundly as that of J.A. Tan, an artist whose boundless creativity transcends boundaries, both geographical and artistic. Hailing from the Philippines, Tan embarked on his artistic odyssey in 2006, finding his muse amidst the bustling streets of Vancouver. Graduating from the esteemed halls of Emily Carr University of Arts and Design in 2010, he swiftly carved a niche for himself, captivating audiences around the globe with his evocative works.

Visual Artist Mixed Media Artist J.A. Tan

Tan’s journey is a testament to the power of artistic expression, as he seamlessly melds his unique perspective with diverse mediums and collaborations. From the sprawling metropolises of Vancouver, Canada, to the cultural epicenters of Manila, Philippines and, California and New York in the U.S., and beyond, Tan’s solo exhibitions and group showcases have captivated the imagination of art aficionados worldwide.

One of the defining moments in Tan’s illustrious career came in 2012, when his painting was chosen to grace a United Nations stamp, to celebrate Autism Awareness Month, catapulting him onto the international stage. Rubbing shoulders with luminaries like then-Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Tan’s star continued to ascend, cementing his status as a visionary artist with a global reach.

United Nations Stamp By J.A. Tan
In 2012, J.A. Tan’s Victory was selected to appear with others’ works on a series of stamps for the United Nations Postal Administration’s Autism Awareness Campaign. The UN conducted a worldwide search for potential art by artists with autism.

However, Tan’s artistic endeavors extend far beyond the canvas, as evidenced by his collaborations with luminaries from disparate fields. Teaming up with prominent Filipino fashion designer, Patis Tesoro,  he seamlessly translated his art into wearable masterpieces showcased on the runways of New York. Likewise, his foray into literature saw him providing illustrations that breathed life into the pages of an author’s work. His painting “Picasso Inspiration” is the cover of the book  “The Rise of Autism: Risk and Resistance in the Age of Diagnosis” by Dr. Ginny Russell and his illustrations are found in the book “Social Skills Handbook for Autism” by Catherine Pascuas.

Yet, perhaps the most poignant collaboration in Tan’s repertoire lies at the intersection of  visual art and other artistic disciplines including the culinary arts and music. Partnering with Italian winemaker Monteocorneo 570, Tan’s painting “Rice Fields,” adorns the label of their newly-released Grechetto Passito dessert wine, bridging cultures and continents with each exquisite sip.

Moreover, Tan’s artistic ethos finds resonance in the poignant melodies of “All Without Words,” a musical testament to the joys and struggles of raising a non-verbal child with autism. Composer Justin Morell invited artists with autism to create new work in response to the recording of All Without Words. J.A. Tan was one of 6 artists chosen to participate. 

In a harmonious fusion of art and music, Tan’s creations found a new dimension in the “Sound Paintings” concert series, orchestrated by classical musicians from Central Washington University. Collaborating with autistic artists from “The Art of Autism,” Tan’s painting, Third Movement”, served as inspiration for the composer to weave an intricate symphony that echoed the kaleidoscope of emotions encapsulated in his art.

Last but not least, J.A. and his work are featured in a film project by University of Exeter Exploring Diagnosis, highlighting adults’ thoughts about their autism diagnosis and neurodiversity. The film premiered at an event at the University on World Autism Awareness Day and was shown in subsequent events in London, Bristol and in San Diego, CA. 

Dark blue sky with white stars, brown mountain in an acrylic painting "Twilight Mountains" by J.A. Tan
“Twilight Mountains,” acrylic on canvas, 12 x 24 ” (2020)

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