Artist, Designer, Advocate, Historian, and Educator: I am John Paul ‘Lakan’ Olivares, and my work is inspired by my travels around the archipelago and living with different urban, rural and tribal communities. In these travels, I have searched for the Filipino spirit, which I try to share in all my activities.
In the past, I had never bothered to document my travels, for the following reasons:
- The limited amount of photographs that could be taken with film
- The cumbersome nature of bringing an SLR around
- The need to experience an event, without the distraction of trying to capture it on camera
However, I realized later on that with each experience; I had so much to share to others about the art, history, heritage, and culture of the places I have gone to and the people that I have met. Yet with social media and digital photography, I wasn’t yet so convinced to share my experiences, until I was privileged to travel to Europe. So now this is my simple attempt to share the wealth of my experiences, and maybe inspire others to go experience these places for themselves.
“To me there is no past or future in art. If a work of art cannot live always in the present it must not be considered at all. The art of the Greeks, of the Egyptians, of the great painters who lived in other times, is not an art of the past; perhaps it is more alive today than it ever was. Art does not evolve by itself, the ideas of people change and with them the mode of expression.”
Pablo Picasso, 1923
“Lakbay” means ‘to travel’ among the Tagalog people of the Philippines, whereas “Lakan” means chieftain/warlord, which is the nom de plume that I have given myself.