This Quarter’s Community Call featured two incredible Nature Artists, each tapping into World Gaia wisdom to share messages through their paintings. Introducing Luis Tamani and Jon Ching.
You can watch the video of the call on Bloom Vision, our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/_wkN0tcCPec Or read on for a summary.
Luis Tamani is a globally recognized visionary artist from the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Luis spent his childhood rising at dawn and helping his father carve dugout canoes by the riverside. Luis is the transmitter of visions, sharing messages of communion with the earth. He believes there is unlimited teaching that nature can offer us and that every human has a potential to develop a deeper relationship with these worlds.
Through a Spanish interpreter, Luis shared what he is learning through his art practice, and what he would like us to learn from his paintings.
“Life is short, but we still have the capacity to learn from nature in our lifetimes”.
The first painting Luis shared was the one that kicked off his understanding of the depth of the work his hands were creating.
“This painting opened my eyes to an ability to understand not just art as an artist, but be able to receive information from nature that is divine from God. We can all receive that information and understand it”.
About a week after he completed this painting Luis went back to it, and noticed there was something different there. He said he had a super strange feeling like he was not really the one who painted it… like there were other artists involved.
“There was a vibration, a very distinct vibration that I felt about this painting. I discovered new things from this painting.”
It was also the first painting he took to a Transformational Festival – Boom in Portugal. This painting opened a lot of doors or portals, so it became a professional gateway of sorts, leading him to Burning Man and travelling internationally with his work and workshops.
Luis’ paintings usually begin with a lot of ideas that need to be filtered down. His ideas come sometimes from dreams and sometimes from plant ceremonies. Nature has a lot of organic aspects that Luis feels speaking through him in texture, colors – like eye colors, certain animals… He added that he feels one of the characteristics of his art is that it translates what nature is saying to us.
When posed the question “What does art know that science can’t?” Luis said that science and art have commonalities because both are practices that you undertake in your life. However, art has a more spiritual aspect. Art is more real, whereas science is searching for something concrete. Science seeks to help you understand with logic. A painting can touch you directly without the need of an explanation. The message gets into you, and it is immediate and ephemeral.
Luis says his message or voice as an artist is not necessarily promoting to take ayahuasca or to remove a sacred plant from the jungle where it lives. Instead, he wants to remind us that in every location where we live, every plant, every bug, every animal, has a song or an intelligence to share. His overall message is one of cherishing and protecting nature, and Luis invites everyone to hear secret call to protect nature and to become guardians of our natural world.
About “Fluer de Tobacco II”: The radiant flower is representative of the powerful medicine of tobacco, and the character is connecting to that medicine. The flower is transmitting sacred geometry and all the songs and histories and stories that it knows. You feel this knowledge when you smoke it.
About “Lost to Heaven”: A self-portrait about a day of Ceremony with friends. A blue bird from the rain forest called tsutsui came to Luis while he had been observing the moon. The song of the bird was brought inside him. It is an ancient song and it made something inside him younger, bringing him back to his youth and it changed something inside him. The horses are very forceful animals and in this painting, you are connecting with heaven and horses are sort of carriers. They are helping this beautiful vibration from heaven to arrive.
Jon Ching from Oahu, Hawaii, brings to the world a fusion of flora and fauna, and his unique style that he has dubbed “flauna”. Using oil paint as his medium, he creates hybrids that show the overlaps and mimicry between species, serving as a visual reminder of the interconnectedness of life forms on Earth.
The paintings that made Jon realize his work was not just for his own entertainment or practice, were painted around 2011 when he was living San Francisco. This was the time when lot of gentrification and change was transforming the city, moving from a free spirited, artistic community and being replaced by more tech centric work.
“These are the two pieces that started me on the path that I’m currently on, using animals and plants as a way to convey ideas that I have about society and our relationship with nature, which obviously dips into climate change and mass extinction and all of those that we’re trying to fight together.”
Jon described the first piece, “Modern Convenience”, as conveying the idea of the tech kids coming into the city and having everything delivered via an app – their house is being built for them by fishes, even though it is a nest. In the second painting, “Fresh Coat”, the vines are feeding it, but also slowly, kind of strangling it and taking over. Jon says “On a real building or a tree, the vine looks really pretty, but the vines are actually suffocating the host. This painting conveys the idea that we are covering up something that is already beautiful with a monoculture.”
Talking about the shift his work has taken, Jon says his work changed from wanting to paint the problem, shaming or forcing people to look at the destruction we are causing, to finding a way to help people remember that nature is beautiful. He wants to spark the love of nature and the natural world in others. This led him to finding connections in nature, the colors, shapes and patterns that mimic each other across nature, in the hope that others will have that connective understanding sparked in them also.
Jon is trying, in his newer works, to show the divine essence of nature.
“I’m trying to represent God, the idea of God, the divine, the spiritual through my ‘flauna’ creatures as a physical manifestation of God. So many Indigenous cultures saw and see God in nature. And if the rest of us can see God in nature as well, we have no choice but to protect it. If we can see that it is God, then we inherently have a love for it and an obligation to preserve it, protect it and worship it.”
Jon was also posed the question, “What does art know that science can’t? What are you accessing through art that we can access through science?”
“Like Luis was saying, I think art is a language and science is a way of understanding. I think they complement each other. I find science intriguing and inspiring. And oftentimes, I’m trying to convey ideas that science has shown us. I think that Indigenous cultures have figured those things out too. Science just likes to take credit for it because they found a way to measure it.
I think art can be a bridge, from what science has measured and discovered, translating that knowledge into an emotion or feeling.
This series of paintings has the theme of exploring what the natural world looks like, post-Anthropocene (the current ecological time that we are in). Humans have transformed the face of the planet and are now gone. This opens the door for a big boom of evolution where different species will adapt to the new world. To the left is Jon’s “Little Oracle”, the owl and the butterfly combining to give an ability to foresee this future. Watch this YouTube video where Jon talks more about this series.
When asked “Are there any daily practices that you do to bring messages through or anything you’d like to recommend people to hear nature more?” Jon said,
“Taking the time to look at things. As a painter, I spend hours and hours and hours looking at the little, tiny details, of coral, or of birds’ feathers, and that has given me so much appreciation for their form, and how perfect it is… Slow down and get your eyeballs up close to something like moss and see how complex it is… Modern life is very busy with a lot of distractions. So I think it requires more intention than it used to. But that’s the challenge. It is our attention which is being challenged.”
Inspiring love, hope and admiration for the unique beauty of our world is Jon’s ultimate goal. And he works to bring awareness to mass extinction and climate change.
“Ultimately, everything on this planet is connected, we’re all carbon based life forms, we all came from a single cell, you know, and so there’s, of course, this deep physical connection that we all share with every other living organism”