Ely Macaso, a Lumad cultural and visual artist from Valencia City, Bukidnon, has embarked on a journey to share his heritage and traditions through the captivating medium of NFT art.
Preserving Cultural Heritage Through Art
Ely’s background and upbringing have profoundly influenced his artistic expression. Growing up in a Lumad community, he was immersed in a rich tapestry of culture, music, and traditions.
Therefore, witnessing the struggles faced by his people and the ongoing threat of deforestation in their ancestral lands, Ely felt compelled to use his artistic talent to bring attention to these issues.
The themes and messages conveyed through Ely’s art are deeply rooted in his indigenous heritage. His artwork delves into the vibrant culture of the Lumad people, capturing the essence of their music, dance, and the fight against deforestation.
In addition, each piece tells a story, showcasing the resilience and spirit of his community. Through his art, Ely aims to preserve his culture and share it with the world, ensuring that the Lumad legacy continues to thrive.
— Ely Macaso -Bukidnon Visual Artists- (@ElyMacaso) May 7, 2023
The Journey Into NFTs
It was through a friend, Reno Ramirez, that Ely discovered the world of NFTs. Despite being unfamiliar with the technical aspects and the challenges of limited internet access in his area, Ely persevered and dedicated himself to mastering the creation of digital art.
Drawing on his experience in traditional art forms, such as sculpture and blacksmithing, Ely found a way to balance the technical aspects of NFT creation with his unique artistic expression.
Moreover, when asked about his favorite NFT creation, Ely enthusiastically highlights the “Series of Datu.” This genesis NFT project holds a special place in his heart as it embodies his distinctive style and serves as a vessel for sharing the diverse stories of his culture and traditions. Through this series, Ely hopes to educate and inspire others, fostering a deeper appreciation for the Lumad people and their contributions.
Moreover, when it comes to showcasing and selling his NFT artworks, Ely prefers platforms that align with his vision. He favors OBJKT.com, which operates on the Tezos Blockchain, producing cleaner NFTs that resonate with his artistic goals.
Ely Macaso’s Inspiration
While Ely draws inspiration from his own cultural heritage, he also acknowledges the influence of fellow artists. One individual who has played a pivotal role in his creative vision is Jopet Arias.
Jopet’s guidance and support have encouraged Ely to embrace his unique style and remain true to his roots in the face of overwhelming artistic diversity. Ely believes that his artistry is a reflection of his identity and that each artist should strive to find their own voice in the NFT space.
Overcoming Challenges and Fostering Confidence
Like many artists, Ely has faced moments of self-doubt and fear of failure throughout his career. However, he credits his friend Reno for uplifting and inspiring him to persevere, reminding him of the significance of his artwork and the stories it tells.
Moreover, Ely also advises aspiring artists to take their time, not to rush the creative process, and to return to the basics when feeling overwhelmed. It is through patience and a steadfast dedication to their craft that artists can overcome challenges and find success.
Almost done na…#WorkInProgress#Wip#wips#ElyMacaso #BukVisArts#cryptoartph #artph #tezsup pic.twitter.com/uA8OkMkxQA
— Ely Macaso -Bukidnon Visual Artists- (@ElyMacaso) April 18, 2023
Connecting with the NFT Art Community
To connect with other artists in the NFT space, Ely recommends three local art communities: Crypto Art PH, Tezos Philippines, and Aswang Tribe. These communities provide a supportive network of artists who share a passion for NFT art and are eager to collaborate and uplift one another.
For beginners looking to connect with like-minded individuals and expand their artistic horizons, these communities offer valuable resources, guidance, and opportunities for growth.
Good morning sa lahat.. thank you so much @AswangTribe .. sir @AswangNFT , sir. @magicianirl, sir @ryuunator ..
And to Tito @AriasJopet and sir @TitikAtSigya @cryptoartph represent…#AswangTribe#Cryptoartph pic.twitter.com/3pEtqyvUus
— Ely Macaso -Bukidnon Visual Artists- (@ElyMacaso) January 29, 2023
Besides that, Ely expresses gratitude to individuals such as Sir Virlin Santos, who visited his home to document and share his story, and Jopet, who has been a guiding light throughout his artistic endeavors.
On top of that, Ely also expressed his gratitude to SiftCroix of Tezos Philippines for featuring him and to Aswang NFT and the Aswang tribe for giving him the things he needed to make art easier.
These individuals believed in Ely’s vision, providing support, advice, and even the means to mint his first artwork. Their contributions have fueled Ely’s determination to continue sharing the Lumad story through his art.
Future Goals and Aspirations
Looking ahead, Ely aspires to make a significant impact on the local NFT art scene in the Philippines. He aims to collaborate with other Lumad and Indigenous artists, providing them with a platform to showcase their own unique art through NFTs. Ely envisions cultural preservation through NFTs, ensuring that the narratives and artistic traditions of his tribe and other Indigenous communities are celebrated and preserved for future generations.
Ely’s goals extend beyond personal success. He desires to contribute to the growth and recognition of other artists in Bukidnon, shedding light on their stories and talents through the transformative power of NFTs. By amplifying their voices and providing opportunities for representation, Ely hopes to foster a vibrant and inclusive NFT art community that embraces diversity and cultural heritage.
It's so good to see this precious artworks of my fellow artists here in Bukidnon.
"Kanak ha BANUWA Art Exhibit" #BukidnonArtistsGroup #BAG #BukVisArts #cryptoartph pic.twitter.com/qI5cLpiVVh
— Ely Macaso -Bukidnon Visual Artists- (@ElyMacaso) April 25, 2023
Ely Macaso’s NFT artistry serves as a powerful testament to the importance of embracing one’s cultural legacy. Through his captivating artwork, he preserves and promotes the traditions of the Lumad people, shedding light on their struggles and celebrating their resilience.
Moreover, Ely’s journey in the NFT space highlights the transformative potential of art and technology to preserve heritage and inspire change. As he continues to forge his path as an indigenous artist, Ely’s aspirations for the future reflect his unwavering commitment to cultural preservation and the empowerment of his fellow artists.