Kristian is an artist/entrepreneur/futurist specializing in endangered writing systems from the Philippines. As a leading authority for the propagation and instruction of prePhilippine scripts, he launched his own edutainment business specializing in custom art, books, events, technology, and apparel. Kristian has spoken around the world at museums, schools, and companies. His work is wide-reaching that spans across multimedia, traditional practices, and technology. He is currently working on his 7th book, documentary, education startup, and learning traditional tattooing.
My work explores pre- to post- Filipino culture in the diaspora. Using native scripts and tattoo patterns as a foundation, I incorporate and deconstruct calligraphy and graffiti methods. Didactic in nature, my works both entertain and instruct while exploring themes of identity, poverty, death, love, and duality. By blending the ancient script with contemporary aesthetics, my work bridges time and space, as well as challenges the necessity of economic value to prove our cultural heritage worthy of preserving.
When I internalized what Baybayin meant to me, I realized it was a gateway to our pre-colonial past and what it meant to be living in a post-colonial world. As a kid, it blew my mind when I learned about how we were named "Filipino". I also learned about the 1849 Clavería Decree where we were given last names for tax purposes. Since then, the name Filipino has always struck a chord with me. It's what we're known as. An umbrella term that also marginalized other indigenous cultures within the Philippines in favor of Manila/Tagalog based one. Instead of saying pre-colonial script, I coined the term PreFilipino script in 2011 to describe Baybayin as a social experiment. I recall getting funny looks and questions to explain what I meant by PreFilipino because they've always thought of us a Filipino. I've been making shirts since high school as a way to express ideas. I did get into that whole Sun & Stars but it became superficial. I wanted something deeper so I scrapped all the designs I knew that would sell and strictly used Baybayin and a PreFilipino lens when designing. While the design is important to me as an artist, the message is more important. It's my intention that people look at the apparel and dig deeper into their own history to live in the present and seed the future. Each piece has a story about the duality of the Pilipinx diaspora that may not always have answers but will definitely raise questions.