I met Japat years ago when we both won a photography competition. The filipino community in Dubai was fairly small back then and it was refreshing to meet such a talented and humble artist. I was amazed at his work and the fact that he was so kind and so funny as well, made it even easier for me to feel comfortable around him and in time, we became friends, along with his equally talented and beautiful wife, Liz.
Japat dedicated time to also volunteer at OPPPS (the photography group where I taught and shared my passion for photography) where he shared his skills as an artist. His vision, his techniques and tricks in composition was so interesting to learn. Being an art student back in college made it even more fun for me to learn so many new things which I certainly enjoyed.
He was the first filipino artist to have a solo exhibit here in Dubai and it was definitely a proud moment. His work, as a photographer and mixed media artist is beyond amazing and it is a privilege to have a few of his sketches and paintings in my home. He is beloved and definitely missed in the art scene out here in Dubai.
July 2019 | Japat informed us that the pieces from his solo exhibit in Dubai was missing. He was unable to locate them after he left Dubai and had them stored until he could figure out a way to transport them back to him in the Philippines. It is sad that our embassy could not assist him in any way back then and when we found out that these pieces were lost (or possibly thrown away) breaks my heart because TALENT IS A GIFT. And these pieces, should not have been discarded because they are works of art, his art – he spent months, years putting them together, blood, sweat and tears. It is so important to support our artists, give them the ability to shine but also help them flourish and value them and their work as they deserve so much of it.