Everyone has aspirations in life.
Tindongan has quite a few. Since childhood, he wanted to be an
engineer, a pilot, an explorer, a teacher, and a public servant.
After a great deal of exploration and soul searching he realized
that he could achieve all of his dreams--by doing art.
Tindongan was born in
Banaue, Ifugao, Philippines, on April 8, 1958. He began carving
at the age of eight. A member of the Ifugao tribe, he was
mentored by master carvers in their tradition. This upland
cultural minority group resides in the Cordillera mountain range
of Luzon Island. His roots in the indigenous culture inform
everything about Tindonganís work. He infuses his wood art with
energy through his traditionís deep connection to their natural
environment and the guidance of their ancestorsí spirits.
Following college in
Manila, where he received a BA in aeronautical engineering,
Tindongan became much involved in the development of his village
community. He is an advocate for the wise utilization of natural
resources and the protection of endangered species. He founded
WILD WINGS, a business protecting and cultivating rare
butterflies in their mountain, rainforest habitat.
Tindongan later married
Cynthia White, a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in a
nearby Ifugao village. They started a family, now numbering six:
Mae, Allan, Joannah, Torin, Amihan, and Malaya, and came to the
United States. Tindongan completed an MA in International
Affairs (Development Studies) and an MA in Geography from Ohio
University in Athens, Ohio where they continue to live.
Tindongan built their home from the trees of their woods and
invites visitors to his studio and home.
His graduate degrees
lend themselves to the integration of cultures and approaches
inherent in his work. His collaboration with renowned sculptor,
David Hostetler since 1994, and Tai Chi practitioners, Warren
and Victoria Taylor since 1999, have enhanced and inspired
Tindonganís pursuit of artistic expression and energy
Tindonganís work includes abstract and
semi-abstract in functional and/or decorative forms. Often, the
designs are one of a kind as the artist works in communion with
the wood. He allows the shape, size, grain, and other
characteristics of the wood to guide him in uncovering the final
form. Some designs can then be reproduced in varying sizes and
kinds of wood. His designs may be used as proto-types for bronze
Among Tindonganís passions are practicing
and teaching Tai Chi and Gigong practice for health and martial
arts. In addition, he offers energy healing work, using the
As a successful artist, his advice to those
who are still fulfilling their aspirations in life, especially
the youth, is to, ďfollow your passion.Ē