After a more than 20 year hiatus from showbiz, Jao Mapa made his acting comeback last year in the Vivamax film Paraluman with co-star Rhen Escano. The 46-year-old actor, who was the fourth member of the popular ‘90s group The Guwapings along with Mark Anthony Fernandez, Jomari Yllana, and Eric Fructuoso, decided to quit showbiz and prioritize his studies back then. He graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Santo Tomas in 2003 and has become an accomplished painter since then.
Last August 25, Jao shared that he was holding his first painting exhibition this year titled Jao Mapa Reborn at the drybrush art gallery in SM North EDSA from September 1 to 15.
“Jao Mapa: Reborn
“The term ‘Reborn’ propels this exhibition by Jao Mapa, on view at drybrush Gallery - SM North EDSA - Interior Zone this September, presenting works as a visual metaphor to the ecstatic feeling of creating art, allowing the artist to make new beginnings and feel brand new. Each works are consisted with the artist’s fragment of happiness, and evolving cycles of life.
“Jao Mapa’s visual adventures are straight to the point, understandable, and embodies a vibrant mood that instantly brightens a room. He composes his works with whimsical meanings, colorful stories, and nostalgic events that are still ubiquitous to the present time.”
In a previous interview, Jao admitted he had no regrets turning his back on acting to focus on his art and now that he has a family, going back to acting and continuing to paint has been a good source of livelihood for him.
“I think in this day and age, kulang ang isang trabaho to support me and my family. So I’m just really thankful that I have a fallback that I finished back then. So kung kailan nagkaroon na ng crisis, saka siya sabay sabay nag-flourish. Sabay sabay siya lumipad. My paintings flew and in this pandemic it helped me. I’m very thankful for both my talents, my painting and acting. It’s what’s supporting me right now. And I would say that not only has showbiz been a very big helping factor for me today but also I’m very thankful that painting also is actually being successful same way that acting is right now,” he said.