Local artist Jhon Lex Ammong spent nearly three hours on Thursday creating an artwork in the stencil art style of Angelica Lopez, Palawan’s bet for Miss Universe Philippines 2022, using an Oreo cookie.
The 22-year-old member of Guhit Pinas-Palawan crafted an image of Lopez from the sandwich cookie and its sweet crème filling during a period of boredom and searching for anything worthwhile to accomplish.
Ammong said when it comes to visual arts, stenciling is a method for re-creating designs by putting ink or paint through holes cut out of paper or cardboard to the surface to be decorated. He, on the other hand, relied on the Oreo cookie and a toothpick.
He began by carefully removing the entire crème filling from the cookie, as this would serve as his canvas. He said it’s an art that necessitates a delicate balance of patience and caution, as warm temperatures can damage the artwork.
“Stencil art ang type na ito, pero instead na sa paper sa pagkain po. Kailangan ng matinding pasensya dahil konting mali ay mabilis madurog yong filling ng cookie. Isa pa ay ang tool na gamit, toothpick lang. Maaari din naman gumamit ng iba pang pang-ukit as long as maliit at safe for food art,” he said.
“Doon (creme filling) ako magbabawas o magdadagdag. Kailangan ko i-separate yung filling sa isang side ng cookie then saka po ako uukit ng mukha. Isang problem kapag may cookie art, yong kung mainit siya or malamig. Kasi ang tendency kapag mainit, nag-mo-moist, may possibility na mag-break kaya as much as possible, firm yong pagkakahawak ng kamay. Hindi dapat pawisin ang kamay para hindi masira yong artwork,” he added.
Ammong is used to drawing with small instruments, which aided him in his first try at cookie art.
Since elementary, he has been engaged in the arts and has competed in several creative competitions in Puerto Princesa City, as well as at the regional and national levels. He did not, however, begin formal portraiture practice until 2020, employing graphite and color pencils.
“Usually kasi ang medium na gamit ko ay color pencils at charcoal kaya naman challenge ito para sa akin. Another way na rin para makapag-explore pa sa arts,” he said.
Lopez had already seen his Oreo cookie portrait and is pleased with it, based on her feedback on Ammong’s post on Facebook.
He was surprised, he claimed, because he hadn’t expected Lopez to notice his cookie art in the midst of her hectic schedule in the Miss Universe Philippines.
Ammong admitted he’s a low-key pageant fan since Pia Wurtzbach won Miss Universe. This year, he wants to cheer Lopez, and making the cookie art is one way he can do so.
“Gusto ko rin mag-design ng damit kaya naman pakiramdam ko konektado yung pagiging fan at artist ko. Every year po sumusubaybay na ako ng pageants, especially Miss Universe. Lalo ngayon na si Ms. Angelica ay sumali, parang paraan ko na rin iyon ng pagpapakita ng suporta,” he said.
Currently, one of his areas of interest is portrait art, which is both effective and fascinating when it tells something about the subject.
He said portrait art, whatever the canvas, elicits curiosity in the observer about the individual being illustrated. The art style used to represent a person’s life might thus act as a memoir.