Jean Pierre “Dyani” Lao graduated from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, College of Fine Arts, with a degree in BFA in Painting. He received the “Gawad Dominador Castañeda” for Best Thesis in 2000 entitled “Ritwal”, a study on the technical aspects of tattooing a live pig, discussing concepts on myth, mysticism, beliefs and the afterlife.
His artworks “Memento Mori” (2001), and “Angkan ni Kabunyan” (2000) — both mixed media incorporating swine hide tattooing–were finalists in the annual Philippine Art Awards, exhibited at the Manila Metropolitan Museum.
For almost seven years, Dyani taught Print-Making as a visiting faculty at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Mt. Makiling, Laguna. Later on, from 2006 to 2010, he was hired as the Head Tattooist of Tribal Gear HK/Macau.
Apart from judging numerous tattoo competitions across the country, Dyani also participated as a speaker/ facilitator of various symposiums regarding tattoo art. The latest of which is a seminar for Filipino Tattoo Artist done at the Department Of Health in 2011, entitled “Tattoo Machine Principles”. He was also a speaker in the annual Neo-Angono Arts festival, discussing the history of Filipino Tattooing through his presentation entitled “Ritwal ng Batek: A Study on Northern Filipino Traditional Tattoo Motifs” in 2011.
He started tattooing in the early 90’s and and started to become professional a little less than a decade after. His works comes in various styles and genres; but his specialization revolves in traditional americana, realism, colored, black and gray, and oriental/ or Japanese style.
Since childhood he was always fascinated with mythological creatures, gods, birth, death, afterlife and reincarnation. He now focuses on creating custom tattoos that speak of Filipino folklore and myth; folk stories with beasts, enchanted creatures and deities from different regions of the archipelago. Just like the Japanese tattoo being labeled as oriental art, he dreams of the Philippines to be recognized on the worldwide tattoo scene by his own label of tattooing.
A true artist by heart, He also has found himself into the art of photography. At first, just to capture his tattoo works for his portfolio. But now he gets deeply into the art that he enrolled on a strobist workshop conducted by professional photographer, Tacio Tongco. He is fond of taking photo-walks, and taking pictures of anything that interests him.
He had his first solo exhibition, “Indelible Ventures” in 2012. He used indelible ink pencils for drawing and digitally reproduced the works to a 30 limited edition set of prints on paper. This exhibition showcased his gods and creatures tattoo flash set and turned the gallery into a tattoo studio. After a year, the same gallery became Dyani Lao Tattoos.
In 2014, Dyani Lao Tattoos, his one year old studio, designated at the Cubao Expo was acclaimed by Spot.ph (an Urban lifestyle online guide of the Metro’s finest) as the Number One Tattoo Studio in Metro Manila and one of the best tattoo shop in the Philippines.
Dyani currently lives in Quezon City with his wife, Grace Bragais-Lao, and their three kids, Hulyan Lumawig, May-i Waya Sanyata, and Amansinaya Bighani. He rides his bike every now and then, and usually has a hard time feeding all his snakes and invertebrates in one day.