At ten years old, he left his home and family in the Philippines and headed for a monastery in Vietnam where he would dedicate himself to becoming a monk. This was a decision that continues to influence joSon today. As he says, “I never left the monkhood. I left the temple.”
While living at the temple from ten to eighteen years of age, one of joSon’s jobs was to create the alter flowers for worship. This outlet of creativity allowed him to begin drawing the flowers, creating etchings for the worship. joSon also went on to become the temple’s photographer, capturing their events. The head monk of the temple saw these gifts as a sign of joSon’s true path as an artist and told him at 18 to go out into the world and be an artist.
In joSon’s imagery there is simplicity and serenity; there is a zen-like joyous quality to his work. He seeks to capture beautiful moments, to reveal the positive side inherent in life. There is no confusion or chaos in his work, just a calm reassurance. His approach to producing his work is that a beautiful shoot makes for beautiful imagery; the happier the subject and the set, the happier the energy that goes into the moment of the shoot, and therefore the more beautiful the imagery that results from it. His philosophy shines through clearly in his imagery.
“I never left the monkhood. I left the temple. ”