An homage to French Mathematician, Ferdinan Mobius, the mobius circle is rich in meaning. To better understand the process of creating this design, imagine a rubber band that has a triangular, rectangular, or square cross-section. Cut this rubber band then twist it once and reconnect. This simple technique turns the three corners of a triangle into one, or the four corners of the rectangle or square into two. Because of this interesting transformation, I call this design Bridge of Understanding. It could mean bridging human with human; human with other life forms, or mind, body, and spirit.
Like the Mobius Circle, the Double Helix (DNA) design can be a representation of the interconnectedness of life. Mamerto Tindongan sees it as representing the Yin and Yang energy or the Positive and Negative forces of an atom or the universe. This particular DNA design evolved after Tindongan finished a Core Grant Program for science teachers. Instead of becoming a chemistry high school teacher, Tindongan contently incorporated scientific principles and teaching methods into his wood art designs. The beauty of this design can be seen in various angles, either horizontally or vertically. It can also be a functional piece, like supporting a beam, serving as a fireplace mantel, or a bench. Like Constantine Brancusi's "Endless Column," the height can fit the highest ceiling.
The DNA and Infinity Symbol are like the "Tree of Life," which is recognized in many cultures that humans in some respects resemble trees. Our feet are like the tree-roots gaining nourishment from the earth, and our arms are like the branches receiving nourishment from outer space in the form of oxygen and sunshine from all around us.
Tindongan believes that we are part of nature. Humans can gain knowledge and wisdom by asking guidance from their birth totem—power animals. The eagle, for example, is a symbol of agility and vision. The eagle can see both sides of a mountain while up in the sky, can see a scurrying tiny mouse from two-miles up above, and can swiftly swoop down with great speed to catch its prey. Animals can contain great power and they have much to teach us.
Tindongan is a direct wood carver. He does not use clay models, but rather tries to connect with the energy of the person and transfer this connection to the wood. As in all of his commissions, Tindongan encourages the participation of the subject in the creation process.
Tindongan believes that the Celtic Knot design is not confined to the Celtic region. Tindongan agrees with the belief that there is no perfect circle or straight line. All lines somehow interlace and go back to its point of origin.
Bowls and Orbs
While growing up, Tindongan witnessed how the village people use large cauldrons to cook food during community events. Like the Orb, Tindongan considers the cauldron as a symbol of unity. Orbs like vessels symbolize nurturing like the womb of a mother.
During Tindongan's travel to Macao, he was fascinated by the Quanyin (Goddess of Mercy of the Buddhist belief). The triangular feminine form is Tindongan's own interpretation of the three spiritual realms—upper, middle, and underworld—that deities are usually known to rule. Using a Mobius Circle as the Goddess' head is Tindongan's way of signifying oneness among the various deities worldwide.
The Greenman is often associated with "Cernunus"--the Stag God of the forest. This mythical figure, which is more prominent in Europe's architectural designs, endures many changes in the human's history. Tindongan's way of keeping the spirit of the Greenman alive is to carve it in wood.
Like portraitures, Tindongan encourages the participation of the client in the design and production process. Ultimately, it is the owner who will be the steward of the art piece.