The art of James Yap

Paul Lintag on Feb 28, 2017 02:22 PM
The art of James Yap
James Yap's metamorphosis as a person has taken on a whole new level as the longtime face of the Philippine Basketball Association has decided to enter the world of art (photo from James Yap's Instagram, @jamesyap18)

Over the course of his incredible basketball career, James Yap has evolved quite a bit not just as a player but as a person as well.

Back when he was punishing opponents with not just one, not two, but with a million moves, the two-time league MVP did it in style.

During his days with Purefoods/BMEG/San Mig Coffee/Star or whatever product his mother company was trying to promote, Yap did everything with flair and bravado.

You might remember him rocking a sweet pair of Kobe Vs in the "Bruce Lee" colorway to match his former BMEG kits. That was the James Yap of before. He won a lot of games and he looked good while doing it. Perfection.

However, the James Yap of now is different from the James Yap of old. Sure, he's a step slower, his move set is down from a million to right about the thousands, and he hasn't done a lot of winning lately.

He's not even with Purefoods anymore, he's now with Rain or Shine, opting to wear boring Nike Hyperdunks most of the time.

But, one thing that hasn't changed about Yap is he's doing everything with style and perfection, although the style part is mostly reflected off the court now more than ever.

And aside from rocking expensive shirts and even more expensive Italian luxury shoes to and from the venues, Yap's metamorphosis as a person has taken on a whole new level when the longtime face of the Philippine Basketball Association decided to enter the world of art.

Yes, art. Like with paintings and other stuff.

James Yap the basketball super mega star is now dealing with art.



Sure, Yap's new hobby borders on the fancy but the kid from Escalante, Negros Occidental's venture into the arts was everything but.

"Meron akong kumbaga extra wall, vacant wall [sa bahay] na napa-isip ako kung ano pwede ilagay,' Yap told ABS-CBN Sports when asked how his whole art thing came about. "Dun nag-start lahat, sabi ko paintings kaya."

"Sa Fort [BGC] ako dati nakatira, sa Serendra, meron kasing ano dun, gallery," Yap adds. "And then tumambay lang ako dun sa isang gallery, tumagal ng tumagal, parang naa-appreciate mo yung art, dun nag-start lahat. Last year na-adik na."


@lynyrdparas 🎨👍💪

A post shared by James Yap (@jamesyap18) on



Different people have their own reasons on why they collect art, James Yap is no different.

However, at the very core, Yap's motivation behind his new budding collection is quite simple.

In the midst of living life as the James Yap, art has a soothing effect on James.

"Ang ganda eh, nakaka-relax. Kung titignan mo lang ng titignan, ang dami mong makikita," he said.

While other people purchase art to re-sell, the current Rain or Shine guard acquired his now 80-100-piece collection because he liked them all.


#050516 🎨👌 thank you @maxbalatbat #art #artist #artph

A post shared by James Yap (@jamesyap18) on

James says he'll get anything as long as he likes it, doesn't matter what style, who made it, or how much it cost.

Well, it still kinda depends on how much it actually costs but he's not in the business of acquiring masterpieces as of right now. At least not yet.

"Ang sikreto kasi sa art, kasi hina-hang mo sa wall mo yun eh, lagi mong nakikita yun, so kailangan gusto mo yung piyesa na yun. Hindi rin ako tumitingin ng may pangalan kasi kung may pangalan tapos hindi mo gusto yung gawa, araw-araw mo yun makikita," Yap said, dropping some lessons from Art Collecting 101.

"Pag nakita ko gusto ko, wala akong style na pine-prefer. Basta kung gusto ko, kung may extra pera ako, binibili," he added. "Ang mas maganda is yung gusto mo kasi dun mo ma-appreciate. Maganda din naman kumuha ng mga master[piece] pero late na ako eh, kumbaga masyado ng mahal."



Being an up-and-coming art afficionado, it makes sense for James Yap to support up-and-coming artists.

James has done just that, developing a good working relationship with the people behind Art Verite and the Studio 1616 group that features Filipino artists like Lynyrd Paras, Dale Erispe, and Joanna Elmote just to name a few.

"Tulong na din sa mga artist natin. Up-and-coming yung usually na mga binibili ko. Naging kaibigan ko sila, iba rin yung mundo nila. Marami ka rin matutunan sa kanila eh," Yap said.



Being a rich and famous personality that is relevant even outside of basketball, it wasn't surprising that Yap found a hobby that is a little bit unusual and more expensive for normal people.

For James, he found art.


Baby Michael appreciating the painting 😃💙 #bossterryque

A post shared by James Yap (@jamesyap18) on

"Mahilig din ako sa sapatos, ganun naman mga lalake eh. Sapatos, relo, kung meron pambiling sasakyan, sasakyan. And then ako, nahilig sa art, pag may extra, bili," Yap explained.

James is into the art scene very deeply right now although he wishes he should have found it sooner, or at least paid more attention espcially since the actual pieces were for him to see up close for the longest time.

"Sa Secret Freh sa Ronac kung saan ako nage-ensayo before [with Purefoods]. Sayang nga eh, kasi yung Secret Gallery, five years ako nage-ensayo dun and then last year lang ako bumaba dun sa gallery nila," Yap said of the "missed opportunity."

"Nakikita ko na yung mga toys na ginagawa nila sa likod, di ko pinapansin kasi di pa ako nagka-gusto. Naghinayang ako, dapat noon pa five years [ago] pa dapat kaso wala eh, na=late na ako," he added.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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