Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Project 3 artwork, cont'd

More of the art generated for Project 3, the final project of the semester in Fil-Am Arts.

Project 3 critique
Project 3: Daniella Murphy

With the use of appropriated photos from pop culture, fine arts, and multicultural iconography, I've created a pseudo-curatorial assemblage installation, meant to create a discourse between contemporary social standard(s) and natural sexual representation/expression. Each image holds its own recognizable weight, as used in various prior fashions, but with that said, I've taken the liberty of pairing and teaming these images into separate groups, to create a singular question or statement, per level.

The installation is meant to work on a linear scale, from top to bottom and left to right throughout, hoping to question the contemporary concepts of femininity (and its place), masculinity (and its many possible definitions), with the opposing attributes of certain signifying icons to open up more questions options, in the face of what we take for granted as fact.

In a sense, I've engaged in the guilty pleasure of curating my mini-exhibition, by way of the work of others, however, manipulating and recreating the images themselves to form my own world with them. By reappropriating these photos, I've given them new singular meaning and helped them to serve my own means, as if a museum curator had the power and gall to change the artwork to suit her message, helping the viewer to become the artist.

Project 3: Jocelyn Dumlao
"The Greatest Gift"

What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of something that is beautiful or strong? For some, beauty is skin-deep and can only go as far as the color of one’s eyes or attractiveness of one’s physique. For others, strength is measured by how “manly” or “down” one can be. This project, although simple in concept, has challenged me to look beyond what we normally associate with beauty and strength and highlight that which is beautiful and strong in its own right.

The inspiration for my piece came from this idea of how beauty and strength is portrayed in one’s ability to rise to the challenge and transcend beyond one’s limitations. I think its amazing how people, no matter how hard their lives are, have the capacity and audacity to go above and beyond what others expect of them and achieve things far beyond anyone’s imagination.

This project hits home for me as it is a tribute to my grandfather who passed away when I was a sophomore in high school. My grandfather is my epitome of what it means to be beautiful and strong. He was the greatest father figure that anyone could ever ask for. He was intelligent, witty, and compassionate. He cared for everyone and anyone. He worked every single of day of his life without complaint or remorse. He carried himself in such a way that was so full of life that you couldn’t help but gravitate towards him. Many people have at least one person that has touched their lives in the most positive way possible. My grandfather was this person for me. He was my cheerleader, tear-wiper, and best friend.

The idea of my project revolves around the idea of hands – my grandfather’s hands. My grandfather loved to work with his hands, whether it was fixing a broken door or building a tool shed. I can recall one night when he and I were sitting at the dining room table. He looked at me and said, “You see my hands, Ashley? You see how hard and rough they are? I work hard so that your hands don’t turn out like mine.” To this day, I remember these words and I am forever thankful for all the sacrifices that he has made for me.

The execution for this project was somewhat difficult. I have never really worked with clay and sculpture before, so I was a little apprehensive when beginning this project. I really wanted the hands to come out realistic and indicative of hands that are labored. It took a few days of experimentation before I truly started working on the hands.

I placed the hands in a box with tissue paper and a bow, making it look like a gift. For me, my grandfather’s sacrifice and hard work is the greatest gift that he could have every given to me.

This project was very emotional for me because it required me to get my hands dirty – just like how my grandfather did with his around-the-house projects. I like to think of this project as coming full circle. He really is one of the strongest and most beautiful people that I know because of his zest for life and willingness to share that with others, and I only hope that I can be as strong beautiful as him.

Project 3: Melissa Sayo

After being given this project, a rush of ideas came over me as to what I thought were really appropriate for the idea of strength and beauty. I initially wrote all the words down that related to these words, whether they were synonyms of the words, or how the words strength and beauty came together. I did this because I could not visually imagine anything straight away. I then got a flood of ideas after I had spoken with other people outside of the class. Charles had also given me a great idea an example of how women in the Philippines have had significant roles in politics, history as well as the family lifestyle. They are the ones that make the final decisions and a lot of women are also the bread winners of the family and are there to sustain the family. I saw a hybridity of the old school mentality and a combination of the present day roles of women and how there can be strength not only physically but through the wisdom that one may have and gain through their years. The piece of art that I have created is a combination of the new way people have come to think. Strength can be seen through the knowledge an individual may have. And beauty is no longer measured through your size or color of your skin. These words are simply subjective and are up for their own interpretation. Although my background is primarily in a rectangular and box like format I laid out the pieces so that the primary shape would be circular. The shape in itself signifies a circular motion with the overlapping of the several pieces.

The collage of images is what I believe shows the physical beauty and strength as well as the internal images of what beauty and strength is. There is an image of a doll, bar bells, a weighing scale, and elderly, breast cancer awareness ribbon, a cap and gown (with diploma) referencing strength through education. I decided to create this piece as a collage because I have realized that these two words now are subject and are relative only to each individual. I also incorporated tennis shoes and a boom box in representation of the hip-hop culture, something that quite a few Filipinos highly regard and may find strength and beauty. Whether it is through the culture or simply the music or style that is exuded in the Hip-hop culture.

The yellow rose in the middle signifies both strength and beauty for many reasons. Esthetically it is a beautiful flower but the thorns that are on the stem of the rose have characteristics of strength and protection for the delicate bud/rose. Also personally the yellow rose signified my grandfather who has passed 10 years ago. This was one of the first funerals for me and the rose reminds me of the strength and beauty that my grandfather had passed on to me through the short time that we had known and encountered one another. I also placed the rose in the center because for me it captures the cyclical motion that strength and beauty encompass.

Project 3: LM
Project 3: ML

Project 3: Val Fernandez

In one of the readings on contemporary art, one artist commented that contemporary art is largely made up of artists who have an art history background and simply draw influences from historical works and interpret them as their own. Keeping this in mind when brainstorming for my final project, my goal in this piece was to incorporate prominent works that stood out for me throughout the semester. I wanted it to serve as a reflection of key artists, works, and concepts that really spoke to me as a spectator, and incorporate those ideas in my role as an artist.

This piece, which have I named “Untitled” holds the possibility of being interpreted by people in many different ways, and therefore I believe that it is up to the spectator to title the piece based on his or her own view. Even as the artist myself, the story and meanings I tell surrounding the piece vary with my mood at that time, showing that the work has the capability to adapt to become the spectator’s own. With that said, here is my interpretation of the piece at this very moment in time:

Two of the three main gods of the Philippines were fighting when the third god, the god of the sky, Amihan, served as their mediator in the form of the bird. As a peace offering, one of the gods offered the other a bamboo seed, which Amihan pecked open. This is when Malakas at Maganda stepped out, side by side in unison. To me, this version of the creation story does not serve as a nice tale or folk lore about how the Philippines was created. Rather, it serves as a woman empowerment story. Maganda stepped out at the same time as Malakas, not in his shadow. Filipinas, before colonization, held prominent roles in this non-patriarchic society. This piece is a reflection of the powerful pedestal that women once stood on in Filipino society.

Drawing upon the influences of Alfie Numeric, the young Pinay painter I focused on for my final paper, I found my subjects for this piece. According to Alfie, the owls she paints in her pieces represent “infinite female wisdom” while the bleeding heart doves, which are found only in the Philippines, act as a symbol of the Philippines itself. These birds are found predominantly in war-torn regions of Mindanao, yet they have survived as symbols of beauty and strength. I chose to construct hybrids of both the owl and the bleeding heart dove, all with their own different characteristics. These three different birds also symbolize the three different main regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Hung in a manner similar to the shape of the Philippine islands, these three also serve as symbols of the three different gods that created the Philippines despite their differences.

With the subject of my piece in mind, my choice of medium was based on the vast number of installation pieces that were introduced to me during this class. From impressive installation works by Eliza Barrios, Reanne Estrada, and Stephanie Syjuco, many different mediums came to mind. Yet it was the wire/quilt piece by Reanne Estrada that really stood out for me. When I first saw her piece, it first reminded me of a five dollar, copper wire picture frame of my family’s last name I bought off a bum on Market Street. I was always amazed at what simplicity it took to make such a beautiful piece of work, so I decided to give it a shot. While working with the wire, I realized that it too drew connections to the Malakas at Maganda story. The wire is sturdy, durable, and tough yet the piece itself is proof that the material shows a beauty when bent the right way. In addition, the characteristic that it is easy to manipulate calls upon the role of women which has evolved through time. Lastly, the perches the birds are handing on symbolize the roots of nature they once stood on which have been manipulated into contained perches. Also noticeably, the birds are not enclosed in an actual bird cage, and therefore find themselves in a constant struggle whether to comply with their confined lifestyles or to fly back to their roots

Monday, May 12, 2008

Project 3 Art

Project 3: MI

Project 3: Marco Santiago
"Sira ni Malakas at ni Maganda"

While making my artwork I had no idea to what to make. I thought about what was the importance of “Maganda” (Pretty) or “Malakas”(Strong) in Filipino culture. At first I thought a lot about what made Filipino’s strong and beautiful. I ended up thinking a lot and creating a list of ideas that were long that I probably couldn’t have incorporated it into my artwork. That being said I was at a completely lost in my ideas of strength and beauty. It got to the point where I confused myself on what exactly I was focusing on. So I took a step back and I revaluated my concepts. Since there were so many things that made Filipino’s strong and beautiful, I thought about what made Filipino’s weak and ugly.

The myth Maganda at si Malakas states, two people came out of bamboo, flew on a bird, and populated the Philippines. After reading the myth a couple of times I realized that without the bamboo, there would be no more strength or beauty in the Philippines because there would be no more Filipinos. Therefore, I knew I wanted to include bamboo in my piece because it was such a vital part of the myth.

To start of my artwork grabbed the cardboard part of a gift-wrap rolls and created bamboo like figures. The bamboo was made by creating a ring with tape and sticking it onto the cardboard roll. The ring created a bulging surface that resembled real bamboo. After taping down the roll, I painted it with brown which added a wood like feel.

Second I printed pictures of the Philippines in its worst conditions. I found pictures of the ghettos in the Philippines and found pictures of huge garbage dumps. After I printed these two pictures in black and white, I pasted it onto the background and in front of the bamboo pieces. I chose to print it in black and white to add more focus to the other things in my piece. Once that was done, I moved to the last part of my artistic creation process which was the addition of garbage to the bottom.

Basically, the true concept of my piece is to show the myth’s importance in Filipino culture. Since the bamboo was the original sprout of strength and beauty, I wanted display that Philippines as a once beautiful land. My parents told me as a kid that people considered the Philippines a legitimate vacationing spot, much like Hawaii. I was truly shocked and now that I look at the Philippines, who would want to go there for a vacation? So I used my created bamboo to signify the beginning of strength and the beauty the Philippines once had. I mean honestly, now the Philippines is full of garbage and liter. No one cares about the environment in the Philippines. The strength and beauty the Philippines that it once had is now gone because of the lack of care to the environment.

Through this art piece, I hope to raise awareness about the environmental issues in the Philippines. My whole purpose is to remind people that the Philippines had so much beauty and strength, but the lack of caring for the environmental issues in the Philippines cause destruction. This is why my title is called, “Sira ni Malakas at ni Maganda” or in other words, “The Destruction of Strength and Beauty.”

Project 3 Critique:
Project 3: CJA
Project 3: Lester Banatao
For me, I see this scene as representative of the struggle of Filipinos both at home and abroad, while it can also represent anyone who has had to fight to get their foot in the door. What makes my piece a little more "Filpino," in a sense is that it does include religion. And while I don't mean Catholicism or Christianity in general, faith and a belief in something can help someone get through a struggle or help someone fight for something. A faith in God or any other higher being or even not having a specific "belief" can help someone find strength in difficult times. Whether it be fighting against oppressors, fighting against discrimination, or even just fighting to get ahead in life, a belief and faith in many things, including family, can be all that one needs to stay strong and move forward.

There is beauty all around us, and beauty can certainly be judged by "the eye of the beholder." Just in the Philippines alone, "beauty" might take on a very simple or shallow meaning judging from what one can see on Philippine television. But many people are able to see and acknowledge the beauty that is everywhere. Going back to religion and faith, many people see beauty in their beliefs. Whether it be the solemnity of a spiritual service or the community that is brought together by a common faith, people see beauty in what they hold close to their hearts and minds. There are times when people struggle with beauty, the need to be or have beauty or even how to maintain beauty that is found in our world. At its simplest form, beauty is just going outside and looking at what is out there.

Project 3: Grace MalkiAs an interpretation of the Malakas and Maganda creation story combined with elements of the Catholic faith (the main religion of the Philippines), this piece is about the importance of nature in creating human existence. I truly wanted to convey that human existence was not possible without plants or animals. Materials used in this piece are blown eggs, shells, leaves, moss, feathers, styrofoam, leather, artificial hair, and cloth.

I chose to display six figures, mounted with heads made from chicken eggs. The number six refers to man being created on the sixth day. I used eggs as the human heads to enforce the feeling that without the bird God sent down, we never would have “hatched.” The egg, an edible use of human’s and reproductive mechanism is an essential material to use to convey this message. I chose to use brown eggs to a feeling of indigenous persons. The inners of the eggs have been blown out for the purpose of depicting how humans are powerless without the driving force of nature.

Each “head” is adorned with an important element that symbolizes earth’s existence. The vine and leave wrapped eggs symbolize nature’s lush green plants while the leather wrapped egg symbolizes human’s use of animal hide and mammals. The shell embellished egg symbolizes the ocean and sea life, and the feather adorned egg symbolizes birds and the bird in the creation story, the key to creating human existence. The last head is adorned with artificial hair which was partially intended to be humorous and also was intended to reference to today’s desire to be a coiffured and a developed race. It is meant to be overly done up and fussy, and stand in comparison with nature’s simple beauty.

I decided to allude to the concept of hybridism by displaying the figures as a people and crucifixes. This symbolizes that we are all part of God’s being. By dressing the figures in all white cloth, I alluded to the Catholic religion and purity. Purity plays an important role in the meaning of nature to me and its simple and everlasting existence. By creating a sense of holiness, elements of Catholicism emerge, an important aspect of Filipino culture.

Project 3: Michelle Medina

Project 3 critique:Project 3: AM
Project 3: MCC

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


IN-CLASS: TH 5/1, T 5/6, TH 5/8
DUE: TH 5/8
CRITIQUE: TH 5/8, T 5/13

Malakas and Maganda is one of a number of origin tales about how native Filipinos came to be.

One version:
When Bathala (God) was done creating the world, he was bored. He looked down over the earth and sent a bird into the world. The bird was flying around when it heard some sounds and tapping somewhere in the forest.The bird landed and found out that the sound is coming from a huge bamboo. He started pecking on it and pretty soon it split in the middle where a man came out of it. His name was Malakas, which means strong, and he told the bird, "My mate is in the other piece of wood." They got her out and her name was Maganda which means beautiful. The two got on the bird's back and flew away to find some place to live. They went flying around the world, and then finally, the bird saw a land and let the two giants set foot and live on it. When Malakas and Maganda stepped on the land their weight separated the land into islands (Philippines has 7,200 islands). Malakas and Maganda live on and produced millions of children, which came to be the Filipinos.

Another version:
Legend has it that the first Filipino man and woman were born from a bamboo stalk. They both had brown skin and supple bodies. The man was named Malakas, or "Strong One"; the woman, Maganda, or the "Beautiful One." Two traits which make the Filipino unique among its Asian neighbors -- their strength and resiliency despite a lot of adversity and trials which come their way; and their beauty which is reflected in their surroundings.

As the final project for a Filipino American Arts course, I am not asking you to literally illustrate the Malakas and Maganda legend, but I would like you to consider the nature of creation and cultural production in whatever aspect suits you best. For example, “Strength” and “Beauty” in this origin tale are gendered symbols of what makes creation possible, but how do these 2 words manifest most compellingly for you? Additionally, how do hybridity, mestizaje, and many other forms of synthesis play into a very contemporary sense of creation and growth?

This project can be as political, aesthetic and/or idealistic as you see fit: rage and hope are not mutually exclusive-- they are both galvanizing forces in creation. There is ample space for interpreting this project critically, formally and optimistically. Your artwork need not focus explicitly on Filipino content, but if it does, that’s absolutely fine. Given all of the things you’ve absorbed in this class, I would ask that you do explicitly address the connection between what you make and its relationship to what you’ve learned in Fil-Am Arts in your artist statement, which should be a bit longer (1 to 2 full pages, typed, double-spaced) than previous statements.

As you begin this project, please consider the guest artists, gallery visit to Bag’o/Neo, and other artists, readings and resources that we’ve covered in the past few weeks:

Charles Valoroso, Su Llamado, Stephanie Syjuco, Eliza Barrios and Renetta Sitoy were our guest speakers. The Bag’o/Neo show included works by Filipino artists Emily Caisip, John Yoyogi Fortes, Eliza Barrios, Cirilo Domine, and Pauletta Chanco. We looked at work in class by Chris Ferreria, Paul Pfeiffer, Michelle Lopez, Ariel Erestingcol, Gina Osterloh, and Gigi-Otalvaro Hormillosa. Su Llamado gave us a great information download on Roberto Villanueva and the Baguio Arts Guild. Let’s also not forget the artists on the Worlds In Collision website, as well as the artists you chose to write your papers on. You may find it helpful to refer to the most recent readings by Carol Becker, Dana Friis-Hansen, Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa, and Sabrina Alcantara-Tan, or to go further back to other readings that inspired you.

Project 3 is an opportunity for you to sift through these resources and inspirations and create work that may go in a wide array of directions: strength and beauty can be symbols of hope, faith, resistance, rebellion. You are free to interpret this broadly.

Project 3 is the final for this class: your artwork should be approached as the culmination of what you’ve learned in here. Your content should be stronger, the increased time and effort you put into this project should be evident, and your technical execution should demonstrate growth from your 2 prior projects.

Project 3 can be in any visual arts medium: this is your opportunity to experiment with other forms, strategies and media, so long as it feels appropriate and relevant to your project. Please continue to push yourself beyond your comfort zone with whatever material you choose.

Project 3 should look like the culmination of 2-3 weeks of deep work, regardless of materials chosen. Your work should look completely resolved by its due date. If you are confused about this project, please set up a meeting with me.

Project 3 is due Thursday 5/8, with critiques split over 5/8 and 5/13. Since we have more class-time on 5/13, to accommodate slightly longer, more complex discussions about each other’s work, critiques will be longer this time: 15-ish minutes each.

Criteria for success on Project 3:
  • Creative and intellectual interpretation of “Malakas at Maganda” as the theme
  • Engagement with notions of hybridity and mestizaje, literally or figuratively
  • Synthesis of materials covered in the last 1/3 of Fil-Am Arts
  • Materials/media/execution appropriate to your project
  • Evidence of engagement and complex investment in idea, theme and execution
  • Technical and artistic growth since Projects 1 and 2
  • 2-3 weeks of deep work, effort and investment (12-13 hours minimum)
  • fully-resolved work
  • longer, more complex written reflection/artist statement (1-2 pages typed, double-spaced)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Project 2 Artwork

Here are 8 of the 26 works of art created for
Project 2: Marginality as Resistance
The full project description can be found here.

Project 2 AI:
"Sweet Philippines"

For the second project, I had a chance to consider how can I make an artwork by using at least one non-traditional art material. It was a challenging project because I did not guts to use pig blood or Cheetos for my artwork. So then, I decided to use something sweet: Sugar.

Sugar is one of the most profitable exports the Philippines. The origin of the sugar industry is actually linked to the slavery and colonialism in Africa to Caribbean. The European colonialists brought almost 12 million sugar canes from West Africa to the Caribbean with slavery from 1450 to 1900. Having a lot of workers was necessary since sugar cane is a delicate plant. During harvest season, slaves were worked every single second till their death. Back then sugar has become major commodity after the introduction of tea, coffee, and chocolate. Westerners demanded sugar and it became an important export product. Since then, the sugar industry became popular in the colonies.

Nevertheless, the Filipino sugar industry has nothing to do with the slave trade, but it does relate to the colonization. In the 1860s, Negros Occidental was the leading sugar producing province in the Philippine during Spanish colonization. By the early 1900s, the sugar industry was well established by the American colonialists. They boosted the industry and export to the states became much easier by establishing Payne-Aldrich Act. The Act created a situation in which the gap between rich and poor grew even greater in Philippines. I thought this history of sugar industry is one of the most striking symbols of Filipino colonization. Now the Sugar is one of most important agriculture products in the Philippines.

For my project, I made cookies in the shape of the Filipino islands. Also, I made a cake with on illustration of the Filipino flag. Cookies and cake are the magical snacks that charms everybody, especially kids. During the colonial period when colonial powers competed against each other for control of the profitable industry, just how Westerners demanded sugar, kids today compete against each other to obtain big piece of cake and cookies. Also, sweet desserts are Filipinos favorite. Sugar has been a valuable seasoning in Filipino cuisine; there are different varieties of sweets. And they grow up with sugar. I tried to make a reflection of the sweetness of the Philippines, how others demanded to take over it, and to alter it into sweets by using their profitable product: cookies and cake.

Project 2 DFM:
video still, "Conversations with Women"

In this project of “writing” back to center, I have considered the histories of women in general, and explicitly dealt with both the personal and political implications of relinquishing one’s power. I began this project by interpreting different strategies and philosophies female artists have used to respond to the history of oppression inflicted upon women by both men and themselves. I specifically took note of the Toni Morrison essay in which she spoke of her writing as a means of pulling the veil aside over hidden histories of peoples whose “interior” lives were never exposed. Morrison spoke of how critical it is to discover truths about one’s ancestors, especially for any person who belongs to any marginalized category. Because women are among those who have been marginalized, (arguably the first marginalized group), its important for women to participate in “the discourse even when we [are] its topic.” (Morrison) It’s imperative for women to articulate and reclaim their identities from men and from the cultural stereotypes they themselves uphold.

My project is a 4 1/2 minute long video piece, transferred onto VHS. The piece entitled “Conversations with Women” is a Reappropriation Narrative of the female condition. It begins with footage of Senator Clinton from a Democratic primary debate, in which she mentions her feelings have been hurt. I incorporated this footage multiple times in my piece. I believe it is up to each individual woman to define herself - women aren’t as helpless or as powerless as they/it’s believed. I sought out footage of young women and girls from film and the internet to produce a broad linear construction of what women are perpetually identified as to answer questions of/inquire further - inherent female colonialism. I shot these images with my DV camera and manipulated/recontextualized them in iMovie.

Project 2 ST:

Project 2 Val Fernandez:

This piece is an expansion of a previous project of mine completed last year. It is the visual accompaniment to a fifteen page analysis paper on the Native Guns song “Work It” which reflects on the relationship between first world economies and their violation of labor rights of third world, developing economies. In this piece, I am no longer Valerie, the Filipino American Arts Student. “My name is Marie, age thirteen. At the age of eighteen [I’ll] be learning to dance for dirty Japanese businessmen, money for the family.” I am a shoemaker at the Nike factory and I am just trying to survive with the cards dealt to me in this game called life.

I have altered my experience as a shoemaker in one significant way, one that differs greatly from Marie’s. The material used for my shoe (a banana leaf) symbolizes the indigenous materials of the Philippines, in contrast to the man-made materials used to construct modern-day shoes. This piece is an attack on the exploitation of young children and the loss of culture and identity due to this exploitation. I know it is not at all comparable to the work that the real life “Maries” put in during their jobs, but this shoe-making process served not only as an art project for me, but rather, more as a personal reflection on my appreciation for the cards that have been dealt to me in my own life.

Project 2 CJA:

Project 2 NNC:
Project 2 PC:

Project 2 KB:

Monday, March 31, 2008

Project 2 Artworks

Here are 9 of the 26 works of art created for Project 2: Marginality as Resistance.
The full project description can be found here.

Project 2 Hazel Benigno:
"Not for Sale"

presented in performance:
Not For Sale

The inspiration for my project came from learning about the Not For Sale campaign, a group determined to eradicate modern-day slavery and human trafficking. This made me wonder about the marginalization of Filipino women and how they have been treated like commodities ever since the onset of the Western influence.

The upper right corner of the piece is a reference d the pre-Spanish status of Filipinas and, more specifically, towards Gabriela Silang, considered to be the first woman revolutionary of the Philippines. What’s more, she led a revolt against the Spanish in the Ilocos region, the same area where the Cordillera mountain range can be found. The background indicates importance, as Cordillera tribes used a deep indigo blue in their clothing for important people and significant occasions. The quote is a line from “Skim the Sheen,” a poem by Eileen Tabios and Nick Carbo, part of which has Gabriela Silang reprimanding Maria Clara, the lead female character in Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere.

The bottom right corner looks at Cordillera women from the early 1900s until now, and how they were never “conquered” by colonization and were able to maintain their culture. However, even though they maintain their traditions, it is still possible for them to be exploited. As the photo of the two older women shows, some tribe members may be used to take pictures for tourist purposes. The question is if these tribe members are compensated and willing for their services. The brown background is meant to resemble skin, and the designs as tattoos, which Cordillera women use on important individuals and as a sign of beauty.

The bottom left corner looks at the transformation of traditional Filipina costumes, and how they have become modernized. However, they are presented on faceless, featureless mannequins, paralleled to how women are constantly judged based on what’s on them rather than what’s within them. White was used amongst the Cordillera tribes as a sort of “common denominator” color, and the patterns are similar to those found on traditional Filipina costumes.

Finally, the top left corner looks at the jarring reality of modern-day women and the ever-present possibility of being sold into the sex-slave trade. Some of the women in the pictures are looking at the other women in the piece, some with a forlorn longing to possess the strength they see in others but fail to recognize in themselves. There is a red tint to the background and pictures, as the Cordillera tribes use red to signify bravery in battle and someone of high honor.

I used coconut oil and sindur powder to paint the backgrounds and color my hands to signify how women are used and restrained. It has been said that a coconut tree is all a person needs to live because it is very useful, just as women have been used for all they offer. Sindur powder has been traditionally used to mark Hindi women as brides, but can also be seen as a restriction that only gives value to women if they have men attached to their names. Putting it on my hands is my challenge to me and others to take the first step in claiming responsibility for the struggles that women often face but never speak about. The whole piece is shaped as a circle to call to mind the idea that unless we recognize the marginalization of women, even in modern society and at a seeming high of women’s powers and rights, this pattern and similar events will continue. The center has the Not For Sale logo on a Cordillera woman to show that our victories and struggles are not for sale. Our culture and traditions are not for sale. Our creativity and abilities are not for sale. Our women and all women should not be for sale.

Project 2 MAS:

Project 2 AM:

Project 2 JI:

Project 2 DC:
underneath, detail:
underneath, detail:

Project 2 Matt Montenegro:
"Ang Sabihin Ng Manong"

I often wondered what kind of people it took to “write back to the center”, after facing constant struggle and hardships. After being marginalized so much throughout history, how could people manage to get their voices heard? In this project “Marginality as Resistance” what exactly were the tenants trying to say before, during, and after the eviction from the I-Hotel. I focused on one person in particular, Emil DeGuzman who is now the President of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation and former President of the International Hotel Tenants Association. So I read a statement that DeGuzman gave during the 24th Eviction Commemoration, and he quoted a line from Dr. Martin Luther King saying “We suffered, ‘despair when there was no light in a tunnel of darkness.” And he further discussed that these tenants and the people who struggled with them were on an uncharted direction, and the only way is to head towards the light, towards a brighter tomorrow.

So my project consists of quotes on poster board from an article taken from the San Francisco Chronicle which wrote about the I-Hotel eviction 30 years later. The article interviewed Emil DeGuzman as well as Gordon Chinn who is the executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center, who helped develop the building at 848 Kearny St. And this project is composed of a live element, something that lets me get in touch emotionally to the people who suffered. I am going to tape my mouth with a dollar bill and the quote written on it states: “I was brutalized myself personally…I was taken out of the building, dragged down the street.” And I am also going to tie my hands together with straps. The feeling that I wanted to get at is often times during Post-Colonialism people who are being marginalized never get their word across. They are either silenced, the tape around the mouth, or bought (with me using the dollar bill), or tied up and silenced. After watching that I-Hotel film I was just really touched emotionally because of what these tenants went through, not only the Manongs and the Filipinas, but the Chinese immigrants as well. I hope this piece speaks for itself without me having to say anything.

Project 2 LM:

Project 2 MI:

According to labor department and sources written on Feb. 6th 2008 there have been 4 million child workers between the ages of 5 and 17, more than half of who work in the agriculture sector but many are also employed in sugar cane farms, domestic work, quarrying and pyrotechnics production. The U.S. has provided the Philippines 5.5 million to help combat the use of child labor.

The Philippines have a long history of legislation aimed at protecting the rights and welfare of children starting in 1974 when the labor code of the Philippines set the minimum age of employment to 15 yrs and prohibited the employment of persons below 18 years old in anything hazardous undertaking. Most recently, the republican act Number 9231 amends act 7610, which provides protection of children against abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, trafficking, and employment in illicit activities, by embodying the state policy to provide special and stiffer protection from the mentioned. It spells out the hours of work; ownership, usage and administration of the working child's income. In addition it also ensures working children's access to education and training, and immediate legal, medical and psychological services.

The progression of this issue is obviously growing in a positive direction especially with the aid of the U.S. I feel it is of utmost importance that the programs that are created to protect the children are accompanied with a very functional oversight team to monitor the children’s attendance in school and assess that they are not being exploited. The issue of child labor is largely an issue of marginalization. The children are invisible and marginalized both economically and socially.

Project 2 Melissa Sayo:

Throughout the pre-introduction to this assignment the one image that really stuck into my mind was the whitening soap that has reached all Filipino households. I discussed my ideas with my friends of whom are not Filipino and they could not grasp the concept of why whitening soap was so widely used in the Filipino Culture. This conversation only fueled my ideas of creating the image of how much the Americas and Spanish influence have had on us, not only from our culture and everyday living but also from our looks and how our internal family has brought this on to us even after the their reign over the Philippines. The term “mistisa or mistiso” is a term that has affected many households including mine. From internal scrutinizing about a certain families skin color or the height of their nose we as a culture are bringing ourselves down and not letting our natural features exemplify who we are.

I decided to draw this shower head scene as a representation of how we have been influenced by others and made seem to us that those words being taught were magical, but in reality they have only washed away who we are and we are just trying to wash ourselves away as a culture. Even today we still see it as being acceptable to continually whiten ourselves to make our complexion similar to what we think is superior. Though, it is very ironic that the people whom we are trying to emulate are trying to do the reverse and gain a more golden brown tone similar to ours. There are also clashes in ourselves to define who we are as Filipino-Americans, which I feel is the division that I have created in the two different soaps.

I also saw my tub as a “melting pot”, but what we have been taught to know from the melting pot is the ideology of multiple cultures mixing into one, but that goal has not been reached. Although as United States Citizens we try not to compromise ourselves and try to find a healthy divide between our various identities. Whether some are mixing and some have fought back to make a clear distinction between where they are and where they come from.