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.

Sunday, March 30, 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 just below this post.

Project 2 Michelle Medina:
“Torn Between Two Worlds”

Spanish colonization of the Philippine began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi’s expedition and permanent settlement in the island of Cebu. More settlements continued northward with the clonizers reaching the bay of Manila on the island of Luzon. In Manila, they established a new town and this began an era of Spanish colonization that lasted for more than three centuries.

The image on this particular piece of art portrays a female figure that is split in half: one side wearing the common white debutante gown, and the other in a plain and simple white dress which appears to have rice as a main décor. This female represents Spain’s traditions that had spread to the Philippines due to Spanish colonization. Believe it or not, debuts did not originate in the Philippines, but in many places in Europe, for instance, Spain and France.

When the Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines, many of the Filipinos experienced a sense of oppression. Forced to accustom to the traditions of the Spanish, the Filipinos had no voice and no choice. Some Filipinos may even have felt torn between their original customs and the Spanish’s forced customs. They may have felt torn between what class they held in their society. For example, a young girl’s longing to become a beautiful princess was smashed by the harsh reality that she could never be anything but a slave and a follower.

Project 2 VG:

Project 2 ML:

Project 2 JD:

Project 2 Grace Malki:
This piece is a reflection on the treatment of Filipinos living in marginality in post-colonialism. I read a bit of extra literature on the cultural constructions of domination, difference, and otherness. In my opinion, marginality is a source of creating power and powerlessness. Along with African-Americans and Mexican-Americans, Filipino-Americans have been resisting the battle over power and unfortunately have been forced into the margins of society.

Using paper, colored pencil, watercolor, fabric, and a metal chain, I created a fiery response to marginality. I chose to depict a lion wrapped in a chain to symbolize the way the center treats those in the margin: as wild animals, people needing constraint. Of course those living in the center of society do not admit this publicly and I chose to sketch a hand giving the peace sign to represent an artificial gesture of equality. Two of the fingers are vicious snakes to demonstrate the truth and irony to this analogy. I used snakes because I believe that by treating humans like animals, the center are in turn, animals themselves. The snakes were inspired by the artist’s work seen at our trip to the I-hotel.

Those who bask in the glory of the center often consider themselves a God-like figure in which those living in the margins should look to for guidance. Similarly to the concept in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God which discusses marginality, those living in the center will not be there in a time of need. One day society will no longer look to the center for advice or guidance and their eyes will be watching God.

Project 2 JT:

Project 2 Lester Banatao:

I decided to use the story that happened in 2006 of a young Filipino child in Canada who was embarrassed and insulted at school for eating with a fork and spoon at lunch. When the mother went to the principal of the school, she was shocked by his comments referring to her son as "eating like a pig" and telling her "Madame, you are in Canada. Here in Canada you should eat the way Canadians eat."

I used this scenario to illustrate the Philippines and Filipinos wanting to fight back and resist outside forces from changing or controlling them, specifically the Spanish and the Japanese, as well as discrimination and segregation in the United States and as it turns out, Canada. The words represent the different ways Filipinos have been able to fight back against these hurdles that they are presented with and still manage to move forward, one big reason being them staying true to their values and beliefs that they have held onto for generations.

Project 2 MCC:

Project 2 Henry DeCherney:

Thursday, March 20, 2008


DUE: TH 3/27
CRITIQUE: TH 3/27, T 4/1

Post-colonialism (also known as post-colonial theory) refers to a set of theories in philosophy, film and literature that grapple with the legacy of colonial rule. Post-colonialism deals with many issues for societies that have undergone colonialism: the dilemmas of developing a national identity in the wake of colonial rule; the ways in which writers from colonized countries attempt to articulate and even celebrate their cultural identities and reclaim them from the colonizers; the ways knowledge of colonized people have served the interests of colonizers, and how knowledge of subordinate people is produced and used; and the ways in which the literature of the colonial powers is used to justify colonialism through the perpetuation of images of the colonized as inferior. Colonized peoples responded to the colonial legacy by writing back to the center. This came about as indigenous peoples began to write their own histories, their own legacy, using the colonizers' language (usually English) for their own purposes. As post-colonialist theory has impacted communities of indigenous peoples it has produced a process of indigenous decolonization..

How is art-making an act of inquiry, conversation and resistance? As you consider the larger context for Filipino-American cultural production, and some of the strategies artists have used to “write” back to center, how might you contribute to this conversation, as well?

There are a number of resources that we’ve covered in the past few weeks that have addressed this. As you begin thinking about how to approach Project 2, please consider the notion of an artistic process that allows you to accumulate, test, sift, and ask. Refer to the bell hooks reading, Carlos Villa’s visit, the “kwatro kantos” artists, the Gatbonton Colonial Art reading, the Post-colonialism wiki, the essays by Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, and The Fall of the I-Hotel film, as a significant part of this “accumulation”. Test what you’ve learned, sift through the many options so that that they don’t overwhelm you, and start your work from this place of reflection and inquiry.

Project 2 is an opportunity for you to explicitly consider Filipino/Filipino-American history, as well as post-colonialism, transnationalism, and the creative strategies and philosophies artists employ. How can creative production, your creative production, be a way of responding to history, “answering back”, answering/asking more questions, dealing with both the personal and political, and filling in the gaps?

Project 2 should also be an opportunity for you to take what you learned in Project 1, and advance your technical, editorial and compositional skills further.

This project is due the Thursday after you return from spring break, and it should look like the culmination of 2-3 weeks of deep work. Your work should look completely resolved by its due date. If you are confused about this project, please set up a meeting with me.

Criteria for success on Project 2:

  • Incorporation of hand-made elements
  • Implementation of mixed-media
  • Implementation of layers of information
  • At least one non-traditional art material
  • Materials/media/execution appropriate to your project
  • Evidence of emotional/intellectual engagement with your theme/themes
  • complex investment in idea, theme and execution
  • Further consideration of composition and resolution of work (ie, growth since Project 1)
  • 2-3 weeks of effort and investment (12-13 hours minimum)
  • written reflection/artist statement

Monday, March 10, 2008

Project 1 Artwork, cont'd

These are 12 of the 26 works of art created for Project 1: Re-telling/Re-imagining.
The full project description can be found here.

Project 1 CJA:

Project 1 MS:
Project 1 ML:
Reclaiming my identity

My piece is about me trying to identify with my Filipino culture. The girl in the picture is me with an etch sketch. In the etch sketch is a half erased flag of the Philippines, which symbolizes me losing my identity with the Philippines when I came to the United States. Behind me is the Golden Gate Bridge to me the Golden Gate Bridge was the connection that helped me bond back to my Filipino culture. I lived in Marin but went to school in the city and I learned more about the Philippines history attending USF than from my family.

The two pointing hands that are decorated as the US flag and the other the Philippine flag represent me trying to connect the two cultures together through USF. By taking Filipino classes and getting educated from USF, I have allowed myself to be appreciative and happy of my background. Although my family and relatives know nothing about the history of the Philippines, I am happy to educate them and inform them what has happened or is happening in the Philippines and United States. I was born in the Philippines and the airplane was my transportation to arrive but instead of having the airplane come from the Philippines I had it travel from the United States to the Philippines. In a way the airplane is going back to the roots of where I came from and reclaiming my identity, my culture, and my history.

The pictures that I put on my piece, for instance the cross and sword combined together resembles the colonization of the Philippines from Spain. This symbol is what makes me angry and wonder at the same time because it makes me not want to be Catholic because it was something that was forced on the people to believe in.

Project 1 JT:
Project 1 MAS:

Project 1 Val Fernandez:

Luzviminda is the matriarch of the Philippines. No, skip that. She is the Philippines (if the Philippines were a woman that is). She is strong. She has survived it all. As the Native Guns song “Promise” goes, she has been “used and abused by both friends and enemies.” But despite this all, Luzviminda remains the same nurturing and vibrant mother she always has. She welcomes back her children that leave her for other lands and better opportunities (the same lands that have raped and abused her.) To her children, she makes them promise that they come back and visit her and to not be gone too long. This is Luzviminda. This is the motherland. This is the Philippines.

This piece is a vision of what I myself picture in my head when I hear Luzviminda. Childhood memories of attending the fiesta of Our Lady of Penafrancia and having white girls make faces of my bag of shrimp chips during recess are were some of the moments in my life when I just couldn’t help but feel Filipino. Partaking in cultural events and eating stereotypical foods were the pinnacle and extent of my knowledge of Filipino culture. I was young, naive, and did not realize that there was a whole history and culture that had not yet been revealed to me.

Then in college, I was introduced to Luzviminda. She was no longer just a land of pirated DVDs, Chowkings, and papaya soap. She was something. She was history. And she was beautiful. I’d like you to meet her.

Project 1 JI:
This piece may look simple, but is complicated in my eyes. The two photographs in the middle are the wedding pictures of my grandparents on my mother and father’s side. I specifically chose these photographs because the union of each couple represents the start of their hopes and dreams that they had for their children, grandchildren, and many generations to come. I chose four symbols of what I thought my lolos and lolas wanted for their children in the U.S. I knew that they typically thought of the U.S. as the “land of opportunity.” Although they themselves were not able to come, they had plans for their offspring.

The first symbol is the cross which represents religion and the close tie to the Catholic faith. The second symbol is money which represents wealth and well-being that “all will experience in the states.” The nursing cap represents an education and a degree, specifically in the medical field, that my lolos and lolas wanted for their children to be successful, education that the Philippines may not be able to provide. The last symbol is the marriage of a Filipino couple. My grandparents want nothing more than for their children to grow up in the states and raise a traditional all Filipino family.

All these symbols have been torn apart. The reason for this is to represent the struggle, imperfection, and alternate pathways to these dreams my parents, my sister, and I have taken trying to fulfill their dreams. The flag in the background is a blend of the Filipino and American flags. The imperfection of the spacing and painting of this flag also symbolizes the struggle my parents, as the first immigrants, and I, as the first American-born generation have in connecting my grandparents’ hopes and dreams to ours. The flag has also been drawn horizontally to have the red running down. This symbolizes the blood, sweat, and tears that my grandparents, my parents, and I have in common in striving to becoming better.

Project 1 Hazel Benigno:

The Filipino and Filipino-American identity is one of both contradictions and harmony, a blend of the traditional and modern. For my project, I chose to represent these contradictions by juxtaposing light and dark, nature and city, soft edges and sharp lines, and woman and man. However, this co-existing harmony that also unites them is represented by the bamboo sticks that the couple dances between, as well as the bamboo bridge that connects them. This bridge is representative of the fact that one can often bridge the gap between the past and present by something as seemingly simple as dancing.

Although the Tinikling is not the national dance, I chose to center my piece around it because it has become so popularized and is one of the few dances I have heard of with such varied explanations. The three main stories I have heard are either of the dancers imitating a bird, a dance cultivated from a cruel punishment for farmers, or a couple proving their agility and eligibility for marriage. This reflects upon the fact that much of Filipino history is an oral tradition and though the story may not always be correct, all our varied stories, like the personal histories of the individuals who contribute to the Filipino culture, are still able to come together in one dynamic moment; in this case, dancing. Though modern times may lead us away from our original culture, it is still essentially ours to claim, should we choose to recognize it. As Alleluia Panis wrote, “we search for our own particular cultural continuum that is uniquely our own.”

Project 1 JD:
Project 1 Lester Banatao:

For my project, I wanted to focus on how Filipinos and Filipino-Americans bridge the literal gap and make connections between the Philippines and the United States. The different ways they connect can be applied to the Philippines and any other country in the world as well. The Philippines and the United States, specifically, have had a long and twisting history together. From the days of the Philippine Revolution to today's immigration and Filipino veterans fighting for equal benefits, the 7,000 mile Pacific divide is made a little less wide by advances in communication, travel, and the never ending passing down of Filipino traditions.

The biggest part of my piece, I believe, is how these images illustrate the journey of my own family. Their dream, as with many Filipino immigrants, is to provide for a better life for their children and grandchildren. By all accounts, that dream has come true.

Project 1 MCC:

Project 1 DC:

Project 1 Artwork

These are 14 of the 26 works of art created for Project 1: Re-telling/Re-imagining.
The full project description can be found here.

Project 1 GM:This piece is in response to the 1972 stabbing of Imelda Marcos which occurred during an award ceremony broadcast on live television. Her wounds which were mostly on her hands and arms required 75 stitches. This event struck me as a crime against the female population— a way in which somebody was trying to keep women out of powerful roles. This crime felt like an attempt to manipulate female power and I portrayed that through using handmade paper dolls without faces. By excluding their faces, I expressed the way in which women have little to no identification with powerful roles.

Imelda Marcos responded to criticisms of her extravagance by claiming that it was her duty to be some kind of light, a star to give the poor guidelines. I chose to exhibit the symbol of light by using a piece of mirror which also symbolizes vanity— a cage that encloses and pressures women. Vanity can often be a tool to gain false respect and power in a “man’s world.” I explored that possibility by portraying her in wealthy attire.

The three faceless women at the bottom of my piece symbolize the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit— none of whom are women. I chose to use this trinity to further explore how women are cheated out of powerful roles even in the spiritual realm. Aside, the Virgin is pictured shedding tears of blood for women who have suffered oppression and violence. Specks of light shine down on her— a warm message from Marcos foretelling upcoming change for women.

Project 1 (overview + detail) AM:

Project 1 VG:

Project 1 (outside and inside of piece) AI:

Project 1 (overview+detail) ST:

Project 1 Michelle Medina:

As I walk into the warm-colored room with sage green décor, the crowd immediately cheers and yells out my name. Herds of the sound of whistles and clapping inundate my ears as I make my way towards the center of the dance floor. Clinging on to my escort, we both turn around and face the people to give a kind curtsy. After months of planning, I finally saw the well-lit room, with several elegantly decorated tables filled with the people who care deeply about me. I had thought to myself that, This is the best day of my life.

What is Filipino culture? In my eyes, it is the family (and friends who turned into family) that surround me every single day. Each person that I know had helped contribute to my life, either directly or indirectly. From their teachings and examples, I had developed myself into the woman who I am today.

The people who had celebrated with me during this special occasion had watched me grow into a responsible young woman who aspires to give back what they had given me throughout my entire life. Without family, my journey would halt to a stand-still; there would be no color or excitement, neither would there be obstacles. Family is necessary, especially in the Filipino American culture, because the support system and the unity that the family provides are essential for experiencing growth in one self.

From what I have experienced, my family had pushed me to have faith in myself in order to achieve what is good in life. Although life may encounter multiple hardships, the family is always present as the source to find support, love, and shelter.

Project 1 (overview + detail) NNC:

My Filipino-American Arts project revolves around the theme of sacrifice. I firmly believe that "adversity makes people great", and that through adversity, a person can be stronger, and can even inspire others through their actions.

Filipinos have endured many sacrifices over countless centuries, and through these tumultuous times, we as a nation, still find a way to achieve sweet victory. I also parallel sacrifice with "hard work", because I believe that there can be no victory without sacrifice, and that there can be no hard work without sacrifice. I chose the Philippine Eagle to represent the "sweet victory" achieved after painful adversity. To me, the majestic Philippine Eagle is a symbol of triumph as it truly is the "king" and ruler of the Filipino skies.

To represent Filipino sacrifice or sacrifices, I included some famous Filipino heroes such as Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio, as well as the KKK. In addition, I included People Power or Edsa Revolutions I and II, as well as martyr Ninoy Aquino. Through their sacrifices, we now enjoy liberty and freedom from foreign oppression and tyranny. Furthermore, and to show present day sacrifices, I included boxers Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr., who are also considered to be present-day Filipino "heroes". The phrase or line from the Philippine National Anthem, "Ang mamatay ng dahil sa'yo", means to die because of, or for you, and the "you" refers to our mother, the Philippines. I believe that these short words are so powerful that they continue to echo within our hearts, as they glorify Filipino self-sacrifice.

I included boxing as a symbol of sacrifice because like every other sport, boxing takes dedication and continuous hard work. Manny Pacquiao is not known as the Filipino Champion who beat Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales because he is a bum. Manny worked hard, trained hard and fought hard, representing his country against Mexico's finest and greatest. Through his actions and achievements, the Filipino people, even Filipino-Americans consider him as a hero.

Every hero has a counterpart, hence - a villain. I portrayed the villains to be former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos and "Erap" Estrada, both were tyrants in their own right. Marcos declared Martial Law on the Philippines which led to the deaths of many patriotic civilians, and Erap, whose corrupt actions caused the starvation of many Filipino families. Marcos and Erap are portrayed as snakes because I figured that snakes are a symbol of "evil" and deceit, and they did deceive the Filipino nation into believing that they are trustworthy leaders.

I used pen, pencil, and coloring markers as a medium for my project. As an artist, I always thought of myself as a simple illustrator. I find joy in simple drawings and adding fine details after drawing my illustration. I also enjoy working with just simple materials like pens and pencils. Personally, I find great inspiration in great illustration that show simple, yet incredible and fascinating skill which seems to take ridiculous amounts of meticulous effort. I also added band-aids on the wings to symbolize pain, injury or even casualty during those times of suffering. I believe that my work speaks for itself; it does have some deep meaning to it and it is not that difficult to interpret the meaning of "sacrifice" and how I've applied it to Filipino Hard work and Heroism. And may I add, I included a bowl of soup to symbolize a Filipino saying - "kung walang tyaga, walang nilaga" which means that without hard work, there is no food/dinner on the table, hence it transcends to - without hard work, there is no reward.

Project 1 Matt Montenegro:

So after given this assignment, the question was given: What do you associate with being Filipino? This art project is my answer. I went from portraying the Philippine landscape, to showing the stereotypes of famous Filipino’s in America, or showcasing the famous Filipino figures in history. All of this was supposed to be on a huge flag of the Philippines with the sun showing my family, my friends. But what point was I really trying to make? What I really wanted to focus on was having this tight knit community around me, be it my school, my family, or my friends. Being Filipino, in my opinion was taking the old traditions and managing to maintain them in these changing times.. I love the fact that both of my grandparents have lived happily married for over 50 years, despite adapting to a new lifestyle here in America.

So my visual art project consists of the sun on the Philippine flag with 8 rays representing the history behind the Philippines. The 8 rays of the sun represent the 8 provinces rising up against the Spanish in order to seek independence. I placed the sun on a white background to keep the meaning of equality and fraternity. In the center of the sun are pictures of my family both old pictures and new ones. I wanted to showcase the “old school” Filipino’s, ones based around family, loving parents and a lot of kids. My family and my friends are what make me Filipino. This may sound corny but they are at the “center of the sun” so to speak. Regardless of the fact that my upbringing may be different than what my parents may have experienced, in a way there’s still a connection between what I am experiencing the traditions that my parents and grandparents have experienced.

Project 1 LM:

Project 1 KB:

Project 1 Henry DeCherney:

Project 1 MI:

Project 1 (outside and inside of piece) PC:

Project 1 DM:

Inspired mainly by Filipino pop-culture, both past and present, I've arranged a mixed-media collage triptych of appropriated materials, integrating the country's natural aesthetics with popular national symbolism. I've attempted to balance ideas of familial connection with a personal knowledge or Filipino iconography, by way of portraiture, pulp-magazines, and landscape photography. While experimenting with different concepts of juxtapositional framing, I've copied, traced, drawn and painted a series of open-ended combinations, which all display a broad sense of my early impressions of the country's playful appeal.

I began this project by considering what I already knew of the Philippines - much was owed to class discussion topics on history and culture. I drew from a sense of a similarity between Filipino culture and my own - Mexican, where there is much emphasis placed on family. I found two separate photographs, one of young children, brothers and sisters and the other of several women smiling candidly. I isolated a few figures in each respective photo and chose to trace and paint them. I incorporated other images as well - a picture of a Filipino boxer, the harring ibon eagle, the Philippine national animal, to create two separate collages that serve as bookends, if you will. Each side of the triptych is meant to stand on its own and it is not my intention for the piece as a whole to be read from left to right. The center panel contains the most original work of the piece. Through researching online I found vintage Filipino komiks. The covers of these komiks immediately caught my attention and I chose a specific few to trace and paint. Materials I used were vellum and tracing paper, found images from the internet and a miscellaneous book of tropical landscapes, acrylic paint and pencil, and glued my work to foam board.