Monday, March 10, 2008

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 d├ęcor, 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.

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