Artist Statement

I want to form ideas of who I am

into being—

every seemingly authentic and artificial part I embody

and recognize—until I touch or see before me the awareness of who I am

made into being—

The Filipino

The American

The Filipino American

The privileged

The Other

The person

The human being

I emigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. with my family at age 10. Since then, I have moved through the world many times feeling displaced. Internalizing such experience brought out the necessity for me to make art which reconsiders Filipino identity.

In some ways, I use art to return to those moments of displacement in order to understand them and how they shape me as a person. What kind of person do you become when you leave your land? Who will you be? Leaving all those people behind, all your knowing of a particular kind of life and living… where does your kind of grief go?

My current body of work explores the intersections of my biography/personal experience and the history of the Philippines. It looks at the development of our culture from the pre-colonial era to the present time, and explores the lingering effects of Spanish colonization and American imperialism. To put differently, it explores how the beliefs, ideals and aspirations of the people evolved and contribute to the layers that define the contemporary Filipino or Filipino American.