The Shaping of a Country

 

2017

Wood, metal, plexiglass
72” H X 36” W X 36” D 

 

This piece is displayed with the following wall text:

The Shaping of a Country describes how colonialism and American imperialism have impacted the culture of the Philippines. Carved, curving wooden forms in the lower half of the sculpture represent the Nila plant, from which the Spaniards derived their name for the capital city, Manila, during the first wave of colonialism. These forms support the second layer of the sculpture: a wooden grid representing American architect Daniel Burnham’s 1905 Plan for Manila, which radically reimagined the city from a Western viewpoint. The third layer, a succession of plexiglass structures mimicking a cockfighting arena with abstract formations of crabs and fighting roosters that are some of the country’s cultural symbols of identity, resting atop these two expresses the Filipino identity as being, in part, derived from social context – which has been shaped by persistent American influence.”