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mga kuwento namin

I take images from the Philippine Exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair and project them on acrylic portraits of women from the present-day St. Louis Filipino community in a series of multimedia installations. The visual amalgam symbolizes how racialized narratives about Filipinos from the Fair still mediate and distort how we are perceived today. The soundtrack that accompanies the installation features stories spoken by the subjects in their historically suppressed mother tongues—a way of commemorating the Philippine pre-colonial oral history tradition.

Mga kuwento namin is an inquiry into the ways Filipinos can reclaim our narratives despite the imposition of American English and the interdiction of our vernacular languages. It is a form of resistance to language and cultural repression. How can we retrieve our voices and tell our stories in our own words? This is an essential question in Filipino Americans’ aspiration to locate ourselves within culture and society.


Installation detail:

Naniniwala ako na karapatan ng lahat ang magkatanggap ng kabutian.

Ang sarap ng buhay!

Ipagpatuloy mo! Hanggang sa dulo.


Opening reception (left to right): Trish Muyco-Tobin, Arlene Maminta Browne, Molly Browne, Sheryl Mauricio, Ria Unson

Gallery Talk at COCA

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