Art & Development, Travelogue

Postcards from Manila, Part II

the living room
Carlos Celdran’s Living Room in Manila.
Galleon Trade’s home base in Metro Manila was also an artist’s residency and alternative arts space. It’s a large, beautiful room with a view of Roxas Blvd (which is sort of like Venice Beach) and the South China Sea. When a spacious, well-appointed room with lots of light is the first ingredient in building an artistic community, it shores up the importance of ‘home.’

stephanie syjuco looks at poklong's anading's photographic installation at finale gallery
My shot of Poklong Anading’s installation at Finale Gallery in Megamall.
Stephanie Syjuco is on the outside looking in, a fitting symbol, I think, for the experience that many of the US-based artists engaged as visitors to the Filipino art community.

reception food
It ain’t a party without pancit. It’s plenty surreal to attend an art opening in a mall — let alone one accompanied with pancit, chicharron, queso-filled lumpia and fried broad beans. And red wine, touché.

balikbayan
Balikbayanned. After a magical 10 days in Manila, re-entry to the US — the banalities, the rat race, the predictability — was rough. Similarly, the balikbayan boxes in the Regalos project went through their own ordeal as Galleon Trade mastermind, Jenifer Wofford, attempted to repatriate them via Air Cargo. As a transit-specific project (as described by scholar Eric Estuar Reyes), these new marks of transit bring the work to a different stage of the project. I’m looking forward to showing these works to a local audience at the Euphrat Museum in October.

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