curated exhibition

Sea, Land, Air: Migration and Labor

Filipinos work everywhere. On the high seas, up in the air, and on the ground. Nurse, sailor, singer, farmer, teacher, maid. These are the icons of globalized Filipino labor today. But where do they come from?

 

“Sea, Land, Air: Migration and Labor” locates these icons in the circuits of labor that emanate from the Philippines’ and its diaspora’s colonial and imperial histories. At the same time, the exhibition questions what is truthful and what is fictional in the narration of these imperial relations.

 

Over the summer of 2013, we unfolded “Sea, Land, Air” in groups designed to highlight the connections and complications that the scholarly and creative works collected here illuminate.

 

Scroll down. Explore. Comment on this rich mixture of creative and scholarly works that together reveal the global processes of economic and psychic transformation that all contemporary subjects—not just Filipinos—face. Return.

 

Co-curators: Jan Christian Bernabe and Sarita Echavez See.

 

Contributors: Filomeno V. Aguilar • Kimberly Alidio • Matthew Andrews • Michael Arcega • Tanya Bindra • Jason Cabañes • Zean Cabangis • Clement Camposano • Lonnie Carter • Catherine Ceniza Choy • Denise Cruz • Deirdre de la Cruz • Vince Diaz • Michelle Dizon • Kale Bantigue Fajardo • Theodore S. Gonzalves • Mik Gaspay • Jason Gavilan • Mark Johnson • Kat Larson • Miguel Libarnes • Claudia Liebelt • R. Zamora Linmark • Mirca Madianou • Wawi Navarroza • Jonathan C. Ong • Enrique G. Oracion, Ph.D. • Elizabeth H. Pisares • Eric Estuar Reyes • Dylan Rodriguez • Lordy Rodriguez • Robyn Magalit Rodriguez • Sarita See • Harrod Suarez • Nobue Suzuki • Stephanie Syjuco • Rolando Tolentino • Karen Tongson • Jenifer K. Wofford

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Kimberly Alidio

b. 1971
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Kimberly Alidio is a high school teacher, a tenure-track dropout and the author of a poetry collection, After projects the resound (Black Radish, 2016) and a chapbook, solitude being alien (dancing girl press, 2013). Born in West Baltimore and raised in Baltimore County, Maryland, she lives in East Austin, Texas.

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  • Born: Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Based: Austin, TX, USA

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And In a Moment We're Almost Pure (lava rock garden suite)

Wawi Navarroza

2011 Archival pigment print 40 in. x 60 in. Editions of 5 + 2 AP From the Dominion series

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Wawi Navarroza

b. 1979
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Wawi Navarroza is a photographer/multi-disciplinary artist from Manila, Philippines. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from De La Salle University, Manila and attended continuing education at the International Center of Photography, New York. Recently, Navarroza completed her scholarship at the Istituto Europeo di Design, Madrid under the program European Master of Fine Art Photography.

Her work with contemporary photography has taken shape in highly-stylized symbolic mise-en-scène and tableau vivants, shifting to her more recent interest in landscape, constructed still life, and installation. Her landscape photographs propose a familiar 'other place' that opens up to fabricated emotional space that seems to be carved out by both personal and collective memory and amnesia.

Navarroza has exhibited widely in the Philippines and internationally. She has participated at the 2012 Tokyo Month of Photography, presented by Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; the Asian Art Biennale, in Taichung, Taiwan (2011); the annual touring exhibition "CUT: New Photography from South East Asia," by Valentine Willie Fine Art (VWFA) Kuala Lumpur; ASEAN-Korea’s "Emerging Wave" Asian Contemporary Photography Exhibition in Seoul, Korea (2010); and "Verso Manila: contemporary art from the Philippines" in Turin, Italy (2009). She has also been shown at Angkor Photography Festival Cambodia, Noorderlicht Photography Festival Holland, and PhotoIreland.

Recent solo exhibits include "ULTRAMAR, Pt.1: Gathered Throng, Falling Into Place" (2012) and "Dominion" (2011), at Silverlens Gallery, Manila, and "On Landscapes and Some Dislocations" at Galería Patrick Domken, Cadaqués, Spain. She has received a number of awards, such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Thirteen Artists Awards Triennial (2012), Lumi Photographic Art Awards, Helsinki (2011), and she was a finalist for the prestigious Sovereign Asian Art Prize (2011) and Singapore Museum Signature Art Prize (2011). Other awards include International Photography Awards (2010), Portfolio Preis (2010, Germany), and Prix de la Photographie Paris (2009). She has staged two award-winning solo exhibitions: “POLYSACCHARIDE: The Dollhouse Drama” (2005) and “SATURNINE: A Collection of Portraits, Creatures, Glass, and Shadow” (2007), which was cited Winner at the Ateneo Art Awards 2007, Philippines. In 2009, Navarroza was awarded the first Asian Cultural Council-Silverlens Fellowship Grant to further her research and practice in New York City.

Her work has been shown in institutions such as the National Museum of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Hangaram Museum, Korea, National Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan, and Fries Museum of Contemporary Art, Netherlands.

Navarroza has also worked as a lecturer of photography at De La Salle University and as an independent curator. She also sings for a post-punk rock band called The Late Isabel. In the past few years she has based herself in Madrid, Barcelona and Cadaqués, Spain. Currently, Navarroza is working and living in Manila, Philippines.

Photograph by Gabby Cantero.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Manila, Philippines

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And This Next Song Is for Everybody: Filipino Lounge Bands in Manila and Seoul

R. Zamora Linmark

1995 Essay 14 pages. Courtesy of Kaya Press and R. Zamora Linmark. .

Muæ: A Journal of Transcultural Production 1 (1995): 150-163.

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R. Zamora Linmark

R. Zamora Linmark is the author of three poetry collections: Prime-Time Apparitions (2005), The Evolution of a Sigh (2008), and Drive-By Vigils (2011), all from Hanging Loose Press. He has also published Leche (Coffee House Press, 2011) and Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press, 1995). He adapted Rolling the R’s for stage, and it premiered in Honolulu, HI in 2008. He divides his time between Honolulu and Manila.

 

Photograph by Lisa Asagi.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Manila, Philippines
  • Also Based in: Honolulu, HI, USA

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Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation)

Michael Arcega

2011 Wood, PVC fabric, aluminum, and mixed media 13' x 6' x 16' (assembled)

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Michael Arcega

Michael Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Though visual, his art revolves largely around language. Directly informed by historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, his subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

Michael has a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. His work has been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York among many others. He was recently awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. Michael is currently a Resident Fellow at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

As an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture and installation, my work revolves largely around language and research. Directly informed by Historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, my subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

I seek out cultural and historic markers embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages. For instance, vernacular Tagalog is infused with Spanish and English words, lending itself to verbal mutation. This malleability results in wordplay and jokes that transform words like Persuading to First Wedding, Tenacious to Tennis Shoes, and Masturbation to Mass Starvation. As a "Naturalized American," my practice draws from the sensibility of the insider and outsider-- making work from a constantly shifting position.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation)

Michael Arcega

2011 Hand-made collapsible Pacific outrigger canoe and commemorative plates 13' x 6' x 16' (assembled)

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X

Michael Arcega

Michael Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Though visual, his art revolves largely around language. Directly informed by historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, his subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

Michael has a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. His work has been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York among many others. He was recently awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. Michael is currently a Resident Fellow at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

As an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture and installation, my work revolves largely around language and research. Directly informed by Historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, my subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

I seek out cultural and historic markers embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages. For instance, vernacular Tagalog is infused with Spanish and English words, lending itself to verbal mutation. This malleability results in wordplay and jokes that transform words like Persuading to First Wedding, Tenacious to Tennis Shoes, and Masturbation to Mass Starvation. As a "Naturalized American," my practice draws from the sensibility of the insider and outsider-- making work from a constantly shifting position.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation)

Michael Arcega

2011 Wood, PVC fabric, aluminum, and mixed media 13' x 6' x 16' (assembled) Photo taken at Lake Amistad, TX on the border of the United States and Mexico.

contributor

X

Michael Arcega

Michael Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Though visual, his art revolves largely around language. Directly informed by historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, his subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

Michael has a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. His work has been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York among many others. He was recently awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. Michael is currently a Resident Fellow at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

As an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture and installation, my work revolves largely around language and research. Directly informed by Historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, my subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

I seek out cultural and historic markers embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages. For instance, vernacular Tagalog is infused with Spanish and English words, lending itself to verbal mutation. This malleability results in wordplay and jokes that transform words like Persuading to First Wedding, Tenacious to Tennis Shoes, and Masturbation to Mass Starvation. As a "Naturalized American," my practice draws from the sensibility of the insider and outsider-- making work from a constantly shifting position.

location

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Baby (Medium for Intercultural Navigation)

Michael Arcega

2011 Wood, PVC fabric, aluminum, and mixed media 13' x 6' x 16' (assembled) Photo taken in Bayou St. John in Louisiana.

contributor

X

Michael Arcega

Michael Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Though visual, his art revolves largely around language. Directly informed by historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, his subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

Michael has a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from Stanford University. His work has been exhibited at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in New York among many others. He was recently awarded a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. Michael is currently a Resident Fellow at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska.

As an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture and installation, my work revolves largely around language and research. Directly informed by Historic events, material significance, and the format of jokes, my subject matter deals with sociopolitical circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

I seek out cultural and historic markers embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages. For instance, vernacular Tagalog is infused with Spanish and English words, lending itself to verbal mutation. This malleability results in wordplay and jokes that transform words like Persuading to First Wedding, Tenacious to Tennis Shoes, and Masturbation to Mass Starvation. As a "Naturalized American," my practice draws from the sensibility of the insider and outsider-- making work from a constantly shifting position.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: San Francisco, CA, USA

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Between the Letter and Spirit of the Law: Ethnic Chinese and Philippine Citizenship by Jus Soli, 1899-1947

Filomeno V. Aguilar

2011 Criticism 32 pages. Courtesy of CSAS-Kyoto. For more, please see Southeast Asian Studies and Tonan Ajia Kenkyu.

Southeast Asian Studies 49. 3 (December 2011): 431-463.

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Filomeno V. Aguilar

Filomeno V. Aguilar, Jr. is Professor in the Department of History and Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Ateneo de Manila University. He is the Chief Editor of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints. He is also the current President of the Philippine Sociological Society (2011–2013). He has served as President of the International Association of Historians of Asia (2005–2006) and as Chair of the Philippine Social Science Council (2006–2008). He is on the editorial advisory boards of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Journal of Agrarian Change, Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, and Southeast Asian Studies.

After obtaining his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1992, he taught in the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, and then in the Department of History and Politics, James Cook University in north Queensland, Australia. After teaching for ten years overseas, he returned to the Philippines in 2003.

He is the author of Clash of Spirits: The History of Power and Sugar Planter Hegemony on a Visayan Island (University of Hawai'i Press and Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998) and Maalwang Buhay: Family, Overseas Migration, and Cultures of Relatedness in Barangay Paraiso (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2009). He is the editor of Filipinos in Global Migrations: At Home in the World? (Philippine Migration Research Network and the Philippine Social Science Council, 2002). His most recent book is Migration Revolution: Philippine Nationhood and Class Relations in a Globalized Age (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014). 

His research interests have been broadly interdisciplinary: nationalism and its intersections with race and ethnicity, especially in the early period of Filipino nationalism; the history and dynamics of Philippine global and transnational migrations, citizenship, and the family; Philippine popular political culture; the social histories of sugar and rice in the Philippines; the historical formation of class relations and cultures; contemporary religious movements; and magical worldview and social and historical change.

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Manila, Philippines

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Bloodmutha's Womb

Kat Larson

2011 Video & performance art Variable dimensions

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Kat Larson

b. 1979

Kat Larson is a Seattle-based cross-disciplinary artist. Her art practice includes printmaking, painting, small scale sculpture, performance and video. She is currently focusing on video and performative installations and exploring her body as a conduit for spiritual connections, specifically with her female ancestors whom she has tagged “BloodMuthas.” Outside of video and performance, she continues to work with striking found objects, clay, encaustics, and organic materials such as dead bees and dirt.

Photograph by Lindsay Borden.

My name is Kat Larson, and I am bi-racial woman practicing fine art in the Pacific Northwest. My current artistic focus is exploring the intersections of new media/digital technologies and performance art. Fueling my practice are the themes of identity and spirituality and investigations of collective consciousness. At the core of my artistic expressions is a reverence for human connectivities and transformations.

I envision the art that I produce affecting positively those who come into contact with my work, as it invites people to travel into the often dark corners of human experience that people dare travel to on their own. However unknown and frightening these spaces are, my work reaches out to viewers—asking them for their trust—and assuages their anxiety through meaningful interactions with questions, ideas, and concepts that are embedded in my work. My audience can feel the strength of my feminine powers. Though sometimes very raw in form and expressiveness, my work nonetheless provokes people to ask important questions about matriarchy, ancestry, sexuality, and life and death. These are topics that connect us as individuals and as part of the many communities in which we find ourselves. When we publicly engage in this type of discourse, we not only realize our connectivity but also transformative strategies for the betterment of humanity. In short, my work initiates critical and timely conversations about community.

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  • Born: Seattle, WA, USA
  • Based: Seattle, WA, USA

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Bodies, Letters, Catalogs: Filipinas in Transnational Space

Rolando B. Tolentino

1996 Criticism 27 pages. Courtesy of Duke University Press.

Social Text 14.3 (Fall 1996): 49-76.

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Rolando B. Tolentino

b. 1964
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Rolando B. Tolentino is Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication and faculty of the University of the Philippines Film Institute.  He has taught at Osaka University and the National University of Singapore, has been a Distinguished Visitor at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of California, Los Angeles Southeast Asian Studies Consortium, and a recipient of the Obermann Summer Research Fellowship.  He is the author of National/Transnational: Subject Formation and Media in and on the Philippines (Ateneo University Press, 2001), and the editor of positions’ special issue “Vaginal Economy: Cinema and Sexuality in the Post-Marcos Post-Brocka Philippines” ( 2011), and Geopolitics of the Visible: Essays on Philippine Film Cultures (Ateneo University Press, 2002).  He is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Filipino Film Critics Group) and chairs the Congress of Teachers and Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND-UP).

Photograph by Piya Constantino.

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  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Quezon City, Philippines

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