topic

Citizenship and belonging

This topic recognizes the complex, paradoxical ways in which the formal status of citizenship—legal inclusion in and recognition by a state apparatus—intersects with the desire for belonging—the feeling of being at home and welcomed by one’s fellow subjects. As Evelyn Nakano Glenn asserts in Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor (Harvard University Press, 2002), “Citizenship is not just a matter of formal legal status; it is a matter of belonging, including recognition by others in the community” (52).


As Filipinos move around the world in search of work, they must negotiate competing, often contradictory demands. While the Philippine state facilitates work emigration, it simultaneously demands that diasporic Filipinos demonstrate their loyalty by exacting salary remittances as a form of patriotic duty and framing them as “national heroes." With a complicated imperial history, Filipinos' citizenship and belonging is always up for grabs and unsettled.

Balut

Tim Manalo

2013 Resin, wood, motor, LEDs. 24 in. x 24 in. x 6 in. Courtesy of the artist.

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Tim Manalo

b. 1988
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Tim Manalo was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Growing up in a city rich with multiculturalism, he has always been exposed to Philippine culture through the city’s large Filipino community. A graduate of OCAD University’s sculpture and installation program, Manalo explores ideas of hybridity and identity in his works. He has an extensive background as a sculptor and fabricator for companies, catering industries focused in interior design, commercial outdoor displays, and costume and props. Currently, he continues his art practice in the heart of downtown Toronto. He is also very involved with the Filipino arts community, volunteering as an arts-based workshop facilitator for newcomer and at-risk Filipino youth.

In the piece Balut, I reflect on my position as someone who was born and raised in Canada but whose parents originated from the Philippines. This work is about my Filipino upbringing conflicting with the Westernized norm that I was confronted with during lunchtime in elementary school. Because Filipino dishes were not recognized as mainstream food, it resulted in my Filipino shame as a child as I would try to assimilate to the culture of the classroom. Balut is a hard-boiled duck fetus egg. In the Philippines it’s a popular delicacy, but in North America it’s a taboo. Balut in Tagalog also translates as “pack up” in English, which goes back to the origins of my Filipino upbringing and family migrating from the Philippines. Mimicking the light box used in harvesting balut eggs, the light inside the bag’s hole turns on only when it’s daytime in the Philippines and turns off when it’s nighttime—a daily reminder of our connection to a homeland that helped raise us, especially through food.

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  • Born: Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Based: Toronto, ON, Canada

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Balut

Tim Manalo

2013 Resin, wood, motor, LEDs. 24 in. x 24 in. x 6 in. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Tim Manalo

b. 1988
image description
  • See All Works
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Tim Manalo was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Growing up in a city rich with multiculturalism, he has always been exposed to Philippine culture through the city’s large Filipino community. A graduate of OCAD University’s sculpture and installation program, Manalo explores ideas of hybridity and identity in his works. He has an extensive background as a sculptor and fabricator for companies, catering industries focused in interior design, commercial outdoor displays, and costume and props. Currently, he continues his art practice in the heart of downtown Toronto. He is also very involved with the Filipino arts community, volunteering as an arts-based workshop facilitator for newcomer and at-risk Filipino youth.

In the piece Balut, I reflect on my position as someone who was born and raised in Canada but whose parents originated from the Philippines. This work is about my Filipino upbringing conflicting with the Westernized norm that I was confronted with during lunchtime in elementary school. Because Filipino dishes were not recognized as mainstream food, it resulted in my Filipino shame as a child as I would try to assimilate to the culture of the classroom. Balut is a hard-boiled duck fetus egg. In the Philippines it’s a popular delicacy, but in North America it’s a taboo. Balut in Tagalog also translates as “pack up” in English, which goes back to the origins of my Filipino upbringing and family migrating from the Philippines. Mimicking the light box used in harvesting balut eggs, the light inside the bag’s hole turns on only when it’s daytime in the Philippines and turns off when it’s nighttime—a daily reminder of our connection to a homeland that helped raise us, especially through food.

location

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  • Born: Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Based: Toronto, ON, Canada

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Balut (day)

Tim Manalo

2013 Resin, wood, motor, LEDs. 24 in. x 24 in. x 6 in. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Tim Manalo

b. 1988
image description
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Tim Manalo was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Growing up in a city rich with multiculturalism, he has always been exposed to Philippine culture through the city’s large Filipino community. A graduate of OCAD University’s sculpture and installation program, Manalo explores ideas of hybridity and identity in his works. He has an extensive background as a sculptor and fabricator for companies, catering industries focused in interior design, commercial outdoor displays, and costume and props. Currently, he continues his art practice in the heart of downtown Toronto. He is also very involved with the Filipino arts community, volunteering as an arts-based workshop facilitator for newcomer and at-risk Filipino youth.

In the piece Balut, I reflect on my position as someone who was born and raised in Canada but whose parents originated from the Philippines. This work is about my Filipino upbringing conflicting with the Westernized norm that I was confronted with during lunchtime in elementary school. Because Filipino dishes were not recognized as mainstream food, it resulted in my Filipino shame as a child as I would try to assimilate to the culture of the classroom. Balut is a hard-boiled duck fetus egg. In the Philippines it’s a popular delicacy, but in North America it’s a taboo. Balut in Tagalog also translates as “pack up” in English, which goes back to the origins of my Filipino upbringing and family migrating from the Philippines. Mimicking the light box used in harvesting balut eggs, the light inside the bag’s hole turns on only when it’s daytime in the Philippines and turns off when it’s nighttime—a daily reminder of our connection to a homeland that helped raise us, especially through food.

location

X
  • Born: Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Based: Toronto, ON, Canada

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Bloodless

Francis Estrada

2012 Gouache and collage on paper 5.5" x 7.5" Courtesy of the artist

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Francis Estrada

b. 1975

Born in the Philipines and currently residing in Brooklyn, Francis Estrada is a visual artist, museum educator at the Museum of Modern Art, and freelance educator of Filipino art and culture. Francis has a fine arts degree in painting and drawing from San Jose State University, and he has taught in a variety of studio, classroom, and museum settings to diverse audiences, including programs for adults with disabilities, cultural institutions, and after-school programs. He was also an administrator and educator at the Museum for African Art, where he enjoyed teaching about the amalgamation of art and culture through objects. Francis exhibits his work nationally, including online publications. His work focuses on culture, history, and perception.

I investigate relationships between characters and their environment. I incorporate pieces of personal, historic and/or ethnographic photographs, text, and motifs (most of which broach the combined themes of history, sentimentality, and nostalgia).  Using some or all of these pieces, I compose scenarios with which I find personal connections then arrange them without providing a complete image or narrative. By de-contextualizing visual images (figures, symbols, motifs) from their original source, I attempt to create an ambiguous space for the viewer to complete. I interrogate how context is created through combinations of these visual elements.  How does the viewer identify with the images presented, and does the composition create a narrative?  How do the combinations of images create notions of space, place, history, identity, or memory?  By creating drawings that assimilate text, photographic reproductions, and symbols, I provide the viewer with a space in which they can decipher the visual clues and “complete” the work.

My art is a tool through which I confront how our understandings of culture are mediated, and the methods through which history and memory are created and perpetuated. I think of my work as "partial portraits" that are activated by the viewer.

I believe that my work speaks to the theme of Storm: A Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Project by connecting to how the media represented the country through images from the aftermath of the storm.  Also, various fundraising events brought out a vast array of artists and performers who used their talent to share Filipino customs (dance, song, martial arts).  Between the media and these events, people were able to see and experience various aspects of Filipino culture.  I feel that my drawings similarly portray various aspects of Philippine culture through the images that I choose to show. 

location

X
  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Bulaklak

Francis Estrada

2012 Gouache, charcoal, and gold leaf on paper 5.5" x 7.5" Courtesy of the artist

contributor

X

Francis Estrada

b. 1975

Born in the Philipines and currently residing in Brooklyn, Francis Estrada is a visual artist, museum educator at the Museum of Modern Art, and freelance educator of Filipino art and culture. Francis has a fine arts degree in painting and drawing from San Jose State University, and he has taught in a variety of studio, classroom, and museum settings to diverse audiences, including programs for adults with disabilities, cultural institutions, and after-school programs. He was also an administrator and educator at the Museum for African Art, where he enjoyed teaching about the amalgamation of art and culture through objects. Francis exhibits his work nationally, including online publications. His work focuses on culture, history, and perception.

I investigate relationships between characters and their environment. I incorporate pieces of personal, historic and/or ethnographic photographs, text, and motifs (most of which broach the combined themes of history, sentimentality, and nostalgia).  Using some or all of these pieces, I compose scenarios with which I find personal connections then arrange them without providing a complete image or narrative. By de-contextualizing visual images (figures, symbols, motifs) from their original source, I attempt to create an ambiguous space for the viewer to complete. I interrogate how context is created through combinations of these visual elements.  How does the viewer identify with the images presented, and does the composition create a narrative?  How do the combinations of images create notions of space, place, history, identity, or memory?  By creating drawings that assimilate text, photographic reproductions, and symbols, I provide the viewer with a space in which they can decipher the visual clues and “complete” the work.

My art is a tool through which I confront how our understandings of culture are mediated, and the methods through which history and memory are created and perpetuated. I think of my work as "partial portraits" that are activated by the viewer.

I believe that my work speaks to the theme of Storm: A Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Project by connecting to how the media represented the country through images from the aftermath of the storm.  Also, various fundraising events brought out a vast array of artists and performers who used their talent to share Filipino customs (dance, song, martial arts).  Between the media and these events, people were able to see and experience various aspects of Filipino culture.  I feel that my drawings similarly portray various aspects of Philippine culture through the images that I choose to show. 

location

X
  • Born: Manila, Philippines
  • Based: Brooklyn, NY, USA

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Camouflage I

Marylene Camacho

2011 Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

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Marylene Camacho

b. 1981
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Born in 1981 in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of twelve, Marylene Camacho is a Los Angeles-based artist who explores issues of war in her practice. Primarily considering the perspective and existential experience of the common combat soldier, her work attempts to build upon the artistic canon established on this subject through such mediums as literature, painting, photography, and cinema. Ms. Camacho posits the universality of war, with the belief that it is essentially an abstract condition in contemporary life. Noting the similarities of previous wars and current ones, in both imagery and written history, she believes that war transcends time and space. Ms. Camacho received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 from California State University at Long Beach and her Master of Fine Arts in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and San Francisco, CA.

My work is a result of my own reflections and ruminations on the subject of war. I started to reconsider my thoughts on this issue after viewing photographs taken by a friend who served as a US Army medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My goal is to create a moment during which my work generates questions and prompts self-reflection regarding issues of war and its lingering impact on the human experience and psyche. As an abstract condition in contemporary life, war lends itself to be viewed in multiple ways, because everyone looks at this issue differently. I believe that wars, past and present, have a strange rippling effect that continues to be felt for decades, and sometime centuries, to follow.

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X
  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Camouflage III

Marylene Camacho

2011 Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

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Marylene Camacho

b. 1981
image description
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Born in 1981 in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of twelve, Marylene Camacho is a Los Angeles-based artist who explores issues of war in her practice. Primarily considering the perspective and existential experience of the common combat soldier, her work attempts to build upon the artistic canon established on this subject through such mediums as literature, painting, photography, and cinema. Ms. Camacho posits the universality of war, with the belief that it is essentially an abstract condition in contemporary life. Noting the similarities of previous wars and current ones, in both imagery and written history, she believes that war transcends time and space. Ms. Camacho received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 from California State University at Long Beach and her Master of Fine Arts in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and San Francisco, CA.

My work is a result of my own reflections and ruminations on the subject of war. I started to reconsider my thoughts on this issue after viewing photographs taken by a friend who served as a US Army medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My goal is to create a moment during which my work generates questions and prompts self-reflection regarding issues of war and its lingering impact on the human experience and psyche. As an abstract condition in contemporary life, war lends itself to be viewed in multiple ways, because everyone looks at this issue differently. I believe that wars, past and present, have a strange rippling effect that continues to be felt for decades, and sometime centuries, to follow.

location

X
  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

comments

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Camouflage IV

Marylene Camacho

2011 Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Marylene Camacho

b. 1981
image description
  • See All Works
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Born in 1981 in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of twelve, Marylene Camacho is a Los Angeles-based artist who explores issues of war in her practice. Primarily considering the perspective and existential experience of the common combat soldier, her work attempts to build upon the artistic canon established on this subject through such mediums as literature, painting, photography, and cinema. Ms. Camacho posits the universality of war, with the belief that it is essentially an abstract condition in contemporary life. Noting the similarities of previous wars and current ones, in both imagery and written history, she believes that war transcends time and space. Ms. Camacho received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 from California State University at Long Beach and her Master of Fine Arts in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and San Francisco, CA.

My work is a result of my own reflections and ruminations on the subject of war. I started to reconsider my thoughts on this issue after viewing photographs taken by a friend who served as a US Army medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My goal is to create a moment during which my work generates questions and prompts self-reflection regarding issues of war and its lingering impact on the human experience and psyche. As an abstract condition in contemporary life, war lends itself to be viewed in multiple ways, because everyone looks at this issue differently. I believe that wars, past and present, have a strange rippling effect that continues to be felt for decades, and sometime centuries, to follow.

location

X
  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

comments

X

Camouflage V

Marylene Camacho

2011 Digital photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Marylene Camacho

b. 1981
image description
  • See All Works
  • visit website

Born in 1981 in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of twelve, Marylene Camacho is a Los Angeles-based artist who explores issues of war in her practice. Primarily considering the perspective and existential experience of the common combat soldier, her work attempts to build upon the artistic canon established on this subject through such mediums as literature, painting, photography, and cinema. Ms. Camacho posits the universality of war, with the belief that it is essentially an abstract condition in contemporary life. Noting the similarities of previous wars and current ones, in both imagery and written history, she believes that war transcends time and space. Ms. Camacho received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 from California State University at Long Beach and her Master of Fine Arts in 2011 from the California College of the Arts. She has recently exhibited in Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and San Francisco, CA.

My work is a result of my own reflections and ruminations on the subject of war. I started to reconsider my thoughts on this issue after viewing photographs taken by a friend who served as a US Army medic in both Iraq and Afghanistan. My goal is to create a moment during which my work generates questions and prompts self-reflection regarding issues of war and its lingering impact on the human experience and psyche. As an abstract condition in contemporary life, war lends itself to be viewed in multiple ways, because everyone looks at this issue differently. I believe that wars, past and present, have a strange rippling effect that continues to be felt for decades, and sometime centuries, to follow.

location

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  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Aram Han Sifuentes

b. 1986
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Aram Han Sifuentes is a social practice fiber artist and works closely with Chicago-based non-profit organizations, community centers, and public schools to facilitate workshops for immigrant communities. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include “A Mend” at Hollister Gallery in Wellesley, MA, and “73,000 waiting” at Chicago Artists Coalition in Chicago, IL in October 2015. Her workshops include “Immigrant Takeover” at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Ashville, NC, and “US Citizenship Test Sampler” at the Smithsonian Institution. She is a City of Chicago DCASE grant and Puffin Foundation Ltd grant recipient. Han earned her B.A. in Art and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and her M.F.A. in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She is currently a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sewing is a time-based practice. Fiber as a medium speaks a language of accessibility, intimacy, and time. From its inception, it has been touched. To sew, the hand, armed with a needle, pierces the cloth, pulls the needle up, pierces the cloth, and pulls the needle down. Each sewn thread creates an indexical line of invested time, gesture, and rhythm. As an artist I use this needle and thread to mine from my experiences as an immigrant to address issues of labor and identity politics. I try to unpack these complex labor and immigrant histories by engaging with people through long term projects utilizing varied social practices. At the root, is a research-based practice revolved around collecting materials: oral histories, data, commissioned artifacts, handmade objects, and remnants of handwork. I then invest in the materials with my own hands with time and labor in order to create large-scale installations and meticulously labor intensive works. However, being about invisible and Sisyphean labor, my works rarely suggest finality. The needle is a political tool. It pierces and binds membranes together. The thread that it steers is tied off and remains while the needle continues to bind and mend. In my art practice, I use that needle to stitch together various histories and discourses revolving around the simple act of sewing. However, this act is anything but uncomplicated. The creation of each stitch engages sewing’s complex histories and politics of traditional, industrial, feminist, immigrant, and artist labor.

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  • Born: Seoul, South Korea
  • Based: Chicago, IL, USA

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