topic

Colonial and imperial legacies

For the last five centuries, the Philippines has been a nexus of colonialism and neocolonialism, militarization, migration and globalization, and in obvious and subtle ways, the legacies of these colonial and imperial engagements reverberate through Filipinos’ daily lives.

 

The history of US imperialism especially looms large. For example, Filipinos have variously been classified as US citizens, as having a “special relationship” (and hence priority immigration status) with the US, and as being as “foreign” as other immigrants; they have transformed from imperial possessions to cheap guest labor to unwelcome intruder in response to changing US domestic and imperial policy. Meanwhile, the Philippine state, responding to neocolonial imperatives, has oriented its economic and social development programs towards supplying global demand for cheap, unskilled labor.

Culture Ingested: On the Indigenization of Philippine Food

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Doreen Gamboa Fernandez

2003 - 2014 Criticism. 13 pages. Courtesy of Gastronomica, Stella Kalaw, and Christina Quisumbing Ramilo.

Gastronomica 3.1 (Winter 2003): 58-71.

contributor

X

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

b. 1942

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor and Professor of Performance Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Folklore from the University of Indiana after majoring in English Literature at University of California, Berkeley. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has served as a Fellow and Past President of the American Folklore Society, on the Smithsonian's Advisory Council of Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, and with the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. Her fellowships and honors include the Distinguished Humanist Award from Ohio State University; the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania; a fellowship with the Center for Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; a fellowship with the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences; time as an Uppsala Winston Fellow with the Institute of Advanced Studies at Hebrew University, Jerusalem; leading an Advanced Research Seminar at the School of American Research, Santa Fe; Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, 1995-1996; Getty Scholar at the Getty Center for the Study of Art and the Humanities, Santa Monica; a Bellagio Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation; Folklore Fellow at the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters; an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in East European Studies; and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett's more recent books include Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage (University of California Press, 1998); The Art of Being Jewish in Modern Times (edited with Jonathan Karp; University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008)); and the edited volume Writing a Modern Jewish History: Essays in Honor of Salo W. Baron (Yale University Press, 2006), which won a National Jewish Book Award in 2006.

contributor

X

Doreen Gamboa Fernandez

b. 1934-2002

Doreen Gamboa Fernandez was born on 28 October 1934 to Aguinaldo Severino Gamboa of Silay, Negros Occidental and Alicia Lucero Gamboa of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.

She obtained her A.B., major in English and History in 1954 from St. Scholastica's College, Manila and completed her M.A. in English Literature (1956) and Ph.D. in Literature (1976) from the Ateneo de Manila University. She began teaching at the Ateneo de Manila in 1972 and chaired the departments of Communication, English and Interdisciplinary Studies. She was a member of the editorial boards of Philippine Studies, Filipinas Journal of Philippine Studies, and The Asian Theatre Journal. She would have rendered thirty years service in October 2002.

In 1998 she was recognized with Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Teacher Award.

She taught literature, composition, creative as well as critical writing, and journalism. Her research included cultural, literary, theater and culinary history, on which she has written for scholarly and popular publications and had regularly been invited to speak at international conferences and symposiums.

She was twice a recipient of the Fulbright Asian Scholar in Residence Award (1983, Ohio University Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute; 1992, Michigan University Seminar on Southeast Asian Literatures in Translation).

A prolific writer, she authored the Iloilo Zarzuela: 1903-1930 (1978); In Performance (1981); Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (1994); Face to Face: The Craft of Interviewing (1995); Palabas: Essays on Philippine Theater History (1996); Fruits of thePhilippines (1997); Palayok: Philippine Food Through Time, On Site, In the Pot (2000). With Edilberto N. Alegre, she co-authored "The Writer and His Milieu (1984) and Writers and Their Milieu (1987, recipient of National Book Award); the Lasa series on dining in Manila and the provinces (1989, 1990, 1992); Sarap: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (1988); and Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness (1991).

She wrote video scripts as well: Tikim, a video documentary on Philippine food (1989, Philippine Information Agency); Panitikan on Philippine literature (1992, CCP), which earned first prize, video documentary category from the Film Academy of the Philippines; and Dulaan on Philippine contemporary theater (1994, CCP).

She was a columnist of The Manila Chronicle, Mr. & Ms. magazine, the Philippine Journal of Education, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Food magazine. She has contributed numerous articles in journals, periodicals and books, including to The Oxford Companion to Food (1999, Oxford University Press).

She was editor and contributor to the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art (1994, Cultural Center of the Philippines); contributor to the Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English (1995, Routledge), and with Resil Mojares to Modern Southeast Asian Literature in Translation: A Resource for Teaching (1997, Arizona State University); and editorial consultant as well as contributor to the 10-volume Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People (1998, Asia Publishing Co Ltd).

She was co-founder of the Babaylan Theater Group (1973, with Nicanor G. Tiongson), and the Cultural Research Association of the Philippines (1975). She was a member of the board of trustees of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), and the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, among others. She was also a member of the Manila Critics Circleand of the judiciary for the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

She received the Achievement Award from the National Research Council in 1997, and in 1999 she was recognized with the CCP Centennial Honors for the Arts (Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Centennial Commission), honoring 100 Filipinos who helped shape the arts in the Philippines in the last century (1898-1998).

She was married to interior designer Wili Fernandez.

 

Photograph by Stella Kalaw.

location

X
  • Born: The Philippines
  • Based: Manila, Philippines

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Dear Indian Grocery Store under the Freeway

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

2013 Turmeric and cardamom on paper, mehendi stencils, paint, text. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

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

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is conceptual artist working with craft and food to tell the stories of migration. Sita holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Raised in Los Angeles and based in Oakland, she is Indian and Japanese Colombian American. Sita has exhibited and collaborated in the US, Holland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Her projects include installing curry powder in a European castle, importing artisan goods over the US-Mexico border, and leading workshops about food, migration, and memory in Hong Kong. Her most recent project, Estamos contra el muro | We are against the wall, involved the collaborative construction of a border wall made entirely of piñatas. The East Bay Express described it as "the most joyous political critique of the year."
 
Sita is also a co-founder of the People's Kitchen Collective (PKC), who were named in 2016's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA 100 list. They are recipients of the Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) Advocate Award and were awarded support by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program. PKC recently exhibited with For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's Crosslines pop-up museum. The goal of The People's Kitchen is to not only fill our stomachs but also nourish our souls, feed our minds and fuel a movement.
 
See also peopleskitchencollective.com.

Photo credit: Rachyel Magana



 

For the Love/Hate of Curry

A golden, aromatic spice blend that is prized by some and reviled by others, curry powder is a polarizing substance. Over the past five years I have used it as a dye, perfume, and pigment in my art practice. But I rarely eat the bottled stuff.

What, exactly, is curry? It is a delicious dish and an inadequate word. As food historian Thy Tran once told me, it is a word that falls short because it attempts to use the language of the colonizer to describe the many foods of the colonized. The first reference to curry powder was published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1961), a book to aid British housewives in the particulars of maintaining a proper home in the colonies. I began to trace my own history through an alternative spice route. Being Indian and Japanese Colombian American, we ate curry all the time in our house. Indian cooks don’t usually use curry powder--but my mother, who is Colombian-born Japanese, made the kind that came out of a box. She mixed it with chicken, carrots and potatoes to create one of my favorite meals (coincidentally, the most popular brand of curry powder happens to be my initials, “S&B” and so I took it as a sign that I was meant to work with the material). Why does Japan’s #1 dish come from a package? Japan was introduced to curry by the British who made a roux of flour and fat with the spice blend. The Indian varieties? Those were more difficult to define. My father is from a small village outside of Kolkata. I still have no idea what is and isn’t a “curry.” Neither does my family. It’s just food in sauce – but it’s so much more.

After my first installation with curry powder in 2008, I searched the phrase “smells like curry” online. I suppose I expected to find a racist joke or two and a few recipes. Instead, I found thousands of entries referring to the way Indian people smelled. The one I will always remember was a posting on Yahoo! Answers:

Q: Help, my neighbor’s house smells like curry.
A: Call the INS.

I became obsessed with this anonymous entry. For the first time I realized that race is constructed by more than what we see.

Over the next few years I sprinkled curry powder through the streets of Oakland, opened a Curry Institute (2011) at Whitman College, where visitors could chart their own Curry Cartography, and worked with perfumer Yosh Han to create a curry perfume called Gilt (2010) just because I wanted everyone to have the right to smell like curry. Eventually the spice pieces made their way onto the walls themselves.

Although my ingredients span the globe, I always source my materials from family-owned businesses. I had been purchasing ingredients from Bombay Bazaar, a hidden grocery store that had closed and re-opened in San Francisco’s wildly gentrifying Mission district. The last time I went in to say hello, the store had disappeared. Shelves, fluorescent lighting, and all. It is with the last batch of spices purchased at this shop that I created Dear Indian Grocery Store both in the bathroom of 18 Reasons in San Francisco and at the San Jose Museum of Art in November 2013. Feeling yet another loss in a city I recognize less and less, I wrote an open letter to the grocery store. This letter always accompanies the installation. As with my previous installations, the excess curry powder collected from the installation will be used to dye napkins and tablecloths for a sliding-scale community dinner. The curry powder is reserved for the art - it is rarely used in the cooking of the meal.

Most Indian cooks would never be caught with curry powder in their kitchens - it limits the complexity and variety of a dish. This powder is India concentrate. This is the myth we expect in Indian supermarkets, restaurants, and, yes, even people. But this complicated blend has also been transformed into the unique flavors of comfort all over the world.

location

X
  • Born: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Based: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

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Dear Indian Grocery Store under the Freeway

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

2013 Turmeric and cardamom on paper, mehendi stencils, paint, text. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

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

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is conceptual artist working with craft and food to tell the stories of migration. Sita holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Raised in Los Angeles and based in Oakland, she is Indian and Japanese Colombian American. Sita has exhibited and collaborated in the US, Holland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Her projects include installing curry powder in a European castle, importing artisan goods over the US-Mexico border, and leading workshops about food, migration, and memory in Hong Kong. Her most recent project, Estamos contra el muro | We are against the wall, involved the collaborative construction of a border wall made entirely of piñatas. The East Bay Express described it as "the most joyous political critique of the year."
 
Sita is also a co-founder of the People's Kitchen Collective (PKC), who were named in 2016's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA 100 list. They are recipients of the Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) Advocate Award and were awarded support by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program. PKC recently exhibited with For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's Crosslines pop-up museum. The goal of The People's Kitchen is to not only fill our stomachs but also nourish our souls, feed our minds and fuel a movement.
 
See also peopleskitchencollective.com.

Photo credit: Rachyel Magana



 

For the Love/Hate of Curry

A golden, aromatic spice blend that is prized by some and reviled by others, curry powder is a polarizing substance. Over the past five years I have used it as a dye, perfume, and pigment in my art practice. But I rarely eat the bottled stuff.

What, exactly, is curry? It is a delicious dish and an inadequate word. As food historian Thy Tran once told me, it is a word that falls short because it attempts to use the language of the colonizer to describe the many foods of the colonized. The first reference to curry powder was published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1961), a book to aid British housewives in the particulars of maintaining a proper home in the colonies. I began to trace my own history through an alternative spice route. Being Indian and Japanese Colombian American, we ate curry all the time in our house. Indian cooks don’t usually use curry powder--but my mother, who is Colombian-born Japanese, made the kind that came out of a box. She mixed it with chicken, carrots and potatoes to create one of my favorite meals (coincidentally, the most popular brand of curry powder happens to be my initials, “S&B” and so I took it as a sign that I was meant to work with the material). Why does Japan’s #1 dish come from a package? Japan was introduced to curry by the British who made a roux of flour and fat with the spice blend. The Indian varieties? Those were more difficult to define. My father is from a small village outside of Kolkata. I still have no idea what is and isn’t a “curry.” Neither does my family. It’s just food in sauce – but it’s so much more.

After my first installation with curry powder in 2008, I searched the phrase “smells like curry” online. I suppose I expected to find a racist joke or two and a few recipes. Instead, I found thousands of entries referring to the way Indian people smelled. The one I will always remember was a posting on Yahoo! Answers:

Q: Help, my neighbor’s house smells like curry.
A: Call the INS.

I became obsessed with this anonymous entry. For the first time I realized that race is constructed by more than what we see.

Over the next few years I sprinkled curry powder through the streets of Oakland, opened a Curry Institute (2011) at Whitman College, where visitors could chart their own Curry Cartography, and worked with perfumer Yosh Han to create a curry perfume called Gilt (2010) just because I wanted everyone to have the right to smell like curry. Eventually the spice pieces made their way onto the walls themselves.

Although my ingredients span the globe, I always source my materials from family-owned businesses. I had been purchasing ingredients from Bombay Bazaar, a hidden grocery store that had closed and re-opened in San Francisco’s wildly gentrifying Mission district. The last time I went in to say hello, the store had disappeared. Shelves, fluorescent lighting, and all. It is with the last batch of spices purchased at this shop that I created Dear Indian Grocery Store both in the bathroom of 18 Reasons in San Francisco and at the San Jose Museum of Art in November 2013. Feeling yet another loss in a city I recognize less and less, I wrote an open letter to the grocery store. This letter always accompanies the installation. As with my previous installations, the excess curry powder collected from the installation will be used to dye napkins and tablecloths for a sliding-scale community dinner. The curry powder is reserved for the art - it is rarely used in the cooking of the meal.

Most Indian cooks would never be caught with curry powder in their kitchens - it limits the complexity and variety of a dish. This powder is India concentrate. This is the myth we expect in Indian supermarkets, restaurants, and, yes, even people. But this complicated blend has also been transformed into the unique flavors of comfort all over the world.

location

X
  • Born: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Based: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Dear Indian Grocery Store under the Freeway

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

2013 Turmeric and cardamom on paper, mehendi stencils, paint, text. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

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

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is conceptual artist working with craft and food to tell the stories of migration. Sita holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Raised in Los Angeles and based in Oakland, she is Indian and Japanese Colombian American. Sita has exhibited and collaborated in the US, Holland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Her projects include installing curry powder in a European castle, importing artisan goods over the US-Mexico border, and leading workshops about food, migration, and memory in Hong Kong. Her most recent project, Estamos contra el muro | We are against the wall, involved the collaborative construction of a border wall made entirely of piñatas. The East Bay Express described it as "the most joyous political critique of the year."
 
Sita is also a co-founder of the People's Kitchen Collective (PKC), who were named in 2016's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA 100 list. They are recipients of the Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) Advocate Award and were awarded support by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program. PKC recently exhibited with For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's Crosslines pop-up museum. The goal of The People's Kitchen is to not only fill our stomachs but also nourish our souls, feed our minds and fuel a movement.
 
See also peopleskitchencollective.com.

Photo credit: Rachyel Magana



 

For the Love/Hate of Curry

A golden, aromatic spice blend that is prized by some and reviled by others, curry powder is a polarizing substance. Over the past five years I have used it as a dye, perfume, and pigment in my art practice. But I rarely eat the bottled stuff.

What, exactly, is curry? It is a delicious dish and an inadequate word. As food historian Thy Tran once told me, it is a word that falls short because it attempts to use the language of the colonizer to describe the many foods of the colonized. The first reference to curry powder was published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1961), a book to aid British housewives in the particulars of maintaining a proper home in the colonies. I began to trace my own history through an alternative spice route. Being Indian and Japanese Colombian American, we ate curry all the time in our house. Indian cooks don’t usually use curry powder--but my mother, who is Colombian-born Japanese, made the kind that came out of a box. She mixed it with chicken, carrots and potatoes to create one of my favorite meals (coincidentally, the most popular brand of curry powder happens to be my initials, “S&B” and so I took it as a sign that I was meant to work with the material). Why does Japan’s #1 dish come from a package? Japan was introduced to curry by the British who made a roux of flour and fat with the spice blend. The Indian varieties? Those were more difficult to define. My father is from a small village outside of Kolkata. I still have no idea what is and isn’t a “curry.” Neither does my family. It’s just food in sauce – but it’s so much more.

After my first installation with curry powder in 2008, I searched the phrase “smells like curry” online. I suppose I expected to find a racist joke or two and a few recipes. Instead, I found thousands of entries referring to the way Indian people smelled. The one I will always remember was a posting on Yahoo! Answers:

Q: Help, my neighbor’s house smells like curry.
A: Call the INS.

I became obsessed with this anonymous entry. For the first time I realized that race is constructed by more than what we see.

Over the next few years I sprinkled curry powder through the streets of Oakland, opened a Curry Institute (2011) at Whitman College, where visitors could chart their own Curry Cartography, and worked with perfumer Yosh Han to create a curry perfume called Gilt (2010) just because I wanted everyone to have the right to smell like curry. Eventually the spice pieces made their way onto the walls themselves.

Although my ingredients span the globe, I always source my materials from family-owned businesses. I had been purchasing ingredients from Bombay Bazaar, a hidden grocery store that had closed and re-opened in San Francisco’s wildly gentrifying Mission district. The last time I went in to say hello, the store had disappeared. Shelves, fluorescent lighting, and all. It is with the last batch of spices purchased at this shop that I created Dear Indian Grocery Store both in the bathroom of 18 Reasons in San Francisco and at the San Jose Museum of Art in November 2013. Feeling yet another loss in a city I recognize less and less, I wrote an open letter to the grocery store. This letter always accompanies the installation. As with my previous installations, the excess curry powder collected from the installation will be used to dye napkins and tablecloths for a sliding-scale community dinner. The curry powder is reserved for the art - it is rarely used in the cooking of the meal.

Most Indian cooks would never be caught with curry powder in their kitchens - it limits the complexity and variety of a dish. This powder is India concentrate. This is the myth we expect in Indian supermarkets, restaurants, and, yes, even people. But this complicated blend has also been transformed into the unique flavors of comfort all over the world.

location

X
  • Born: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Based: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Dear Indian Grocery Store under the Freeway

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

2013 Turmeric and cardamom on paper, mehendi stencils, paint, text. Variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik

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

Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik is conceptual artist working with craft and food to tell the stories of migration. Sita holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, and an M.F.A. in interdisciplinary art and an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Raised in Los Angeles and based in Oakland, she is Indian and Japanese Colombian American. Sita has exhibited and collaborated in the US, Holland, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Mexico. Her projects include installing curry powder in a European castle, importing artisan goods over the US-Mexico border, and leading workshops about food, migration, and memory in Hong Kong. Her most recent project, Estamos contra el muro | We are against the wall, involved the collaborative construction of a border wall made entirely of piñatas. The East Bay Express described it as "the most joyous political critique of the year."
 
Sita is also a co-founder of the People's Kitchen Collective (PKC), who were named in 2016's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ YBCA 100 list. They are recipients of the Center for Asian American Media’s (CAAM) Advocate Award and were awarded support by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Open Spaces Program. PKC recently exhibited with For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York and at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's Crosslines pop-up museum. The goal of The People's Kitchen is to not only fill our stomachs but also nourish our souls, feed our minds and fuel a movement.
 
See also peopleskitchencollective.com.

Photo credit: Rachyel Magana



 

For the Love/Hate of Curry

A golden, aromatic spice blend that is prized by some and reviled by others, curry powder is a polarizing substance. Over the past five years I have used it as a dye, perfume, and pigment in my art practice. But I rarely eat the bottled stuff.

What, exactly, is curry? It is a delicious dish and an inadequate word. As food historian Thy Tran once told me, it is a word that falls short because it attempts to use the language of the colonizer to describe the many foods of the colonized. The first reference to curry powder was published in Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management (1961), a book to aid British housewives in the particulars of maintaining a proper home in the colonies. I began to trace my own history through an alternative spice route. Being Indian and Japanese Colombian American, we ate curry all the time in our house. Indian cooks don’t usually use curry powder--but my mother, who is Colombian-born Japanese, made the kind that came out of a box. She mixed it with chicken, carrots and potatoes to create one of my favorite meals (coincidentally, the most popular brand of curry powder happens to be my initials, “S&B” and so I took it as a sign that I was meant to work with the material). Why does Japan’s #1 dish come from a package? Japan was introduced to curry by the British who made a roux of flour and fat with the spice blend. The Indian varieties? Those were more difficult to define. My father is from a small village outside of Kolkata. I still have no idea what is and isn’t a “curry.” Neither does my family. It’s just food in sauce – but it’s so much more.

After my first installation with curry powder in 2008, I searched the phrase “smells like curry” online. I suppose I expected to find a racist joke or two and a few recipes. Instead, I found thousands of entries referring to the way Indian people smelled. The one I will always remember was a posting on Yahoo! Answers:

Q: Help, my neighbor’s house smells like curry.
A: Call the INS.

I became obsessed with this anonymous entry. For the first time I realized that race is constructed by more than what we see.

Over the next few years I sprinkled curry powder through the streets of Oakland, opened a Curry Institute (2011) at Whitman College, where visitors could chart their own Curry Cartography, and worked with perfumer Yosh Han to create a curry perfume called Gilt (2010) just because I wanted everyone to have the right to smell like curry. Eventually the spice pieces made their way onto the walls themselves.

Although my ingredients span the globe, I always source my materials from family-owned businesses. I had been purchasing ingredients from Bombay Bazaar, a hidden grocery store that had closed and re-opened in San Francisco’s wildly gentrifying Mission district. The last time I went in to say hello, the store had disappeared. Shelves, fluorescent lighting, and all. It is with the last batch of spices purchased at this shop that I created Dear Indian Grocery Store both in the bathroom of 18 Reasons in San Francisco and at the San Jose Museum of Art in November 2013. Feeling yet another loss in a city I recognize less and less, I wrote an open letter to the grocery store. This letter always accompanies the installation. As with my previous installations, the excess curry powder collected from the installation will be used to dye napkins and tablecloths for a sliding-scale community dinner. The curry powder is reserved for the art - it is rarely used in the cooking of the meal.

Most Indian cooks would never be caught with curry powder in their kitchens - it limits the complexity and variety of a dish. This powder is India concentrate. This is the myth we expect in Indian supermarkets, restaurants, and, yes, even people. But this complicated blend has also been transformed into the unique flavors of comfort all over the world.

location

X
  • Born: Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Based: Oakland, CA, USA

comments

X

Extracts

Michelle Dizon

2009 Two channel video installation on the production of gold in the Compostela Valley in the Philippines 8 minutes

contributor

X

Michelle Dizon

b. 1977

Artist, filmmaker, and writer, Michelle Dizon, was born and raised in Los Angeles as part of the Philippine diaspora.  Her video installations, films, and writing focus on subjectivity as it intersects with the histories of colonialism and its legacies of immigration, diaspora, and globalization.  Currently, she is at work on a feature-film and large-scale installation entitled Perpetual Peace that addresses U.S. imperialism, militarization, globalization, and war in the Philippines.  She is also revising a book entitled Vision in Ruins that explores visuality in an era of neoliberal globalization.  

She has exhibited and lectured internationally at venues such as the Center for Feminist Studies in Zagreb, Croatia; Jeu de Paume in Paris, France; Caixaforum in Barcelona, Spain; Casa Asia in Madrid, Spain; Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark; Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manila, Philippines; Vargas Museum in Manila, Philippines; Para/Site Art Space in Hong Kong, China; Galleryloop in Seoul, Korea; Tate Modern in London, England; Human Rights Center in Berkeley, United States; CUE Art Foundation in New York, United States; Vox Populi in Philadelphia, United States; and Redcat Gallery in Los Angeles, United States. She has received fellowships from the Human Rights Center, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the University of California Initiative for Research in the Arts, and the Fulbright Association. 

Dizon is the incoming Co-Chair of the Visual Art Program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she is Visiting Faculty in the Photography and Media Program at the California Institute of the Arts.  She earned an M.F.A. in Art with emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studio from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with designated emphases in Film and Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley.  She lives and works between Los Angeles, California and Davao City, Mindanao, The Philippines.

location

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

comments

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False Food (F-384)

Jerry Takigawa

2012 Photograph 19 in. x 13.25 in. Courtesy of the artist.

contributor

X

Jerry Takigawa

b. 1945

Photographer and graphic designer Jerry Takigawa has been a social and environmental advocate since 1969. With forty years of practice in photography and design, he believes aesthetics is an essential element in storytelling. Takigawa received a B.F.A., with an emphasis in painting, from San Francisco State University in 1967. He studied photography under Don Worth. While living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he utilized his art and design skills to help develop a pilot VISTA program (Volunteers in Service to America) in Oakland, California. In 1982, he became the first photographer to receive the Imogen Cunningham Award for color photography. Takigawa is a past-president of People in Communications Arts (PiCA), a trustee for the Monterey Museum of Art, and currently serves as President for the Center for Photographic Art (CPA).

Currently, Takigawa is spearheading a shift in the Center for Photographic Arts’ position. This shift can be described as nuturing the personal growth inherent in art making and celebrating the artists’ creative contribution to the community. CPA seeks to instill the importance and awareness of personal development, how it intersects with artistic development in a cyclical fashion and the purpose and importance of art in the social discourse.

His beliefs in the power of visual communication and new ways of thinking are developed in Idea Soup (2009), Many Hats (2011), and Grace in Uncertainty (2013).

Takigawa’s work is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Monterey Museum of Art, The San Francisco Foundation, the University of Louisville, The Monterey Vineyard, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, the Imogen Cunningham Trust, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Upcoming solo exhibitions include Green Chalk Contemporary, False Food, Monterey, CA; The Pacific Grove Art Center, Landscapes of Presence, Pacific Grove CA; and The Griffin Museum of Photography, False Food, Winchester MA in 2015.

False Food: A Metaphor for Survival

The volunteer from the Monterey Bay Aquarium held up a jar for the television audience to see. The jar was filled with colorful pieces of plastic collected from the belly of a dead albatross on Midway Atoll. Mistaking plastic debris for food in the Pacific Gyre has become a common occurrence, resulting in the death of countless albatross each year. Deceived by “empty calories,” the adult albatross feed their chicks harmful plastic, resulting in the same fatal outcome.

When it comes to plastic, the biggest “landfill” isn’t on land but in our oceans—and if our oceans are in trouble, we’re in trouble. Gyres of plastic dangerously impact the food chain. Unlike organic debris, plastic does not biodegrade. It eventually degrades into smaller and smaller particles until it becomes a soup of molecular plastic. At this size, these molecules enter the food chain and we inadvertently become the albatross. We live in a disposable consumer society. What we throw away we ultimately consume.

In western society, we tend to mistake the excessive consumption of material goods for sustenance. Plastic is often designed for “single-use,” but, by nature, every molecule ever developed is still with us today. My intent as a photographer is for my work to be engaging and nourishing. My goal is to inspire viewers to look more deeply. A good photograph can compel the viewer to want to know the narrative. Negative images can cause people to feel helpless and overwhelmed; responding from the reptilian brain, where clear and ethical thinking is not possible. In contrast, I believe aesthetics allows the viewer to become engaged with the narrative.

How can we learn to live with chaos and turn it into something beautiful, sustainable, and nourishing? This is a query worth resolution. The transformation of plastic waste in False Food is not only an act of defiance; it’s an act of inspiration. If we want to change what we recoil from, we must consider the consciousness that has created what we see. False Food seeks to redeem hope, beauty, and nourishment.

Special thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for generously providing the plastic artifacts used in making these images.

location

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  • Born: Chicago, IL, USA
  • Based: Carmel Valley, CA, USA

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He Is Not Eating for Love of You

Francis Estrada

2012 Gouache, collage, charcoal, and gold leaf on paper 7" x 9" 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. 

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

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Alexander Orquiza

b. 1980

Alex Orquiza is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Classics at Providence College. He is a historian of the United States and the world, American cultural history, food history, immigration, and the Philippines. His forthcoming book, Taste of Control: Food and the Filipino Colonial Mentality Under American Rule, will be published by Rutgers University Press.

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  • Born: USA
  • Based: Boston, MA, USA

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House/Boy (script)

Nicky Paraiso

2004 Playscript 38 pages. Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Slaff. Courtesy of Nicky Paraiso.

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Nicky Paraiso

Nicky Paraiso is an actor, musician, writer, performance artist and curator.  He is currently Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa, and is responsible for its surge of theater, performance, dance and cabaret programming.  He is also a Curator for the annual La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, currently in its eighth season (June 2013).  Nicky is a graduate of Oberlin College/Conservatory and holds an M.F.A. from New York University's Graduate Acting Program.  He has been a prolific actor at La MaMa, and in New York downtown theater and performance, since 1979.  Paraiso has been a member of Meredith Monk/The House and Vocal Ensemble (1981-1990), touring extensively throughout the US, Europe and Japan.  He has worked as an actor and musical director with playwright/actor/director Jeff Weiss and his partner Carlos Ricardo Martinez since 1979, and he has performed with Yoshiko Chuma and the School of Hard Knocks since 1988.  Paraiso has also enjoyed working as a performer with artists as diverse as Anne Bogart, Laurie Carlos, Richard Elovich, Dan Froot, Jessica Hagedorn, Fred Holland, Dan Hurlin, John Jesurun, Jeffrey M. Jones, Robbie McCauley, Susan Mosakowski, Ralph Peña, Mary Shultz, Theodora Skipitares and many others.  Nicky is also a critically-acclaimed solo performance artist, whose one-man shows Asian Boys, Houses and Jewels and House/Boy have been presented at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club [ETC], Dixon Place, Performance Space 122, Dance Theater Workshop and on tour in the US, Europe and Asia.  House/Boy was recently presented at the Dublin Theatre Festival and also at the Initiation International Festival 2007 in Singapore.  

Paraiso's awards include a 1987 New York Dance & Performance BESSIE Award, a 2004 Spencer Cherashore Fund grant for mid-career actors, and a 2005 New York Innovative Theater Award for his performance in Theodora Skipitares’ Iphigenia.  He has served on various theater, dance and music panels, and he has also been a member of the New York Dance and Performance Awards BESSIES Selection Committee since 2006.  Nicky is a recipient of the 2012 BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange) Arts & Artists in Progress Arts Management Award.  His writing appears in the anthology Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City (Vantage Point, 2012), edited by Thomas Keith.

Photograph by Gian Marco Lo Forte.



 

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  • Born: Flushing, NY, USA
  • Based: New York, NY, USA

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