Our trip to the Philippines in June 2017 was breathtaking. Only three weeks long, it was the shortest trip we’d made to our home country (we used to spend some summers there during grade school and college—being an adult sucks!). This trip, however, was the most exciting because it was the first time we explored outside Luzon. We visited the local airport and flew on a tiny airplane to other Philippine islands. We swam in freshwater lakes and isolated beaches in Palawan, bungee jumped and ziplined in Bohol, and hiked to a cater lake in Batangas. These incredibly beautiful places showed us the true beauty of our country's natural geography, motivated us to visit more regions in the future, and inspired us to create art.
The following drawings were created en plein air while we were in Coron and Bohol. Interestingly, we both drew the same scenes, but they are interpreted very differently based on our different styles. The painting, on the other hand, was made several months after the trip and is reminiscent of a unique bahay kubo (house made of bamboo) we spotted while sailing on a boat in Coron. We loved depicting scenes from the trip during the vacation and afterwards, and plan on growing the series as we create more work inspired by the thousands of pictures we took—stay tuned!
Nouveau Pop Prints
Blockprinting is one of my favorite mediums! I enjoy the multi-step process of creating a print: starting with carving the linoleum blocks with various grooved knives, to mixing the paint colors, to rolling the paint onto the linoblock, and finally printing on paper. My inspiration of these prints came from the art nouveau and pop art movements. The swirls and flowers were inspired by art nouveau, and the bright colors from pop art—resulting in the uniquely colorful, nature-based prints.
I recently exhibited at the Baltimore Vintage Flea with my friend Nichole. We had a great time meeting vintage sellers, crafters, and makers! This is only my second time presenting work at a show, and I’m excited to participate in more festivals in the future!
I still have some prints available for sale! Email email@example.com if you’d you like to purchase some :)
I'm very fascinated with Baybayin—the dominant writing system used in the Philippines prior to Spanish colonialism. Studying the intricacy and depth of meaning in the symbols allows me to feel connected with my Micronesian ancestors and leaves me yearning to learn more about what life was like back in those days. Such as with our Timpla logo, I love incorporating the symbols into my art.
Moreover, from a design standpoint, I have been experimenting with digital animation lately and decided to combine the two by illustrating animated flashcards to teach the languages of Baybayin and Tagalog.
In creating these flashcards, I wanted the designs to connect with the country itself. I based the animations on my trip to the Philippines last year. I saw and fell in love with the beauty of lantana camara flowers—depicted in the first animation—while visiting a gorgeous botanic garden in Bohol, Visayas. The mountainous landscape—depicted in the second animation—was inspired by the views I saw while sailing on a motorboat, island hopping in Coron, Palawan.
Rising Tide: the occurrence of incoming water (between a low tide and the following high tide); an increase in the amount or strength of something, especially something that you must oppose
On the night of November 8, 2016, an all-encompassing numbness and crippling fear swept over me. Waves of hate, racism, ignorance, and misogyny crept closer and closer to my internal peace. I felt like I was drowning. The news that followed in the months after the election brought no reprieve. I wholeheartedly believed that I, along with the rest of the world, was falling into a dystopic abyss.
Then something happened. Something switched. Instead of crumbling within themselves, people began coming together to fight these oppressions. Waves of strength, activism, art, and patience flowed through the world like warm, peaceful rolling tides in the ocean. News articles shifted from hate and anger to love and empowerment. It was as though the tide needed to make a drastic shift to wake us from our sleepy slumbers and become aware of the evils that have been happening. It took this rise in tide to strengthen our positivity and bring our souls back to life.
In the year since the election, I learned to deliberately surround myself with people and practices that allow my soul to thrive. Empowered by the women who have stood against the tide, I am now armed with weapons that enable me to push forward and join my compatriots as we fight the wrongdoings of this world. As long as we’re forcefully partaking in movements and creating together, art and love will overcome.
This exhibition combines two things I love dearly—process art and my kapamilya (family in Tagalog). The family is an integral aspect of Philippine culture, with members depending heavily on each other for support and abundance. However, as a Filipino-American, I believe it is important to become an individual and shape your own life while staying true to your family’s beliefs. To me, kapamilya is about the dynamics and congruency of a family that stem from each member’s role.
Therefore, my process in creating these portraits of my brother, sister, mother, father, grandma, and grandpa is a metaphor for kapamilya. I worked on all the pieces at the same time, allowing them to grow and evolve together, shaping each other and shaping the way I approached them. I learned from one portrait to the next what worked and what did not. As experimentation turned into knowledge, my process imitated the way a family grows based on the successes and failures of one another, along with how each member can maintain a distinct identity despite the family’s commonalities.
Deforestation in the Philippines
This installation is a reaction to the shocking realities of deforestation and endangerment of Philippine biodiversity as a result of government corruption, poverty, and money. Some interesting facts I discovered during my research are that 93% of the original forest cover in the Philippines has been cut down over the past 500 years; approximately 123,000 hectares are cut down every year; and at this rate by the year 2036 there may be no more forest left.
Unfortunately, the Philippines is such a poor country that it needs to generate as much income as possible through any means necessary, even if that means is destroying its own land. I created this installation to spread awareness about the exploitation of natural resources in third world countries in the hopes of inspiring others to act towards improving global sustainability.