Sa Salita—Stories He Took with Him
26 pages, stab-stitch binding with fold-out pages, laserjet, 8.5 x 5.5 inches
A collection of fragments of my grandfather’s stories set alongside drawings of his hand gestures. Each page unfolds to reveal illustrations, bits of personal photos, and reproduced woodcuts that reference Filipino folktales and myths, my grandfather’s life and migration, and the dining table where I would sit across from my grandfather and listen. Together images and texts describe a dozen stories and imply many more.
the same heart
8 pages, one sheet folded, risograph, 4.25 x 2.75 inches
Sometimes, a family is less like a tree and more like a cadena de amor. This book is a letter to my roots and vines.
36 pages, saddle-stitch binding and accordion fold, risograph and laserjet, 10.25 x 5 inches
The mythology of a trickster-god known as “Cate Blanchett,” in four parts: lexicon, cosmogenesis, epiphany, and artifacts. Enchiridion explores the arc of a god’s multiplicitous existence, the language of worship, and mythology as a means to understanding phenomena of the self. Manipulated and original images, tropes relating to divinity, and motifs repeating across multiple narratives imagine “Cate Blanchett” as a figure between reality and infinite possibilities—a reflection of ourselves. Finalist for the Broken Pencil Awards.
book/marks, 2019 —
This series crystallizes those aimless images and thoughts that I keep returning to, while exploring the possibilities of a 7 x 2-inch format.
I: A Name
12 pages, saddle-stitch binding, risograph, 7 x 2 inches
A Name is a brief, personal reflection on what it might mean to make a person. With images that allude to Greek mythology, Penelope, “the name without a girl,” is my idea of a daughter.
12 pages, saddle-stitch binding, risograph, 7 x 2 inches
Wendr is a spell, cast on me by a stick I saw on the ground c. 2017. Years later, I still thought about it. Ruminating on magical wands, the book changes in orientation and reading direction so that reading it is akin to the pull and push of energy that characterizes magic.
Meanwhile, a witch wanders, wandless...
III: 6 Wings
6 pages, accordion fold, reduction woodcut, glue, 2022, 7 x 2 inches
6 Wings reimagines the mythological multi-limbed, winged Geryon, whom Hercules murdered for his red cows. Few depictions of Geryon have survived antiquity. To echo that, making this book, a reduction woodcut print with collaged covers, involved destroying the print matrix and parts of the prints. The book embraces Geryon as a fugitive body—forever beyond our grasp.
The Word Sm*t
40 pages, staple-bound, laserjet, 5.5 x 4.25 inches
In every erotic encounter there is an invisible and ever-active participant: imagination, desire. Octavio Paz
Brief descriptions of random Tumblr posts after the platform’s ban on adult content and of Google search results for kinky images are imposed on a grid sparsely populated with vague fleshy drawings. The result feels out the edges of erotica, the extent to which eroticism is a personal perception, and the role of withholding in desire.
Installation at Co-Prosperity (Chicago, IL), digital prints on organza and paper, acrylic paint, vinyl, wood, fishing wire
Photos by Colectivo Multipolar, courtesy of Co-Prosperity
Pakiramdam, a Tagalog word roughly meaning an intuitive or empathetic sensing of something or someone, explores how geographic and temporal distances can be collapsed by moments of recognition, a sense of kinship, or a memory. The project encodes my family’s history of immigration and migration, the in-betweenness of mixed-race identity, and embodiments of hybridity along the way. It interrogates how we locate ourselves, not just within place and time, but in relation to others; what it means to be present to others in spite of physical absence or distance; and notions of authenticity and synthesis in relation to cultural and personal identities.
Like spirits, we come together, overlap, and drift past each other in the narrative spaces of the project, a space in Chicago and in the countries of our minds.
I’m calling from a great distance
Photos courtesy of Spudnik Press
A series of varied-edition screenprints and an artist’s book relate the communications between a lighthouse keeper and an interplanetary explorer. A dive into wanderlust, solitude, and homesickness, the work uses the vastness of oceans and space to illuminate the smallness of humanity and the fragility of our bonds with each other.
The prints are divided into two sets. One is a sequence of a woman turning around in an increasingly figurative landscape. The other depicts planets and alien environments. The icons and gestures, which cross over between the prints and the book, become the intimate language of the characters’, and the audience’s, shared experiences. The solo exhibition culminated my work in the Spudnik Press Artist Residency.
Kitchen Table Stories
Curated by Melissa Raman Molitor
Evanston Art Center (Evanston, IL)
“The Kitchen Table Stories exhibition is a celebration of stories shared by local artists who identify as Asian, South Asian, and Pacific Islander. Artists were asked to share the stories that have been passed down to them from ancestors through family and friends, and create work that reflects ther own lived experiences. The result is an exploration of the intersections of immigration, citizenship, race, culture, social identity, multigenerational relationships, and family history. Melissa Raman Molitor, curator
This collection of woodcut prints, Salita, is a personal study of storytelling that nourishes us across generations, geographies, and cultures. The prints depict stories my grandfather told me at dinner when I was growing up—Filipino folktales mixed with his anecdotes—and how he told them—his gestures as he spoke and his words as I remember them. I ate his stories up, until they became part of me. And through these prints, I retell them, and they become part of you.