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/mark I: A Name
12 pages, saddle-stitch binding, risograph, 7 x 2 inches
First in an on-going series of bookmark-shaped books, each on aimless thoughts that keep coming back to me.
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.
book/mark II: Wendr
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. I’ve never been able to forget it. Meanwhile, somewhere, a witch wanders, wandless...
book/mark III: 6 Wings
12 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—shifting, unknowable, beyond our grasp.
The Word Sm*t
40 pages, staple-bound, laserjet, 5.5 x 4.25 inches
“Eroticism is, above all else, exclusively human: it is sexuality socialized and transfigured by the imagination and the will of human beings. 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.
28 pages, staple-bound, 1st edition offset, 2nd edition risograph, 2 x 4.25 inches
“Longing, we say, because desire is full of endless distances. I must have been the same to her. Robert Hass
Three women in different worlds tell themselves stories about the ones they love, obstacles to their love, and whether these obstacles can be surmounted. How much of love is will and imagination? The book’s panoramic form frames physical, emotional, and temporal distances in the characters’ lives.
12 pages, staple-bound, laser, 6.5 x 4.5 inches
When two share a vision, how do they know they see the same thing? A strange occurrence will draw a couple closer together, or pull them apart.
A version of this story appeared in the anthology Linequality.
Are You Even Listening?
20 pages, accordion fold, risograph, 3.25 x 2.75 inches
One asks the question, and we spiral into the other’s ear in search of an answer, from the surface level, to the cellular level, and all the way down to our airy underpinnings.
12 pages, flutter book, offset with risograph cover, 6 x 3.25 inches
A woman’s grief spills into her sense of self and way of life. The book is legible backwards and forwards; remembering and forgetting her grief are enacted by the direction of reading. The cycle transforms her again and again.
16 pages, stab-stitch binding, offset on vellum, 4.25 x 3.5 inches
Dust floats in the rectangle of light falling through a window. Fifteen daydreams occur, moving between abstraction, metaphor, and sensation.
Sigils of Trouble Sleeping
10 pages, one sheet folded, risograph, 5.25 x 2.75 inches
A list of troubles with sleep is paired with images of bed linens. These were the basis for sigil designs printed on the interior side.
Sigils are used in spell casting and are symbols of intention. These sigils are meant to ward off each source of trouble, paralleling the transitional natures of magic and sleep.
28 pages, saddle-stitch binding, risograph, 8 x 5.25, edition of 36
An essay comic about reading Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho If not, winter and the visual presence of its lost fragments. Drawings translate spreads from Carson, with matching page numbers.
Inventory :: Recollection
Saddle-stitch binding in hard case, accordion fold, laserjet, edition of 1
This two-part artist’s book documents a man’s life through his possessions. A folded list provides brief descriptions of items in his home and their history. A single-signature pamphlet shows unlabeled rubbings.
Collapsing the volume and values of objects, the book interrogates the significance of legacy and the marks a life makes on things, places, and people.
10, coptic binding, woodcut, 10 x 16 inches, unique
A gatefold book collecting ten woodcut prints in which “chatter,” or texture. In turning the pages, various characters are placed in dialogue with each other. Conversations between them are composed and recomposed.
Paper object, risograph
Nested boxes house the myth. Readers piece together the story by turning the inner box while viewing images through successive openings. The structure echoes the act of peeking and of being trapped in a different body. It layers and segments the story, aligning reality and magic to shift images of transformation into view.
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.