NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
Assistant Professor - Photography
The place that we call home is not necessarily defined by borders. My understanding of home is more about the sensation of comfort and familiarity. This series of photographs, collected over ten years, unites the Philippines and Tijuana landscape, creating a new and distorted environment that brings me comfort when I am separated from my family in the Philippines. This ongoing project explores the residual effects of migration and the longing to be in two places at one time.
The tradition of packing gifts for loved ones overseas is practiced by the Philippine community with the balikbayan box. Named after the tagalog words for returning Filipino, this container serves as a means to transport goods from the U.S. to the Philippines. This project explores this symbol of the Filipina Diaspora through interviews with the San Diego community about the contents of their balikbayan boxes.
An archive that aims to catalog the memory and oral history of underrepresented people. This ongoing project is currently exploring the stories of women of color living and working in Southern California and B.C. Mexico. Housed in recycled card catalogs, an collection of flipbooks and interviews teach visitors about our community. The goal of the project is to provide an oral history and documentation of people that have historically gone unnoticed.
An installation that will immerse you in a common type of public market in the Philippines, known in Tagalog as a palengke. Experience this memory of purchasing daily goods with soft sculptures of Bangus (milkfish), the Philippines national fish, Tahong (mussels) a staple in Sineguelasan where her Lola lives, and more. This collection of work encourages the Filipino community to revisit their own memories of the Philippines, childhood and family origin.
A site specific installations aboard a decommissioned jetliner in Tijuana, México. Presented by artist Ander Azpiri (MX), Rizzhel Javier (US), Griselda Rosas (MX/US), Aren Skalman (US), and Chris Warr (US), in collaboration with the faculty and students of Instituto Tecnológico de Tijuana. In these times of border discord, this binational collaboration Round Trip is aimed at continuing to foster the ongoing artistic dialogue within our region.
A project that engages participants to think about the memories we keep versus the memories we want to forget. For this project, old letters and photos were collected by people that didn't talk to each other anymore. Through this process participants explore the tradition of collection in relationship to memory. They are encouraged to think about the objects they keep, the memories that are carried by them and alternative archiving practices.
An installation of paper boats covered with images and collected from my grandmother. The images were originally sent to the Philippines to her by all her children. In efforts to archive my family history, and make them accessible to future generations, the images were digitally archived. The images and the sculptures that house them, work in tandem to tell a story of family migration from Philippines to America and the memory of their experience.
The tradition of family portraits, at first glance, can seem like a simple process. That images of families are collected and then placed inside a series of photo albums. How to families that do not physically see each other participate in this long standing tradition? This project explores the effects of technology with family communication, connection and archiving. These images also examine evolution of the family portrait from formal to more contemporary methods of collecting.
The oral history of a transnational family living between Philippines and San Diego. The project documents the home and family origin of the Javier family through interviews with residents of a small barrio called Sineguelasan. This undocumented town questions the importance of archiving, technology and family history. Viewers are encouraged to learn and research about their own family origin and history.
A multi-media project that documents the sanitary conditions of Singuelasan in Bacoor, Cavite Philippines. Since my father was a child, trash has always consumed the streets of his native land. Learn about the trash workers and the leaders that motivate the community to keep the town clean and safe for future youth. This project archives events and initiatives developed and for the health, safety and prosperity of this small barrio.
COMMUNITY + SOCIAL PRACTICE
The San Diego City Beat
Rachel Michelle Fernandes - March 20, 2018