“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” -Proust
When you are born into displacement it can be hard to find the space where you belong. The concept of home traditionally refers to the place that one lives, but what about cultural and spiritual parts of ourselves that cultivate the essence of home? Third(space) addresses the hybridity of culture, between the past I never experienced, and the place where I exist today. This collection of images are my attempt to access the space between my two fixed identities as a Filipino-American. Here I bring all the fragments of myself together into a place that might not exist on a map, but are so integrally part of who I am, and how I have reconciled my own understanding of defining home.
Born and raised in San Diego, home to one of the largest and active borders in the world, I found myself relating to the transborder community and the challenges they face co-existing in two countries. The walls that have become such an iconic symbol of our time are a barrier, a symbol, that separates people between two places emotionally, socially, economically and politically. In this experience, I began to recognize my own walls, the land and sea, that separates me not just from my homeland, but my history, my ancestors and my family that still lives there today. For over ten years, I have photographed the streets of Mexico, searching for a familiarity that I haven’t been able to recognize until now.
“You are chasing a history that doesn’t belong to you.” This is how my Dad responded to me when I told him I wanted to go to the Philippines. The first time I stepped out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, I had this strange sensation that I had been there before. That feeling is where I find myself trying to return time and time again. This third space is my home away from home. The integration of my Filipino and American identities and worlds. This ongoing project explores the residual effects of migration and the longing to be in two places at one time. A permission that I give to myself, and hope for others, to unapologetically claim a space for themselves to call home.