open city exhibition

Chief Curator: Ringo Bunoan

Curators: Alice Sarmiento, Con Cabrera & Cocoy Lumbao

agnesARELLANO /Philippines

1. Angel of Death (1990)

-Cold cast marble, copper, brass, broken glass

-(H) 231.2 cm x (W) 152.4 cm x (D) 60.9 cm

Bronze Bullets (1990)
(H) 180.3 cm x (D) 30.5 cm, 6 pieces

Fort Santiago Gate

Best known for her surrealist and expressionist sculptures using plaster, bronze and cold-cast marble, Agnes Arellano draws from philosophy, religion, mysticism, eroticism, as well as her own personal experiences to create highly dramatic ‘inscapes’. Her work signifies an internal unity and totality through the convergence of various elements in an environment that is at one with itself. These two works, Angel of Death and Bronze Bullets, were first presented in 1990 as part of a larger installation that explored the parallel concepts of creation and destruction. RB

felixBACOLOR /Philippines

Thirty Thousand Liters (2017)

-Metal drums and wooden pallets

Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier, Fort Santiago

Felix Bacolor’s installation using 150 metal drums, with the combined capacity of 30,000 liters, is a commentary on the bloodshed from the current wars in the Philippines. The volume of 30,000 liters represents a fraction of the lives lost within a year, based on the artist’s estimate that each person needs around five liters of blood to live. The massive stack of drums, presented like a makeshift monument, represents the “systemic, industrial purging” and escalating violence in the country today. RB

Felix Bacolor’s installation was made possible with the support of Ateneo Art Gallery and Finale Art File.

vicBALANON /Philippines

Chimera (2016)

-Three-channel video, sound

San Ignacio Mission House – Third Fl.

Using hyperlapse technique in animating images of the city, Vic Balanon explores the idea of place as the juxtaposition of natural ecologies, built environment, and their interconnection with one’s own personal space. Gathering successions of photographs of the city and the artist’s own studio, their combination through symmetrical and kaleidoscopic compositions reframes the city as unfamiliar territory—one that caters to illusion rather than living space, one that undermines the notion of city as a permanent structure. Chimera, as an amalgamation of manipulated and perfected cityscapes, is projected as symphony that evokes possibilities of re-imagination; of convergence with the personal. CL

renzBALUYOT /Philippines

Frames of Reference (2017)

-Mixed media installation

Post-war Guerilla Skirmishes (2017)

-Plexiglass with vinyl sticker and printed materials

In Retrospection 1 & 2 (2016)

-Oil on chalkboard

Smoke (2017)

-Ammo box with hologram

Zero (2017)

-Plexiglass airplane wing mounted against antique mirror

Marston Matting (2017)

Rusted metal screen

San Ignacio Church – 2nd Flr.

Renz Baluyot has often used rust in many of his works to describe the tension between a past hinged upon violence and destruction, and a present built upon deterioration and decay. The works in this space reflect upon an encounter while the artist was on residency in Japan, when a Japanese man knelt at his feet and begged forgiveness for the atrocities committed by the Japanese military in the Philippines during the Second World War. Using diverse media from multiple timeframes, Baluyot reflects on this period, intervening with historical artifacts and contemporary materials by creating a conversation between them. AS

zeusBASCON /Philippines

Dead Masks (2014 – 2018)

-Acrylic and various materials on tarpaulin

Baluarte de San Diego – garden above the ruins

Dead Masks was first presented as a column at the Koganecho Bazaar 2014 in Yokohama, Japan as part of Zeus Bascon’s residency project The Cave. The installation in Baluarte de San Diego takes the shape of a tower, conversing directly to the ace-of-spades bastion architecture and standing as a memorial. Serving as portals for trade and military activities, both locations of Yokohama and Manila are backdrops of the work that unravel a translation of commemoration of war. It acts as a totem encouraging the return of the mystic in this site of local history. CC

aigarsBIKSE /Latvian

The Red Slide (2012)

-Polyurethane

-Plaza de Roma

The work Red Slide by Latvian artist Aigars Bikse was created in 2012 for Rauma Biennial Balticum, Finland under the theme of human nature, focusing on the essence of the human mind. The interactive sculpture is a working slide that depicts a wounded soldier. Made in Soviet monument style, Bikse represents in this figure both the aggressor and protector reflecting his interest in social problems of formation of and struggle between identities. When in use, the contrast between the innocence of the users of the interactive sculpture and what the work symbolizes is brought to the fore. CC

Red Slide is transported to the Philippines through the generous support from the Latvian Ministry of Culture and Latvian Center for Contemporary Art.

robertoCHABET /Philippines

Onethingafteranother (2011)

-G.I. sheets, halogen lamps

-Variable dimensions

San Ignacio Church Ground Fl.

Arguably the most influential Filipino artist of the postwar generation, Roberto Chabet led a movement grounded on conceptualism and experimentation. Using mostly ordinary and found material, he insists on a more inclusive approach to art, a search for the sublime not just in abstract ideas but also in the immediacy of the quotidian and the commonplace. In this installation, abstraction and the everyday collide, illuminating our presence in the greater continuum of time and space. RB

lenaCOBANGBANG /Philippines

3. Turf Wars (2018)

-Grass with camouflage patterns

Garden beside Rizal Shrine, Fort Santiago

Lena Cobangbang’s work often involves staged images, surfaces and settings that blur fiction with reality. For this installation, she uses different varieties of weeds and grass to create her own garden with a camouflage pattern that references various contested islands in the West Philippine Sea. The work is a direct intervention with the landscape of Fort Santiago, which is a site of numerous battles and contestations throughout history, and bodes the Philippines as “a territory of wild weeds in perpetual battle for national identity.” RB

mariaCRUZ /Philippines/Australia

Trans

Wood and Plastic Sheets (2018)

-Postigo de la Nuestra Senora del Soledad, Fort Santiago

Maria Cruz’s paintings and installations explore language, materiality, process, repetition and mimicry. Working predominantly in abstraction, she crafts images and texts drawn from personal narratives, popular culture, and her immediate environment. In this installation made specifically for the Postigo De La Nuestra Senora Del Soledad in Fort Santiago, she creates a form of canopy that extends from the wall of the historical passageway to emphasize the act of solitary crossing, using a material that is ubiquitous to the contemporary Philippine landscape. RB

mideoCRUZ /Philippines

Golgotha (2010-2018)

-Found objects, resin, wood, metal

Baluarte San Diego chamber

Golgotha is a collection of sculptural works made from industrial excess. Mideo Cruz started the series in 2010 and considers it as a continuing process as its installation adapts to the provided space. This version in Baluarte de San Diego is the largest staging of the work as it responds to the hidden histories within the walls of the chamber. Formed through the combination of materials that are by-products of capitalism and globalization, Golgotha retells an archetypical biblical story. It tackles similar tales of atonement, sacrifices and achievements by both the losers and the victors. CC

patrickCRUZ /Philippines/Canada

Bunganga (2018)

-Sound performance using found archival sound recordings from the internet and
field recordings in Intramuros

Rahaj Sulayman, Fort Santiago

SAN IGNACIO CHURCH & MISSION HOUSE

kiriDALENA /Philippines

In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About
the dark times. (2017)

-Neon

Untitled (2009)

-Terracotta

Almacenes, Fort Santiago

kawayanDE GUIA /Philippines

Lady Liberty (2014)

-Fiberglass, wood, various scrap materials

-Top of Baluarte de Santa Barbara, Fort Santiago

Kawayan de Guia first presented his replica of the Statue of Liberty overlooking the public market in Baguio to interrogate issues of American dominance, consumption, and communal exchange. The current installation in Fort Santiago, utilizing fragments of the statue along with scrap materials from Intramuros, recasts the fall of the Americans during World War II and the subsequent destruction of Manila. By allowing people to vandalize the work, the artist creates a symbolic wasteland that is constantly vulnerable to further attack and degradation. RB

jason dySJ /Philippines

Procesión Los Camareros (Procession of the Caretakers)2018

-Acrylic lightboxes, series of 15

San Ignacio Church

In Procesion los Camareros, Fr. Jason Dy engages three interlocking contexts: the history of the San Ignacio Church (destroyed in 1945 during the Battle of Manila), the Marian Procession which continues to attract massive crowds, and finally, the walled-city’s pedicab system. Working in collaboration with 15 pedicab drivers working and living in Intramuros, Fr. Dy engages this largely informal sector in discussions about faith, personal histories, and their collective situation as both drivers and art and culture guides. The resulting lightboxes document a collection of objects that impart these stories, while referencing the San Ignacio Church as the first church in Intramuros to be lit by electrica luz or electric lights. AS

The production of Fr. Jason Dy, SJ’s work was supported by Smart Communications,
Inc.

elnoraEBILLO /Philippines

WatAwat (2018)

-Video projection on textile

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl.

Documentarian of sociopolitical and environmental issues, Elnora Ebillo presents in the installation WatAwat a video projection on textile of a dramatization representing forbearance, courage, and tenacity of women. Inspired by Tula ni Oriang (1898) by Gregoria de Jesus, the work highlights the role of women in the unfolding history of nation building towards a just and egalitarian society. Having been a former member of women’s collectives, Ebillo culls from her past involvements to bring back the feminine in her work. As a director of video productions, her interest in narratives is revealed through her presentation of the present moment that is marked by resistance led by women that threaten our freedom, democracy, and sovereignty. CC

tadERMITANO /Philippines

Bell (2011)

-Sound installation

San Ignacio Mission House – Fourth Fl.

Considered to be one of the pioneers of sound art in the Philippines, Tad Ermitaño’s artistic practice heavily examines the phenomena surrounding humanity’s relationship with technology. He created Bell from roofing steel, cabling, and turnbuckles – common building materials that allow viewers to freely interact with the work. Appearing to float in thin air as a massive yet hollow structure, the piece evokes the spiritual while maintaining links to the modern and industrial. AS

carinaEVANGELISTA /Philippines/USA

Mando Plaridel 2018

-Video projection and plumeria oil

Tower, Media Baluarte de San Francisco, Fort Santiago

Carina Evangelista, an art professional who works both in the Philippines and in the US, presents Amado V. Hernandez’s prolific writing in Mga Ibong Mandaragit translated into Morse code through the video work installed inside the turret. The title Mando Plaridel came from a character from the novel that is about the guerilla movement during the Japanese occupation. The installation interprets in layers Hernandez’s description of a prison cell in the novel. “Ang seldang ito ay naiilawan kung gabi ng isang maliit na bombilyang nakatago sa isang siwang…Kaya ang silid ay lagi nang agaw-dilim maging araw o gabi.” (This prison is lit at night with a small light bulb in a wire cage… So, day or night, the light in this cell is perpetually in the clutches of darkness.) CC

hikaruFUJII /Philippines

Record of the Bombing (2016)

-Mixed media installation

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl.

Hikaru Fujii is an artist and filmmaker who often uses archive materials to reinterpret social events and how they are inscribed within history, memory, and human relationships. His output encompasses not only installations and video, but also workshops, documentaries, and writing and directing for theater and film. Record of the Bombing, responds to the aborted plans to construct an exhibition primarily devoted to the Second World War, but also about Japan’s role as aggressor and instigator of countless war atrocities. By installing a space voided of objects, Fujii sheds light on the institutional mechanisms – such as displays and their accompanying literature – that form modern consciousness. AS

peteJIMENEZ /Philippines

Hindi Kevlar (2018)

-Military helmets

San Ignacio Mission House – Second Fl.

Pete Jimenez creates sculptures and installations from found objects and scrap
materials. He scours and assembles disparate pieces and infuses them with a
distinctly Filipino sense of humor, partly sardonic and at times forlorn. This
installation, Hindi Kevlar (Not Kevlar), uses vintage military helmets from different
wars, which the artist has collected for years. Heavily scratched, dented, and some
even bullet-pierced, the helmets stand for a battalion, brave and gallant but perhaps
ill-equipped, for war. RB

boniJUAN /Philippines

Kaming Mga Busabos (2018)

-Photographs, bottles and water

Area near the dungeon skylights, Fort Santiago

Kaming Mga Busabos (We, the Oppressed: The Ballad of Mariano Dimalanta) is a work by PETA member and grandson of a sarsuwelista, Boni Juan. Having been part of numerous productions of the theater institution in Intramuros, Juan knows the landscape like the back of his hand. The installation is anchored on his grandfather Mariano Dimalanta’s experience of incarceration inside the dungeons of Intramuros, being a guerilla during the Japanese occupation. Dimalanta recounts the dungeons being submerged in water when it rained hard. The faces are representations of the countless lives lost as effect of wars and how fleeting history has become, subjecting it to neglect and revisionism. CC

kittyKABURO /Philippines

Ripples on the fabric of (2018)

-Single-channel video on fabric

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl.

Kitty Kaburo works with ephemeral materials, creating pieces that rarely, if ever, hold their shape. She often uses light and water to create psychedelic visions of what could be the beginning or the end of an imagined universe. Yet, it is by using light and water that Kaburo is able to speak of the eternal in the ephemeral. Ripples in the fabric of is Kaburo’s attempt at capturing the chaos of war. She uses a length of fabric as a tactile reference to the “Open City” banners that hung over the city of Manila: and a means of accessing an event she was unable to witness, yet continues to live on, while being distorted by the ripples in the collective memory. AS

KOLOWN /Philippines

Parallel (2018)

-Tarpaulin, wood

Placed beside various historical markers in Fort Santiago, Baluarte de
San Diego, Japanese Cannon, Bahay Tsinoy and Plaza Mexico

KOLOWN is a Cebu-based street art conglomerate that explores absurdity and contradictions by displaying deconstructed ideas through the use of familiar images nestled with Internet technology. For the biennale, the group presents to us the project Parallel, which tackles fictional histories of Intramuros in the form of fake markers. The multi-site installation is a response to the present day normalization of false news and championing of irrational modes of thinking. Manipulating current dependence on technology and the need to be always online, we are encouraged to interact with the works via the Internet. KOLOWN’s markers are installed in Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, Japanese Cannon, Bahay Tsinoy and Plaza Mexico. CC

jetMELENCIO /Philippines/Canada

Enemy Broadcast (2018)

-3-channel video, with broadcast material sourced from various Spanish, American
and Japanese mainland TV stations

San Ignacio Mission House – Third Fl.

Presented as competing entities, the trio of broadcasts from different foreign
stations serves as notice to our colonial past and the continued effects of their vying
presence. Recorded programs from Spanish, American, and Japanese television
make up for a pastiche of these imperial forces guised in the forms of popular
culture and invasive technologies—as the new soft power that continue to mold
consciousness and desire. As a critique to the hegemony that mainstream
entertainment deploys, Jet Melencio’s Enemy Broadcast provides insight to the
confounding nature of their influence which through their competing voices provide
tension rather than assimilation, confusion rather than coherence, as a reflection on
the nation’s history that went through the hands of contending forces, which left the
city grappling for identity. CL

Gupit Militar (Military Haircut) (2018)

-Performance, photographs

The performance will be held on Feb 2, 2018 at Rajah Sulayman, Fort
Santiago. The photographs will be exhibited in San Ignacio Mission House after the
performance.

As a re-enactment of the drafting of young men whose service were sought during World War II when the Japanese invaded Manila, Jet Melencio offers live haircut sessions to volunteers—civilians, who are asked to sport the standard military haircut of that era. The artist associates the struggle of the past with the present, the ‘Dark Times’ when a shroud of terror once loomed over the city. Placed in the present context and within the stage of the Biennale, this ‘standardized haircut’ becomes an act of resistance—to pose for war when there is really no war to speak of, except the struggle that continues inherited from a colonial past and the everpresent effects of imperialism and dictatorship. CL

arvinNOGUERAS /Philippines/Canada

Systematic Nature and Isolated Occurrences (2018)

-Sound piece

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl

Arvin Nogueras (who also goes by the name Caliph8) experiments with how sound can shift the ambience of a space. In Systematic Nature and Isolated Occurences, he uses found recordings of the sounds made by an assortment of weapons used throughout Philippine history. By doing so, Nogueras uses an element that is atmospheric to describe the dynamics between oppression and democracy, or how (to loosely paraphrase the critic and historian, Walter Benjamin) every document of civilization is also a document of barbarism. For artists working with digital media, Systematic Nature… is Nogueras’s way of showing how technology is (to put it bluntly) weaponized. AS

gary-rossPASTRANA /Philippines/Canada

Untitled (Groupings) (2017)

-Old computers, digital device, video

San Ignacio Mission House – Third Fl

Known for exploring the inherent properties of objects to present new ideas in art, Gary-Ross Pastrana turns his attention to the relations we develop with our personal devices that have become next to none when it comes to exemplifying our dependency on machines. Computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices that belonged to the artist himself, and at some point became instruments to his own productivity, are arranged together to present a culminating narrative depicting one’s artistic process. The different forms of personal devices can be seen as reiterations of a recurring object, which is the screen, where different instances of our personalities, histories, and agendas were transmitted as images. Pastrana looks into this relationship between objects as something, which has been determined chronologically, while asserting that our history as people is determined by the ever-changing state of technology. CL

teoduloPROTOMARTIR /Philippines/Canada

American Flag Went Down, July 4, 1946 / Philippine Flag Went Up, July 4, 1946
1946

-Archival inkjet print

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl.

Teodulo Protomartir, the photographer who popularized the 35mm format in the Philippines, documented the ruins of Manila after World War II. He captured this historic transfer of power on July 4, 1946, when the United States formally relinquished its sovereignty and recognized the independence of the Republic of the Philippines. On that day, the Treaty of Manila was signed by High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt, representative of the United States, and Manuel Roxas, who took his oath as the President of the Philippines. RB

alwinREAMILLO /Philippines/Canada

Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House
(2015)

-Wood, bamboo, various materials

Bamboo Garden, Fort Santiago. The work will be transferred to Plaza de
Roma for Transitio.

Alwin Reamillo’s practice is rooted in social sculpture, which he demonstrates in imagery that is familiar to us. His project Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House was created in collaboration with Urban Theatre Projects and David Hawkes, Design Consultant and Builder in Australia in 2015. Representing the concept of bayanihan, which involves dialogue, immersion, and action as performance, is grounded on the term’s root word bayan, which means town, nation, and community. Its third iteration that is presented here in Intramuros reflects on the same idea of a collective undertaking dependent on the activities done in partnership with Museong Pambata and Sipat Lawin Ensemble that will engage the residents in the area. The house will hop to Plaza Roma, bayanihan style, as a byproduct of the engagements. The physical communal action of carrying the house is a manifestation of how art can initiate participation in social endeavors that can propel any community forward. CC

Commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects, 2015

rickROCAMORA /Philippines

Filipino WWII Soldiers: America’s Second-Class Veterans (1990-2006)

-Silver gelatin prints

San Ignacio Mission House – Second Fl.

Rick Rocamora spent sixteen years documenting the difficult yet dignified lives of Filipino veterans in the United States. These brave Filipino men who fought alongside the American and Allied forces during World War II were promised a soldier’s due: veterans’ benefits and pensions in acknowledgment of their critical role in the U.S. victory in the Pacific. Many already died waiting for that promise. Those who are still alive continue their fight for equity, proudly clutching on to their medals and uniforms, while living in poverty and obscurity in the U.S. RB

markSALVATUS /Philippines

Weakest Link (2011)

-Silver chains

Media Baluarte de San Francisco, Fort Santiago

The site-specific installation Weakest Link by intermedia artist Mark Salvatus displays the figure of a map that can be shifted through the movement of its viewers. First showcased at the Metropolitan Museum in Manila and Hotel De Inmigrantes in Hasselt, Belgium in 2012, the work illustrates the concept of borders in a tangible manner. Influenced by popular culture, Salvatus used silver chains, commonly seen as a street fashion accessory, to exploit its function both literally and metaphorically. The work is a commentary on territories and how these are taken from the peripheries delineated by the tracing and retracing of history. CC

angel velascoSHAW /Philippines

Inherited Memories (2018)

-Single channel video and sound

Visitors’ Center, Fort Santiago

Combining archival footage with narration and texts, Inherited Memories examines the grief caused by World War II on Filipino survivors and its effect on subsequent generations to whom fragmented and repressed memories of torture, terror, and death are passed on. Manipulated archival footage from the U.S. Army Signal Corps documentary, “Orders From Tokyo,” is juxtaposed with texts from a book the artist wrote 32 years ago called “Second World War, Second Hand,” and are interspersed with current footage and impressions of the state of Intramuros, while accompanied by layers of sound derived from attempts to record the walled city as witness and a first-person narration of actual memories of the war. CL

luigiSINGSON /Philippines

Fragmented Consciousness (2018)

-Plaster casts

Visitors’ Center, Fort Santiago

Across a variety of media, Luigi Singson is an artist who unravels what we are taught about national history. Face Value takes two potent images from the overlapping periods of the American and Japanese occupations in the Philippines, juxtaposing the Rizal monument with a spinning one centavo coin, dated 1944. Fragmented Consciousness interrogates the notion of history as the consciousness of a nation, inverting historical markers of various sites, and casting them in bright white plaster as a way of embedding the often ignored or unquestioned purity of our monuments and markers. AS

henri vanNOORDENBURG /Netherlands/Australia

Waterline (2014-2018)

-Carved photographic prints

San Ignacio Mission House – Second Fl.

In Waterline (2018), a series created specifically for the Manila Biennale, Dutch
artist Henri Van Noordenburg explores notions of conflict wrought not only by
political upheaval, but through environmental disasters. The lovely surfaces upon
which Van Noordenburg carves these difficult narratives serve to highlight the
contradictions between waxing nostalgic and the burden of history – a burden that
is no doubt familiar to the walled city of Intramuros, and its own embedded
memories of colonialism and warfare. AS

gail,marija & tanyaVICENTE & VILLANUEVA /Philippines

Masamang Loob
(2018)

-Sound piece

Dungeon, Fort Santiago

Intending to fill the space with their presence, Gail Vicente, Marija Vicente, and
Tanya Villanueva whisper secrets, speak, sing, and hum into the void. By interfering
with the historical narrative of an otherwise empty space, Masamang Loob captures
that moment in which sound can describe the tension between the embodied and
the unseen. AS

ocaVILLAMIEL /Philippines

Children of War (2018)

-Scavenged dolls and birdcages

-Variable dimensions

Guadalupe Tunnel, Fort Santiago

Oca Villamiel gathers scavenged objects as a form of testimony to the tragedies of
our time. He spends years salvaging and collecting discards and scraps from
dumpsites and junkyards in the Philippines and assembles them into large-scale
installations that reflect on the various crises that afflict the country. In this work, he
uses abandoned dolls from the Payatas dumpsite placed inside handmade cages
made out of pilfered wires to comment on the horrors of war, dispossession, and the
loss of innocence. RB

wawi navarroza & nicolas combarroWNC PROJECTS /Philippines/Spain

VISIBLE
2018

-Photo archive and site-specific installation/sculpture/bricolage made with
repurposed wood from past dismantled buildings, and botanical samples
transplanted from wild growth spurted from the walls of Intramuros

Plaza Moriones (in front of American Barracks), Fort Santiago

The artistic practices of Wawi Navarroza and Nicolás Combarro combine
photography with intervention and installation, anchored on research. Working
with Escuela Taller de Filipinas, they respond to the Manila Biennale 2018 concept
of “Open City” with a site-specific work that focuses on two presences that are very
much alive despite being often ignored: local architecture (mostly self-constructed)
and urban nature seen in spontaneous plant growth. By highlighting these two
rampant, yet often ignored, realities of the city, Navarroza and Combarro erect a
starting point for thinking about our place in it. AS
The construction of VISIBLE was made possible by the generous support of the
Embajada de España en Manila, Fibertech Industries, and the participation of
Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation, Inc.

catherine sarahYOUNG /Philippines

The Sewer Soaperie

-Soaps made from palm oil, used oil and grease

An olfactory portrait of the amazon rainforest

-Bottled Scents

Biennale Lounge, Plaza San Luis

Catherine Sarah Young mobilizes the mundanity of everyday objects to speak of
what we stand to lose at a time of reckless consumption and ongoing environmental
disaster. An Olfactory Portrait of the Amazon Rainforest attempts to capture the
memory of one of the world’s most vulnerable areas, by trapping it in bottles as a
series of scents. The Sewer Soaperie converts food waste into cleanser by turning oil
used at different stages of the fast food industry into soaps – lovely objects that
guests are welcome to use only if they dare. AS

mmYU /Philippines

In Transit (2015)

-Single channel video

San Ignacio Mission House – First Fl.

In photographing the makeshift homes that hound the streets of Manila, Mm Yu
employs the idea of the tableau. She picks out the opposite part of the sidewalk as
her vantage point, assuminag the role of an observer who has completely
surrendered her attention against the diorama in front of her. The image becomes
part documentation and part careful compositions, whose gap she bridges through
her photographs. The different objects of these makeshift homes appear inside the
frame as cohesive parts, eliminating any disjunction that their sudden intervention
might cause: wooden carts are parked motionless as if they were permanent fixtures
along the street, while the peculiarities found in the picture are evened out by the
somberness of the situation, as it touches briefly on the outcome of deprivation from
one of human’s basic needs. CL