July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized
The project was inspired by the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection of the SF Public Library and the book Filipinos in San Francisco that chronicles over five generations of Filipinos in San Francisco. The vintage photographs that were used for the project date from the 1930’s to the 1970’s. These images of Filipino Americans, some candid and some posed, are a range of various subjects in various settings. At first they can be viewed simply as mementos commemorating an occasion, just like how we would take snapshots to remember a certain moment. It is also important to note that these photos were not only keepsakes but were also sent to families and friends in the Philippines. It is for this reason that, with a closer look, these vintage photographs reveal a deeper intention, one that is more deliberate than their obvious purpose. What may seem at first to be a casual snapshot becomes something more than just a souvenir of a moment, it becomes obvious that these photos are also a statement of status, presence in American soil, and ultimately of a Filipino American identity.
It then would be right to posit that the Filipino has used the camera as a devise for self-discovery and to show the world who the Filipino is and what the Filipino has become. Through the medium of photography we have broken away from the colonial gaze and controlled the way we want and how we should be seen. The saying goes: the camera does not lie. Inherently it doesn’t for it just a machine, a device that captures an image. The camera captures or records what is put in front of it. Therefore it can be argued that the camera records a (relatively) faithful image of a subject in a specific environment in relation to the circumstances that surrounds the act of taking a photograph. It is this combined with the intention to be visible that the Filipino has used the medium of photography to reinstate an identity, to be captured as an image with the specific intention to be seen in a certain light, and deliver this message through the subjective reality of a photograph. By pointing the camera to us/ourselves, we reclaim, reinstate, and legitimize our image and our lasting presence in American society and the world at large.
Along with fellow photographer Peggy Peralta, and with assistance from artist Cece Carpio, I have created a series of images of the contemporary Pilipino American community in San Francisco that explores the changing expression of Pilipino cultural identity over time. Through the juxtaposition of images of then and now, we contextualize the Pilipino American narrative and examine perceptions of who/what is a Pilipino.
The Kodakan, Pilipinos in the City exhibition is divided into five sections:
Gallivanting Dandies – Vintage photographs of well-dressed Filipino Americans in various poses and locations in San Francisco are juxtaposed with contemporary subjects, dressed in contemporary fashion, that examine and expose evolving tastes and styles that in essence remains the same.
Mga Musikero / Musicians – Vintage photographs of Filipino American musicians are displayed with contemporary photos of Filipino American musicians of various musical genres showcasing diverse musical talents.
Mag-asawa / Couples – Vintage photographs of Filipino American couples in various poses and locations and in various stages in their relationships are recreated with contemporary Filipino American subjects.
Pamilya / Family – Vintage photographs of Filipino American families are recreated with contemporary Filipino American subjects.
Personalities – Joel Tan, Caroline Cabading, Ammiel “Koi” Holder, and Kristine Sinajon showcase the complexity of the Filipino American identity.
There is also a video component to the exhibit as well as a short documentary on the Personalities, where each featured subject share their views and experiences of what it is to be Filipino in San Francisco.
Kodakan, Pilipinos in the City is on view until August 30, 2015 at the I-Hotel Manilatown Heritage Center, 868 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA 94108. Exhibit is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 1 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 6 p.m. For inquiries, you may reach the I-Hotel Manilatown Heritage Center at (415) 291-0178.
About the author:
Wilfred Galilais in pursuit of deciphering the ramifications of cultural hybridity in his postcolonial mind through the exploration and exploitation of various media for making art and telling stories. As a photographer, graphic artist, and filmmaker, he is the lead artist for Kodakan, Pilipinos in the City.
June 28, 2015 in Uncategorized
It’s been a win for the arts this past week! Check out Kularts helpful roundup & make sure to stay updated through Kularts social media channels:
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THANK YOU Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature!
The governor signed a state budget that includes a $7.1 million increase in California Arts Council funding! #artsboost
Big thanks to Supervisor Jane Kim & the SF Board of Supervisors!
They approved funds to invest in Bindlestiff Studio‘s much-needed upgrades and repairs! Show your support with #SalamatJaneKim
New Filipino Cinema 2015 has one film left to show and you won’t want to miss it, from outstanding Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz, YBCA presents FROM WHAT IS BEFORE (MULA SA KUNG ANO ANG NOON).
Known for his internationally acclaimed film, Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz returns with FROM WHAT IS BEFORE, winner of the Golden Leopard, 2014 Locarno Film Festival.
Showing this weekend both Saturday, June 27, 2 PM and Sunday, June 28, 2 PM at the YBCA Screening Room, the film is set in 1972. Mysterious things are happening in a remote barrio. Wails are heard from the forest, cows are hacked to death, a man is found bleeding and houses are burned. Ferdinand E. Marcos announces Proclamation No. 1081, putting the entire country under martial law.
For more information and to purchase ticket go to: YBCA Presents From What is Before