Four multidisciplinary Filipinx-American artists invite the audience to participate in creating a new holiday ritual of togetherness as hyphenated Americans. A display of giant digital images of commercial products found at a Sari Sari, a Southeast Asian version of a bodega, will be the set design of the work. The brand names of the selected products are replaced with slogans of empowerment.
The four artists, Ani/Malayaworks (Anito Gavino and Malaya Ulan), Mic Diño Boekelmann, and Brandon Aquino Straus, are unified by a desire to honor their indigenous Filipino roots and resist postcolonial amnesia. “As the Western world enters the holiday season, we want to explore how Filipino Americans can celebrate ancestral traditions and challenge historical erasure from imperialism and colonization,” says Anito Gavino, who formed the storytelling collaborative Ani/Malayaworks with her daughter, Malaya Ulan.
During the 3-hour immersive performances, participants will spend the first hour and a half exploring the interactive installations – parol (Filipino holiday lantern) making, story circles facilitated by Gavino, poetry writing with Ulan, or walking the visual art installation created by Straus, Boekelmann, and Ulan. A dance performance by Ani/Malayaworks follows. It includes experimental forms of shadow play and communal dance, using indigenous dance rhythms and new forms authentic to their Filipino-American experience. After the performance, there will be Karaoke and Reflection Circles on Saturday (12/3), and on Sunday (12/4), there will be Reflection Circles and Filipino cuisine.
The installation, featuring Straus’ visual artwork of the Sari Sari, will be open for viewing the following week. It will also feature organic paper sculptures crafted by Mic Diño Boekelmann using Manila envelopes. Sculpted in the shape of Sampaguita (or jasmine), the national flower of the Philippines, the garlands will hang throughout the space as an offering of welcome, pureness, and divine hope. Malaya Ulan has painted a traditional woven rice sifter with memories from the Philippines and sculpted work that interprets ancestral memory.
Performances for “Tagong Yaman” will run December 3 and 4, from 3-6 PM. The installation will be open for viewing the following week, December 5-9, from 5-7 PM each day. Both performances and exhibit will take place at Painted Bride, 5212 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19139. For tickets and more details, go to:
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