Bahay kubo

I used to sing this all the time when I was a little kid. I still do, actually.


Honey Bunny


Natures first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-- Robert Frost


Lord Byron

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.


Matining Codex

This is how the Codex was showed last week. Its the second version, but will likely not be the last.


These are some serious true cool people.

Forgetting the wall. (thanks Hsiao Ling Brown)

Georges Perecs:

"I put a picture up on the wall. Then I forget there is a wall. I no longer know what there is behind the wall. I no longer know there is a wall, I no longer know that this wall is a wall. I no longer know that in my apartment there are walls and that if there weren’t any walls, there would be no apartment. The wall is no longer what delimits and defines the place where I live, and that which separates it from the other places where other people live, it is nothing more than a support for the picture. But I also forget the picture, I no longer look at it, I no longer know how to look at it. I have put up the picture on the wall so as to forget there was a wall, but in forgetting the wall, I forget the picture, too."


The Matining Codex

Each sculpture is a word in this new language. This language is recorded in this moment and in every moment. In this moment these words sit, written, on this sheet. This sheet is contextualized by its own myth.

In 10 hours, the piece Ive been working on for the last 6 months will go through a crit.
In the last couple of days Ive been convinced into and out of decisions by people whos opinions I respect. In the end, Im sticking to my guns and Ive been pining over my decisions all through this Easter weekend.
I decided to have 9 sculptures in total;
- a gold leafed, basketball-ish sized sphere with a smiley face
- dried soil with crushed pearls
- my father's barong (traditional shirt worn by all men in a wedding made from pineapple) turned into a sack, stuffed with rice
- earphones with me singing Anak by Freddie Aguilar and More Than Words by Extreme
- a basket with an airport tag
- a commissioned terra cotta pot with the potters signature on the front
- a kite
- a candle-thing in a silver pail
- and the base that these 8 sculptures sit on balanced by a Tagalog Bible.

At the front of the door I will have a Borges' quote.

"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature."

The thing that really scares me right now is the presence of the Bible.
Its such a loaded object and I know that it has potential to over shadow the entire piece, which is why I chose to hide it in what I think is a literal, but poetic way.
This scares me because it feels gimmicky, but this being presented during a crit, I cant help but use the opportunity as a type of workshop. To test the responses.
Also, a part of me just wants to put the Bible in there and say "So what?"
My decision tomorrow will be to not reveal the Bible, but to allow people to speculate whats hidden under the base.
I believe that since I have treated each of these objects as a word, then it would be appropriate for each person to have their own experience define that word for themselves. Ive created these objects, and once they are in sight of other people, I no longer control how they may be consumed.
My link to myth, language and the codex all lay in words. Since I want the audience to treat these objects as words, the base then becomes like a sheet of paper and the allusion to a codex becomes apparent in this context. Since a Bible and a dictionary are both books, the pairings of these ideas can exist.


El Otro, El Mismo

"It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature." -- Jorge Luis Borges

Everythings amazing right now and nobodys happy.


Its been taking a long time, but I think its been really worth it to explore and be meticulous about my decisions. I Chosen to show the following 7 objects here, plus a bigger version of a kite that I made previously. I've taken out the yellow element and the fish tank and have decided to stay away from the obviously visual glue of the John Deere yellow.

I think the biggest decision I've made has to do with the plinth. Once the kite is on there, there will be 8 visible items, but I will refer to it as 9 items.

In trying to figure out how to display these objects, I've decided to treat the plinth as another object.


Toxo in the brain.

Parasites that cause behavioral change in cats to help spread itself. Toxo actually hijacks sexual pathways in cats to make their urine more attractive to rodents.


The Last of the Romantics.

The Last of the Romantics.

Cohen couldn't have put it any better:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.

Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music."

And then you got away, didn't you babe...

I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can't keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that's all, I don't even think of you that often.

Myth for Codex (stolen from Hsiao Ling)

"Everything, then, can be a myth? Yes, I believe this, for the universe is infinitely fertile in suggestions. Every object in the world can pass from a closed, silent existence to an oral state, open to appropriation by society, for there is no law, whether natural or not, which forbids talking about things." -Roland Barthes

Oh, what? ... I mean its cool if I take one of these cookies right?


How do you really measure something as ethereal as confidence anyway?

Words from my friend Salimah:
"Maybe, I have been spending too much time around the Olympic flame, but I don't think so: there is certainly something profound going on in Vancouver at the moment. Everyone knew the games would have an impact - some believed positive, others thought negative - but I agree with Mr. Mason, that the level on which this moment has inspired the opportunity for furthering a deeply Canadian conversation - on our identity, our history, our plurality, our future - has come as a surprise. A very welcome one."

and the words that inspired her words.


Objecthood and recalling a walk with you.

This is my first real attempt at painting. I guess I am approaching this prototypically, but its the only way I really know how to approach things. I didn't think painting would be so cerebral and oddly enough, despite the fact that the painting is a recollection of a memory, all I can think about is commodity and owning.


Study for Codex

I finally got off my ass started to test out my theories. I'm excited about this study. I'm hoping to make more a cylinder type shape.


Whats going on in America?

I woke up today to find the end of the Democratic filibuster. Scott Brown, a Republican has taken post of Kennedy's old spot in Massachusetts. A spot that has been occupied by the Democrats for over 40 years. And then this. Cindy McCain posting for the NoH8 Campaign.
What the what?


Google: How it read my mind.


I am sitting at my trusty coffee place again at 1 in the morning and I see this great thing in front of me. Stopped at the red light was a yellow VW Westfalia with an ebony coloured canoe on its roof. For some reason it made me laugh and I knew I had to take a picture, but I forgot my camera again and I debated using the camera on my laptop. but I convinced myself it wouldn't work. It sped away 2 seconds before the actual green light.
I immediately went to Google image that scene. I typed "canoe" and "westfalia" and lo and behold.

Matining Codex

I have begun work on what I deem to be a pretty ambitious piece. Last November I began to seriously research creation mythologies of the Malay-Philippine region. I was looking specifically for stories that were somehow uninfluenced by Spanish colonization in the early 16th century. Here is the proposed proposal.
The Philippines is comprised of 7,107 islands with 170 different languages, it is a country created from the arbitration of the Spanish Dominion with regard to the bounty of the natural resources of the land and not the distinct cultural and ethnic peoples that inhabit the islands. Their society was organized by barangays (villages) and their property and population was determined by how much they could fit into their barangays (barangay also mean boats). Because of the archipelago configuration it isolated groups of barangays and as a result creation myths became abundant in types and variations throughout the country. The Catholic friars saw the importance of these folklore to exist alongside Catholicism. These heathen stories still exist today and influence the complexity of contemporary Filipino culture.

The Boxer Codex is a manuscript from 1595 of 75 illustrations of people in the Malay-Philippine region. Its namesake comes from Charles R. Boxer, a professor at Indiana University and owner of this manuscript. The codex involve 15 illustrations of the peoples of the Philippines before the first onset of the Spanish Catholic colonization in the beginning of the 16th century. This codex contains a lot of our modern understanding of the Filipino peoples before Spanish colonization in 1521.

The Matining Codex is a collection of found objects and assemblages that speak about the existing relationship of Filipinos to faith; heathen and Catholicism. It is comprised of 12 objects sitting on a low plinth/altar with a Christian cross rising in the middle. Each of the 12 objects is an idol-like representation of a common heathen God or character from the varied creation myths of the islands. Their physical image are based on the literal contemporary translations of their names or descriptions from archived oral histories.


20 years ago today, I walked out of YVR with my family and saw my breath for the first time.