pockets, pores, and calluses
8in x 6in x 6.5in
Animal hide, manga wood, banana paper, papyrus
Balat is a triptych book series, cradling the neglected stories of my Filipino ancestors that leave my skin wrinkled, clogged, and calloused. It aims to humanize Filipino history by shedding light on intimate vignettes of my ancestors’ environments, and that there is more to Philippine history than war, conquest, and colonized peoples. “Pocket” foretells the migration of my patriarchal lineage, coated in rodeo soot and grime. “Pores'' denies their faith with Catholicism and finds refuge in mystical troublemakers that Catholics would deem satanic. And “Callous” embraces the matriarchal resilience passed down to my hands from my ancestral mothers. I share these stories in Baybayin, the ancient alphabet of the Philippines and the non-Romanized form of Tagalog.
Before colonization in the 17th century, the tribes of the Philippines used Baybayin, the ancient alphabet of Tagalog and for many other dialects throughout the archipelago.