Paper and acrylic paint


23″ x 20.5″

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My new series BANIG (pronounced ba-nig) reflects on my status as a queer brown immigrant in the age of Trump.

BANIG explores home and identity through the lens of Filipino immigration. Banig is a traditional Filipino craft—woven sleeping mat constructed out of dyed dried grass. The balikbayan box is a corrugated cardboard shipping box used by Filipinos abroad to transport household goods to loved ones. Balikbayan boxes are iconic symbols of the modern Filipino diaspora. I collect used balikbayan boxes from family and friends, peel apart their walls of paper, and cut them into strips. I weave them into fragments of banig, and whitewash the history of the box in an attempt to hide and erase its journey.

The election of Trump ushers a new chapter in the whitewashing of America—where LBGT, immigrant, people of color must either blend in or remain invisible in order to survive.

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.” —Carrie Fisher


© UCSF Alliance Health Project