Saturday, June 19, 2010

Drawing Out Conversations, Taipei

Still from "Liwanag"

Nanhai Gallery
20 June - 24 July 2010

Its been a lot of hard work getting here and preparing for the show, but its finally up! Singaporean curator Ling-nah Tang has put together a wonderful host of artists who are thinking about mark making in different ways.

Sin-Tung HO, Hong Kong, with delicate drawings framed and directly on the wall.

Huey-Chian, Singapore, with his ink pool, a 3-dimensional drawing that changes with time.

Kai-Qun CHUN, Singapore, creates installations with drawing utensils.

For "Liwanag, let us dance in the light", I'm collaborating with Matt Richard on an interactive component that integrates viewers faces into the animation. The sculpture holds two plaster masks of my face, one holding a camera and anther the projector. The scroll landscape painting in the background serves as the screen for the animation. It is an imaginary landscape, finger painted in ink and gold, and based on the landscape of Hong Kong.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Eco, Xiang, Echo Blog

A big thank you to William Cordova, Leslie Hewitt, for putting together this on-line catalogue for the installations.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oakland Museum

Sending a thank you to the Fabulous Favianna Rodriguez for including me in her public art piece at the Oakland Museum of California.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Skin Script" installation at Project Row Houses

When I was growing up in the Philippines I had no knowledge of Baybayin. It was assumed at my schools that we were an oral culture, and that Filipinos adopted Latin-based writing because we did not have our own. It was not until many years after I moved to the US that I discovered, much to my surprise, that Filipinos had their own form of writing—one that was related to Sanskrit and which predated the arrival and subsequent colonization of the Spanish from 1565 to 1898. In the early 1990s, artists and tattoo artists in California discovered the script buried in a few obscure academic studies and began to bring it back to life, literally, by enshrining it in ink on the skins of Filipinos in the US. It has since been resurrected around the world thanks to the Internet.

As an artist and a student of calligraphy and culture, I am fascinated with letterforms and their power to tell the stories of people—not just in the meaning of words but in the stories that are embedded in the gestures and marks themselves. In learning to write the script and piecing together its story through research and interviews, I felt like I was looking into a mirror reflecting my own story. Nylon, tar, nails, and vellum signify skin, sails, mark making, place (Houston),and the Internet. Tattooed on the outside of the house are the names of the young mothers in this community. The figure in tar is Maria Makiling, a popular nymph in Philippine mythology.

"Skin Script" installation at Project Row Houses

Part of the exhibition "Eco, Xiang, Echo: Meditations on the African, Andean and Asian Diasporas" curated by William Cordova and featuring the work of Glexis Novoa, Albert Chong, Coco Fusco, Ayana Jackson, Crystal Cambell, Marina Gutierrez, Keith and Mendi Obadike, Nsenga Knight, and me.

For a full description of the project, visit my project journal.

"Skin Script" from minette mangahas on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Runaway Moon" Launch and Reception at SB D Gallery

Had a wonderful time at the opening reception for "Runaway Moon" last Saturday. The books are available at SB D Gallery. In addition to the hand-bound limited edition books, there are prints, a painting called "Sound" related to the series and an interactive ink-painting landscape on the gallery store-front windows.

You can order the book and see most of the paintings from the book at

See more of Sebastian Buys photographs of the reception at: