The Philippines and Madagascar are about 5,500 miles (9,000 kilometers) apart, separated by the Indian Ocean, but that distance has been bridged culturally and linguistically through trade and migration. People from Borneo, the Philippines southern neighbor, were the first settlers in Madagascar, so we share similar physical characteristics and as well as Austronesian language roots.
When I travelled to Madagascar for the first time in 2012, I was struck by a sense of familiarity. I had returned to the Philippines in 2011 and the sights, sounds and smells of my homeland were still fresh in my memory when I landed in Madagascar a year later. Many Malagasy people reminded me of my cousins, not just in looks but in also mannerisms. A rice soup brought back memories of home. Local children teaching me to count in Malagasy made me realize some of the numbers in Tagalog were similar.
An Ocean Apart is my solo exhibition at Geraldine’s Counter in Columbia City (4872 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle 98118), through Nov. 10th.
Other Fall 2013 Exhibitions
My “Passport Series” is part of Under My Skin: Artists Explore Race in the 21st Century at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, through Nov. 17th.
Additional photographs from “An Ocean Apart” will be part of a group show presented by IDEA Odyssey Collective and juried by Juan Alonso at City Hall Galleries, through Jan. 3rd.