Regalos is a transit-specific work (as described by scholar Eric Estuar Reyes) for the Galleon Trade exhibition in Manila. Galleon Trade is a grassroots international arts exchange that recontextualizes historic Spanish trading routes with new forms of cultural exchange.
Regalos involves the shipment of two empty, glitter-covered balikbayan boxes to Manila. In transit, the glitter will erode, suggesting a trail to home, the link between giver and recipient, the entropy of intention, or the gap between concept and material. Rounding out the exhibition will be a photo of the boxes in their original state in San Francisco and a brochure/poster featuring drawings and a diagram.
The project is a consideration of three ideas: my ongoing notion of art as a gift, the fact that the Philippines' biggest import is labor (10% of the population works overseas), and the Filipino custom of giving balikbayan (literally, "going home") boxes. "Regalos" is Tagalog for "gift."
Addendum: Upon re-entry into the U.S., the boxes gained additional marks of transit, such as labels bearing official approval.
The artist would like to thank Jenifer K. Wofford for her support of this project.
- Regalos, San Francisco, California, USA, 2007, photograph, 16 x 20 inches / 41 x 51 cm.
- Regalos (Gold) and Regalos (Silver) (installation view at Green Papaya Art Projects, Quezon City, Philippines), 2007, balikbayan boxes, glue, glitter, shipped from San Francisco, California, USA to Manila, Philippines, 18 x 18 x 18 inches / 46 x 46 x 46 cm. each. Photo courtesy Stephanie Syjuco.
- Photo documentation of boxes in their repatriated state.
- Photo documentation of the project in transit, generating curiosity at the Ninoy Aquino Airport in Manila, Philippines.
- Untitled Regalos drawing #1, 2007, graphite on vellum, collage, 8 x 10 inches / 20 x 25 cm.
- Untitled Regalos drawing #2, 2007, graphite on vellum, collage, 8 x 10 inches / 20 x 25 cm.
- Untitled Regalos drawing #3, 2007, graphite on vellum, collage, 8 x 10 inches / 20 x 25 cm.
- Detail from Regalos brochure/poster, 2007, digital media, brochure: 5.5 x 8.5 inches / 14 x 21.5 cm, fold-out poster: 11 x 17 inches / 28 x 43 cm.