The scanned and printed images are sourced from 19th century colonial texts of the Philippines. During this time period, there was a transition of power from Spain to the US. Photos were used to promote ideals of American Empire and the “benevolent assimilation” of the Philippines. Additionally, there are images from news clips of current events, particularly stills related to President Duterte’s policies, the landscape of the Philippines, and the islands’ current relationship with the US.
I am interested in the relationship between assimilation, camouflage, as well as the idea of a haunted landscape. Trauma, whether through natural disaster or historical conflicts, is absorbed by the landscape and atmosphere. The land, air, and water, contain hidden scars, while continuing to regenerate and grow. Trauma is like a specter haunting the terrain. Camouflage is a disguise to hide in the landscape. In nature, patterns are used to ward off predators, signal danger, or to escape by blending into the surroundings. In war, camouflage is a protective garment or an invisible threat, depending on what position you occupy. In this new work, I am interested in referencing these uses. On one hand, the bright reds and patterns act as a warning device. On the other, the images embedded within the piece are disguised and rearranged, unable to be pieced together to form a linear narrative.