Media Gallery

sight Time does strange things to perspective – the telescoping effect of looking back over past family gatherings turns them from separate events into a sweep of generational history, with everything always the same, and yet constantly changing. Janelle Marie Salanga takes us through multiple points of view, showing how many ways there are to see.

 

 

Filipino time
by Janelle Marie Salanga

Raja looks like a cat, no longer the tiger of my imagination.

When I close my eyes
I picture nights perfectly preserved,
colored by
pressure dressed as well-intentioned titas—
the future looms in their mouths
as they chatter blithely in Tagalog
as if hindi ko intindihan,

(but really every word sounds like the sun
sweltering in the middle of Santacruzan)

and sweaty hands pressed to made-up foreheads,
foundation smudging against blessings,
age revealed and paid respect,

as all the titas and titos cluster around
a sixty-inch plasma TV,
while the kids gather around slowly shrinking screens as the years recede.

Golden brown lechon, the summer king of the winter feast,
sits presiding over trays bursting with lumpia and pancit and tinola
until his power slowly seeps into ziploc bags
along with his subjects,
all to be cooked for tomorrow’s ba-on, kain ka na, anak!

Leaning against this artificially ferocious beast
with roars of cotton,
I see the ghosts of my past selves
smiling.

 

Janelle Marie Salanga writes both code and poetry, and in her free time contributes to OneClass Blog, where she touches on aspects of life at the University of California, Davis. This is her first time one of her poems has appeared in publication. She is a current first-year student at U.C. Davis and is working toward a double degree in computer science and English.

Phyu Mon (1960- ) is regarded as one of Myanmar’s most profiled conceptual artists. The Mandalay-born artist graduated from Mandalay University with a BA in Literature and studied painting under U Ba Thaw between 1978 and 1979. She earned a Diploma in Photography from the Myanmar Photography Association, and a Photo Creation and Editing Diploma from the High Tech Training School. In 2013, she accepted a Post Graduate Diploma from Yangon Art and Culture University. She is one of the very few women artists in Myanmar who currently works with digital photography and visual art. Though Phyu Mon had exhibited her Symbolic paintings in group exhibitions since 1985 and became a renowned poet and writer, she developed a keen interest in conceptual art from her husband Chan Aye. During the 1990s, when it was quite rare for a woman artist to present a ‘One Woman Performance,’ Phyu Mon performed Human Being Object, followed by a number of shows both in Myanmar and abroad. However Phyu Mon is best known as a leading digital artist. At a time when feminine art practice in Myanmar could be termed as ambiguous, Phyu Mon’s broad conceptual art practice included not only her digital artworks but also performance, video, sound art and installations. Phyu Mon initiated the ‘Blue Wind Multimedia Art Festival’ in 2009 at Myanmar National Museum. Her art works have also been exhibited in Japan, Thailand, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Denmark, Spain, USA, UK , Italy, and France. In 2016, she organized an art workshop at Aswara Art University in Malaysia.

The Transpacific Literary Project is a platform for writing from across East and Southeast Asia. Read work from our most recent project folio, Sight.

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