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remittance The most difficult thing about a post-colonial existence can be recovering a sense of self, when the colonizers have so thoroughly left their stamp on not just language and geography, but also custom and aesthetic sense. If our behavior and what we find beautiful is shaped by an external culture, how will we ever know what is truly ours?





The Experiment of the Tropics

As a nest among the trees               As a garden among the bigger garden of sea

Mountain                     View             As a wish that were drawn to scale

So the idea became foldable                        a mere scaffold

Discarded                     For the long-lasting thing

That revivalist thing                Style                which was as the master

carpenter implied                 went beyond               road               port

Nut                 bolt                 wharf               a nail

In a railroad port                a pipe

that opened and closed

The central portico             the color and the texture of

A solid collonade               Inday’s silence

Which was her sense of water flowing       across the experiment

that was the tropics                A river bank made private

A theater of night guards                               A soda parlor

Of that foreign good                 whisky tractor

red tin can                 with the picture of a scarab                 and a quaker oat

Acquisition                               That American thing

The good old good

Cheese and grape

There was a tennis court in the club                           where you hit a ball

and nothing returned

We munched                 on its brandy biscuit.

We ordered two of it.


Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He received an MFA from the Nonfiction Writing Program of the University of Iowa and an MFA in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of The Highest Hiding Place and is presently teaching creative writing at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.

Onejoon Che has been working on the trauma of the military regime through photography, short films, and archival installation. Recently, Che has been working on monuments and statues of North Korea. The Townhouse series (2008-2010) is a project about the environmental issues of the five U.S. military camps in Paju that were left when the army was sent to Iraq in 2003. The ruins of U.S. Army camps have been left untouched for the last ten years due to the pollution of oil spills and the cost of restoring. The problem has not been solved until recently. This work shows the history and present of the U.S. Army in South Korea and reveals the hidden images behind the war. Che's photographs and videos have been shown in major museums and biennale, including the Taipei Biennial at Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2008), Les Modules at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), The Korean Peninsula at the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Italy (2014), Surround Audience at the New Museum Triennial, New York (2015), and Accelerated Urbanism in Africa at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2016), among others.

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

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