My work often addresses the politics of immigrant culture through exploring how plants and flowers from developing countries are appropriated through trade. My work attempts to decolonize these histories and stories through the retelling of them and eventually, a reimagining of them in a way that is empowering.
As a Filipina sculptor, I embody the spiritual roots of my culture through the practice of glassblowing. As a ritual process of creation, glassblowing in in tune with the alchemical transformation of liquid to solid. It is an ancient tradition inherited from the old world. Specifically, I specialize in the technique of glass flameworking. This process uses a torch to hand sculpt glass and has been used for centuries to create detailed objects that are both decorative and functional. Often I recreate, shape and devise sculptural tools and experiences that engage the senses. The sculptures are often incorporated in installations that serve as sets for performances.
Scent plays a big part in my process. Scent is ephemeral and deeply connected to the part of our brain that interprets emotions. It has grown to become a strong presence in my practice for its ability to invoke the aspect of human beings that is often seen as “the feminine” – the feeling body. Scent is sentimental and one can enter it as if entering a poem or a room. Perfumery is the ultimate art of smell. It takes us beyond memory and emotion and into the spiritual. In its molecular form scent is ephemeral and alludes to the spirit through its quality of being invisible but undeniably present. It has a long tradition of healing the mind and body through the distillation of plants as they transform into different chemical and material states. The creation of perfume involves glass objects from its beginnings in the process of distillation to the final product—the vessel that encases the scent.