Diaspora started as a comparison between Canadian and Filipino culture. It is a reflection of my experience between moving from one country to another. The piece is about adaptation as well as gaining and losing touch to a culture. It also reflects the experience of all immigrants and how they have to adapt to changing ways of living.
Diaspora (2014)- acrylic and maple leaves on masonite board,
The artwork consists of the Canadian and Filipino flag which is broken down into different pieces, each piece reflect a certain aspect of the culture it represents.
The Filipino flag is covered with filipino traits. For example, the image of a child holding a hand to his forehead is a sign of respect towards an older person. It’s like giving a hug or a kiss to the cheeks. The words “opo” and “po” are also a sign of respect when talking to anyone older than yourself. The religious symbol, the cross, represent a faith celebrated by Filipinos. A faith that once was a big part of my life, a faith that slowly faded through time.
On the other hand, the Canadian flag is filled with iconic Canadian symbols. The use of maple leaves, the images of a beaver and a native chief, the words “Tim Hortons” and “sorry” all broadly represent Canada. For me, these generic symbols represent my vague understanding of the Canadian culture. They act as a stepping stone, a slow integration to a culture that I have yet to explore.
In the end, the breaking down of the flag into these pieces and this arrangement speaks to the way I feel about my culture. It shows the slow but distinct changes in my lifestyle. For example, the religious symbolism didn’t translate to the Canadian flag because it is something that I somehow lost over the years that I have lived here. The arrangement of the pieces shows the integration of each culture into one, a culture that represents my values and traits. It represents the type of culture that I associate myself within. A culture that blurs the lines that define one group against the other. A culture that is slowly evolving and shaping itself into an identity. For me, this identity is personalized by the people, places and events that I encounter.
Diaspora is in a way a representation of globalization and the traces or footprints someone leaves as they move from one country to another.