In collaboration with Gian Cruz
Reframing Maritime Southeast Asia (c. 1400 – 1800) presents an aesthetic and architectural proposition retracing an often-underrepresented aspect of Philippine culture that operates from the recesses of its interior pre-colonial cultures and a timely gesture to revisit in a time where climate perturbations are making more and more vulnerable the Philippines at large. It becomes an empowering gesture to revisit the savoir- faire of our ancestors who worked with the land and spirits that governed the land instead of go against its nature.
Here, the idea of an interminable creeping structures resembling circumscribing creeping figures resembling serpents dancing to resemble infinity. Their closeness to the earth becomes symbolic as they transform themselves into this skeletal and circular pavilion of sorts. Creatures with a profound connection to the earth aligning together to form “ladder-like” motifs gesturing of the nature reasserting her hierarchy or in the Philippine experience, the pre-colonial surpassing the exploitation of her lands by a string of colonisers. And the spirit of elders connected to these lands assuming form in these serpents positing creeping, long and fluid-looking structures while metaphorically re-affirming the importance of vernacular architectural forms as a potent gesture towards dealing with devastating effects brought about by climate change and look further within and unearthing the answers hidden within oral traditions and unwritten parts of our history as they didn’t fit into the Euramerican narrative of modernism and civilisation.