Installation view:

Disappearing St. Malo, 2022
Wood, Mylar, Nylon Nets
@ Socrates Sculpture Park, New York

Disappearing St. Malo, 2022 
Public Art; Social Practice; Woven Sculpture

• Location: Socrates Sculpture Park; Long Island City , NY
• Materials: Wood, Nylon Nets, Woven Mylar
• Dimensions: 22’ x 9’ x 17’

St. Malo is an elusive place shrouded in mystery and myth. Established by Filipino sailors, it was the first permanent Asian-American settlement. Comprised of cypress huts with extravagant hat-shaped eaves on stilts atop shell mounds left by Native Americans before them. The floating village was actually more like a remote work-camp, full of enterprising fishermen. Its strategic and prosperous position at the edges of society ultimately led to its downfall. Several storms later, St. Malo is now little more than a clump of live white oak trees on the southern shore of Lake Borgne.  And within this lifetime… St. Malo will disappear entirely into rising waters.

With this work, I’m bringing this lost place into our collective memory as a site-specific architectural installation and platform for creative exchange. As an installation, like the Manila Men before me, I construct the pavilion in the bahay-kubo style with the materials I have readily available: wood, mylar, nylon nets. The meandering silver mylar also recalls the site’s industrial past and that connection to climate change. This project questions how we recall a place of historical significance that’s already begun to fade away...

Designed as a social sculpture and platform for creative exchange, the sculpture has the following associated programming:
  • “When Manilamen Fished at St. Malo (1840s-1906)” by Randy Gonzales | Audio Recording
  • St. Malo’s Unexpected Legacies by Michael Menor Salgarolo | Audio Recording
  • DEPARTURES: a three-act Pinoy performance - 10/22/22