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DISAPPEARING ST. MALO

Wood, Nylon Nets, Woven Mylar
22’ x 9’ x 17’
Socrates Sculpture Park; LIC , NY
2022


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









DEPARTURES

A three-act performance activation of Disappearing St. Malo for Filipino American History Month
Socrates Sculpture Park
October 22, 2022

Occurring in three acts, Departures seeks to uplift the work of three New York based Filipino-American artists. In Act One, historian and scholar Dr. Michael Menor Salgarolo reads St. Malo’s Unexpected Legacy outlining St. Malo’s radical vision. In Act Two, Atlantic Pacific Theater performs “nothing is tubig is nothing is tubig” a short play by Claro de los Reyes. To close out the program, in Act Three, Kapwa Yoga’s Paul Jochico hosts a movement and mindfulness workshop centered on the indigineous Filipino wisdom of Kapwa, or shared inner self.




Opening Artist Talk
Socrates Sculpture Park
September 10, 2022