Had a successful day with Lane Wilcken at the Asia Art Museum for Filipino American History day. Activities included talks, art performance and a showing of my personal library of books on prePhilippine scripts and old items. Be sure to check out the Hinabi Project on display. Look out for our next event, unKonference on November 14, 2015 at Fort Mason.
When Filipinos think about Baybayin or the handicapped term Alibata, they think of a few things like the writing system that’s no longer used, backwards “mountain people”, the un-Christianized or an annoying thing they have to take in school. The art aspect of Baybayin isn’t really being discussed or thought of. Sure, we have tattoos but is it art if you merely select a generic font from the internet? The act of the tattooist putting the ink on your body is art but is the end product artistic? That’s up to you the individual to decide but I would think that nobody would ever think of using an Arial font for a tattoo. They would opt for some sort of calligraphy most likely.
It’s time to introduce Baybayin as an artform. We need to move away from taking shapes from existing material that’s been around for hundreds of years. Baybayin used in art as an element has been around since the 70’s if not earlier but they were straight copies of those references. Paul Morrow has done so much for Baybayin by releasing his fonts over 10 years ago but now have become the “standard”. Artist’s individual styles are now graded against Morrow’s Tagalog Stylized font.
It’s time to introduce Filipino Calligraphy that encompasses all indigenous and future writing systems from the so-called Philippines. Artists play an important if not more important part than academics in the promotion of Baybayin because it’s visual and digestible to the public.
This is a concept I’ll be introducing at my event at the Asian Art Museum October 19-21. I will be writing a famous yet controversial saying from a Filipino hero on canvas 15′ long. After the live art, I’ll be introducing Filipino Calligraphy to an audience of mostly non-Filipino artists, art academics and art lovers with a lecture.
I’m proud to announce my Filipino Calligraphy event at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum on October 19 to 21, 12-4pm. Joining me with be Japanese calligraphic performer, Aoi Yamaguchi. In the 4 hours, Aoi and I will collaborate on a large piece writing a poem and saying in our own languages, conduct a lecture about our work and a workshop.
The collaboration between Baybayin (pre-Spanish Filipino script) artist Christian Cabuay and calligraphic performer Aoi Yamaguchi demonstrates the history and culture of Japan and the Philippines. Cabuay and Yamaguchi explore the differences and similarities of their art and struggle. By embracing traditions, rituals, and roots, they are pushing the boundaries and creating something anew, integrating international cultural ideas, styles, and forms. Meaning “beginning/origin” in Tagalog and Japanese, Simula and Gen symbolize the artists asserting identity through their calligraphy traditions.
In 2010, I was invited to the Contemporary Jewish Museum to have a conversation with their resident scribe (Julie Selter) who was working on a project to hand writing the Torah. In our 1+ hour conversation, we talked about our common struggles in trying to revive our writing systems. Here’s a portion of our discussion.
Christian Cabuay, Artist & Author of “An Introduction to Baybayin” and Julie Seltzer, Artist & Torah Scribe-in-Residence, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, share their perspectives on the commonalities between Hebrew and Baybayin (a pre-Spanish Phillipine writing system). What do you think?
200 Larkin Street (between Fulton and McAllister Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94102
In the Civic Center district, across from City Hall.
This is a FREE event
I return to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on 10/3 to teach the Baybayin, talk and show some of my work. Also, I’ll be creating FREE custom Baybayin pins! Show up and there might be additional surprise freebies.
I’ll only be there for 2 hours at the North Court 12PM–2pm
Had a great time at the Asian Art Museum on Sunday 12/6 for Parol and Baybayin demo with Ray from Malaya Designs. People learned how to make a parol and learn about Baybayin. Ray carved bamboo tiles on the spot. I brought over some of my prints and paintings as well as my book.
Masamang balita galing sa mga bituin
Showing some artwork
Ray carving bamboo
People making parols
Here’s my nude parol. Guess what I’ll be doing with it?
Celebrate Pasko, the Filipino Christmas, and explore the parol, the illuminated star, a symbol of community, which helps define Filipino Christmas festivities. Attend a lecture on the art of parol with MC Canlas of the Bayanihan Community Center and the Filipino–American Development Foundation in the Education Studios from 11:30 am–1:00 pm, and then learn how to make your own parol at a workshop led by members of the Bayanihan Community Center from 1:00–4:00 pm. Also on hand are artists Christian Cabuay and Ray Haguisan, putting a contemporary spin on the ancient Tagalog script, Baybayin. You won’t want to miss this!
“Target First Free Sundays”—free admission on the first Sunday of every month and the family programs offered on that day—is made possible by Target. Free admission to Target First Free Sundays is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Supplies are limited. Due to capacity restrictions, admission is not guaranteed.