MOSAICS II: Dueling Identities

A late reflection, but it's all good. MOSAICS II was the shit. I'm excited to get MOSAICS III in the works ... after FilGrad for KAMP (coming in June!), and after gettin some needed rest in.

The event went by so quickly, compared to the first MOSAICS, and I was moved by every single artist's gift. While the performing artists were dynamic in their collective use of light and shadow, the contributions from the visual artists (including me) brought a distinct shadow. Brooding. Cerebral. Textural. We all happened to be Filipinx. Moving forward, we do hope that the MOSAICS visual arts rosters will represent more, multiple identities. But I also want to honor and recognize the power of what was curated and shown. Because it really was a powerful wall of he/artwork.

Skyler's piece, Good girl, free woman, was sublime. While I was moved by every single performing artist's piece, hers still echoes in my mind. I wish I had an audio recording of it. I'll tell her this soon, maybe she'll be kind enough to indulge me.

Something that hasn't been sitting with me too well was my debut of NARCISO: An Interactive Chapbook. Same goes for my poster series Mama, evicted. 

I'm not sure what I expected, or hoped for. My unease likely has to do with people's silence concerning my work, and my Q&A. I was asked why I decided to wait until the last minute to invite my family. In part, I put it off because my experiences with my family drive the bulk of my art, and I was afraid they wouldn't like what I created. It's really, really hard for us to have candid dialogues about what goes on in our lives with one another. With writing and posters and documentaries and installations, I at least have some thing to latch onto. A medium.

But, the issues I confronted this time--poignant, painful memories with Dad and with Mama--are fresh wounds. One of those wounds is still being made, right now. The day before MOSAICS II, my mom actually said she would come to the event, but she didn't. (sigh) It was probably for the best, though. It didn't feel right. To drag them into my public process of some of our intergenerational traumas. Maybe it won't feel this way later on. But lately, that's how I've felt about my public appearances. Is hiya catching up to me? Hopefully not.

San Radio Court

 Me, performing at So Say We All's Southeast Stories Meetup on March 31, 2018. Photo by Kirin Macapugay.

Me, performing at So Say We All's Southeast Stories Meetup on March 31, 2018. Photo by Kirin Macapugay.

Been meaning to write in this! I've been busy preparing for MOSAICS II: Dueling Identities (we are now less than one week away), designing for an arts and humanities conference presented by San Diego Community College District, writing for So Say We All (SSWA), and getting acclimated at my new full-time job. I can't believe it's already April. John was right--I should have done my taxes in January.

This past Saturday, I performed with five other locally grown, talented individuals for SSWA's Southeast Stories Meetup. The event was held at Project Reo Collective, a relatively new coffee shop that is only doors away from some of the streets I grew up on. I read my first iteration of an original piece, "San Radio Court," that I wrote especially for the project. What a beautiful event. I loved sharing the mic with such wonderful, incredible humans. May I always be able to tap into the gratitude and humility I felt then.

Only thing is, I ended up crying at the end of my piece (I am still embarrassed about this, even though dear ones have told me I have no reason to feel small). It was an intensely meaningful place for me to read in public. My dad has never seen me perform my original work, I don't think. He read my first short book, "my cheeks are mabanglo," but experiencing a reading in public is different. I wonder if he was there, listening.


 Me, performing at So Say We All's VAMP: ROOTS showcase on December 28, 2017. Photo by Alejandro Cervantes.

Me, performing at So Say We All's VAMP: ROOTS showcase on December 28, 2017. Photo by Alejandro Cervantes.

I only started to seriously call myself a writer this year. Owning identities is rough, sometimes. But I'm for real about it now. Go ahead. Say it. Moe is a writer.

Over the last year, I experienced several milestones. It started with visiting my parents' motherland, Pilipinas, last December. That trip led me to seek guidance from a healer, who just happened to also be Pinay. That healing session led me to finally build my own small design and consulting homebase, Create Fam Studio. That studio led me to produce a very thick zine on the topic of intergenerational patterns, in collaboration with my work for MOSAICS and Artists Building Community Project. That production led me to realize that my community action project for RISE San Diego is to write a book about my experiences with love and loss through my relationship with my dad.

And that community action project is what ultimately led me to take up the opportunity to perform a very dear story about my dad and me at So Say We All's VAMP: ROOTS showcase two nights ago. In the words of many show-goers, "I killed it." Actually I feel weird about perpetuating that saying. Let's just say that I got a lot of hugs and shoulder taps from strangers. Something magical happens when I perform, truly, and I can't wait for the next time I get to share.

Another highlight of 2017? Creating and sticking to legit morning and bedtime routines for myself. Mornings include walks with Isa and crossword puzzles. Bedtime is more of a work in progress, but hey, melatonin! A true gift from Mother Nature. I should have started taking it years ago.

Presence and presents

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Find me in these other web spaces, too:

create fam studio - my small collateral/design studio
Medium - my inconsistent writings
Nourishing - my personal/professional excellence plan via RISE San Diego