Bahay Natin (Our House) was created in collaboration with Fyonna Laddaran. The project centred around our desire to explore our bicultural identity and what that means for us living in the context of Vancouver. Drawing a connection between food and Filipinx resilience throughout time, we explored cuisine in the context of colonial occupation, more recent stories of immigration and food, and the ongoing rezoning plans affecting Filipinx restaurants in Vancouver's Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood. Through ongoing research and interviews with local Filipinx creatives, we formed a greater understanding of how colonialism and migration impacted and transformed Filipinx cuisine. To further deconstruct this understanding, we hosted a dinner event called a Kamayan or Boodle Fight, where we shared Filipinx food, cultural eating practices, and the impacts of immigration with our peers in ECU’s Design Faculty.
Based on these explorations, we designed a two-part interactive exhibit. The first part was a dining table installation with educational takeaways to continue sharing Filipinx food culture with a broader audience. The second part was a publication that celebrates the perspectives we gained from our community interactions. Bahay Natin was featured in The Show at Emily Carr University in May of 2022.
<aside> ⭐ **View the full project here or continue below for some featured deliverables**
Inspired by our Kamayan event, the concept for our interactive print installation came from the idea of a dining table filled with gifts. In the center of our display, we used a box to hold all of our takeaways and to represent a popular artefact people use in the Filipinx diaspora to send gifts back home to their families. In Tagalog, it’s called a Balikbayan box, which translates in English to “balik” meaning return and “bayan” meaning country.
Our intention was to create an experience and space where audiences could situate themselves within a broader complex cultural setting, opening up conversations about the intersections of food, language, immigration, and identity. Our educational takeaways included: