Bahay Natin (Our House)
Status: this is an in-progress project, to be presented in Emily Carr Univesity’s graduation show taking place from 2022 May 10th to May 24th
Deliverables: publication, exhibit, visual identity, photography
Collaborator: Fyonna Laddaran
The project Bahay Natin (Our House) began with an interest in discerning a connection between food and Filipinx resilience. We (Kin and Fyonna) explored cuisine in the context of colonial occupation, more recent stories of immigration and food, and ongoing rezoning plans affecting restaurants in Vancouver's Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood (an important cultural hub for many Filipinx people in the local diaspora).
Academic and historical readings provided us with a foundation to understand how colonialism and migration impacted Filipinx cuisine throughout time. Another ongoing mode of research throughout the project has been interviews with Filipinx people in our local context of Vancouver. The conversations we’ve had and the stories we’ve heard have been some of our favourite aspects of our project. From these readings and interviews, we gained the idea to host a Kamayan or Boodle Fight dinner event for a few of our friends in the ECU Design department. This Kamayan event as a whole was one of healing, learning, gifting, and receiving. It helped clarify how we’d like to refine our ideas and present our insights going into the new year.
Our final outcomes consist of a publication and a grad show exhibit. The publication will include the transcribed interviews from our research phase, portrait photography of the interviewees, and a feature for our Filipinx peers in ECU. It plays with the idea of a metaphorical house, with each section representing the rooms featured interviewees can express themselves and their work. The grad show exhibit is in the form of a designed dining table set up with a gift box on top. The dining table display will include paper placemats that educate visitors about Filipinx food culture, a menu of conversations that details our Kamayan event, and a celebratory table cloth that visitors will be invited to draw and write on. The gift box will include several takeaway items, from postcards and stickers that highlight even more snippets of Filipinx food culture, to food crawl zines that can introduce readers to local Filipinx restaurants.
Bahay Natin is designed to encompass both sides of a gift exchange. With our interactive exhibit on one side, we aim to share the gift of our culture and cuisine. With our publication on the other side, we aim to show appreciation for all the relationships and insights we’ve gained throughout the year.
Balikbayan box prototype
Kamayan dinner event
Celebration + Critique
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