I am a self-taught lyricist, performer, and visual artist. While I was born in Manila, the Philippines I grew up in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. During my adolescence, I traveled a lot; from Brunei to Vancouver B.C. to Torrance, California. I experienced disconnection and isolation wherever I went.
During college, I began experiencing dissociative episodes which intensified and compromised my education. After dropping out in 2007, I ended up in a high-risk psychiatric ward in downtown Los Angeles. While In confinement, I managed to write, sing, and create images from a vulnerable state of mind. My courage and willingness to draw, for the sake of my sanity, carried me through these difficult times.
A SECOND CHANCE
In 2009, I moved back to Vancouver. Since then, I have continued to struggle with mental health challenges. Despite enduring several breakdowns, I had the resilience to create works of art that channeled my intense personal lived experience. I found solace in the complex worlds depicted in my search-and-find books, such as 'I Spy,' 'Where’s Waldo.' I spent countless hours exploring their complex worlds and whimsical characters. I attribute my 'doodle art' style to this early experience. My art emerges as complex layers of juxtaposed realities; vividly saturated elements which grow from my imagination. Like a meditative practice, my art developed to include soundscape and spoken word. This performance art blends ideas and imagery to convey a sense of hope and continues to inspire me and empower others to pursue their dreams.
RECENT WORK & RECOGNITION
I helped to facilitate 'Sea of Erupting Voices,' an event that highlighted performance artists with multiple barriers. This 6-month project was sponsored by the Vancouver Foundation's Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants and took place at the Central Public Library. Later, I worked with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation; I facilitated a series of workshops to develop artwork and raise funds and awareness for the Backpack Leadership Committee. In partnership with Coast Mental Health, I received the Carma Rogers Recognition Award, 'for my spirit of passion and creativity.'
Currently, I am working at Gallery Gachet in the DTES with a goal of becoming a collective member. I am applying for my first solo exhibition there, and intend to show in late 2017. My self-published search-and-find book called ‘Look For It’ will be released June of 2017.
Both my love of nature and adventure continue to have a profound impact on my work. I have learned to embrace both the tragedies and joys of life while healing personal trauma through my prolific and dynamic art practice. The creation of balance in a chaotic world has been a way to empower myself and inspire others.