Instructed by the rich and complex history of Filipino traditional dress, Liwayway serves as portraiture of the artist’s family through garments. The works embed stories and memories into fibers of traditional silhouettes and adornments while examining the effects of colonialism and immingration on the Filipino subconscious.
Liwayway meaning “dawn” in Tagalog is a brand of starch unchanged since 1946, the same year the Philippines was granted independence from the United States of America. The packaging reads, “Sa minsang gamit ay ’di ninyo malilimot ang linis puti at puri na pananagutan namin.” (“With one use, you will remember the clean-white pureness that is our commitment.”) The dual meaning of the namesake recalls the dawning promise of the American Dream marketed to immigrants as pure clean whiteness as well as the nostalgic practices of manually starching garments and hanging them to dry in the tropical sun.
"As a child, I remember sifting through generations worth of Piña Ternos and Barongs that my family kept in a sealed barrel in the Philippines. The smell of mothballs, dust, and mold accompanied the intricate hand embroideries and sweat stained textiles. I reflect on the importance of these garments, the stories and life they carried, the cacophony of external influences fueled by colonialism, religion, and traditions that created those garments.”