Coming up with ideas for Post Medium.
Inspired by the traditional Filipino mat called a banig.
Banig is a traditional Filipino handwoven mat normally used for sleeping or sitting on. It is not a textile. (It is not made of cloth.) . The banig is made of from dried leaves that are sometimes dyed before being cut into strips and woven into a mat. The most common type of leaves used is buri. In the Visayan region, it’s often from a reed called tikog.
Why the banig?
Thinking about post medium I wanted to incorporate something from my background. I remember growing up my mum would always be making these traditional mats. I want to experiment with weaving a painting into this traditional mat.
With this idea in mind, I'm pretty happy with how the painting turned out once it was weaved. Now I started to think about more meaning behind the piece. Since this is a very traditional Filipino mat, I wanted to look into social issues in the Philippines.
I started to think about the extreme poverty in the Philippines, not only that I started to think about how fortunate we are in Australia and how we are so lucky to be born in a country so privileged. I started to think about the concept of how it is by chance we are actually born into Australia, over 3 billion people actually live on less than $2.50/day. So I wanted to experiment with a piece that represents poverty in the Philippines on one side and on the other side emphasises how fortunate we are.
I started to look at the slums in the Philippines which would be the main inspiration for one side of the canvas.
I came across the slum called Happy Land. There is a great article on Medium that talks about this slum: https://medium.com/@edward2959/manilas-happyland-no-place-for-happiness-9246719f7146
Here are a few key points from the article:
The biggest problems facing Filipinos remains poverty and homelessness in Manila’s vast slums
You only have to drive a few kilometres outside the thriving Manila metropolis to suburban Tondo to be struck by the sheer hopelessness facing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.
a short drive outside from Manila’s city is the slum area of Tondo where more than 600,000 people live in poverty.
The worst of the conditions can be found at Tondo’s ‘Happyland’ BRGY105 where the population has grown from around 3500 in in 2006 to more than 12,000 today.
Happyland is literally built around a dump, or many dumps where people daily wade through rubbish looking for anything of value.
Tons of chicken scraps are collected from takeaways garbage bins then recycled by boiling. It’s called ‘pagpag’ and sold to hungry families in the slums for a few pesos.
Pictures of Happyland
Waiting for the canvas to dry, so I started to slice up black fabric which will represent the people of happyland.