Papa, I Love You
“Whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love, we’re spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity.”
Those lyrics from the song “Where Is The Love?” by the Black Eyed Peas has always had me singing along with them, without ever knowing its real implications. Recently, however, these questions about the loss of human values and understanding challenged me to find the missing link that keeps people together.
I have always had a preconceived notion that victims of abuse would be closed-off and seem traumatized. Although this may be true for some, a recent visit to a shelter for young girls who have experienced abuse surprised me, not realizing that these girls are just like any other young girl, and at some points, happier. They enlightened me with their funny jokes, highly-contagious energy, and delightful stories.
This led me into making an artwork inspired by the one link that keeps people together: love. The openness and affection of people, depicted through open arms and the gesture of a warm embrace, is what I hope to evoke through the piece. The girls I got to meet weren’t as reserved and shy as I thought they would be, but rather very open about who they are—translucent. It doesn’t take one exposure or a quick moment of interaction with them to fully grasp their state, but multiple ones to build up a complete story, hence the manner in presenting the artwork.
As people interact with the piece, I hope that they will see the inner truth behind the outer story, realizing that this facade of a word, abuse, does not mean the loss of values, fairness, equality, love, understanding, and unity; but the full presence of these for you to connect with, keeping an open mind, open heart, and open arms.
This work was exhibited at Kisapmata: A Collaborative Exhibit last April 25-29, 2016, at the Ateneo de Manila University. Kisapmata is an exhibit that aims to give a closer look at the lives of abuse survivors through art. The exhibit had the 60 sheets of tracing paper used for the animation free for browsing, and a device with the animation on loop. Watch a brief video of the exhibit: https://vimeo.com/164101072
An alternate version of the piece, where the frames are presented in a grid format, is published in the Heights Seniors Folio 2018. Heights is the official artistic and literary publication and organization of the Ateneo de Manila University. The Seniors Folio is a collection of artistic and literary works submitted by the senior batch of students.