Human Patterns

visual explorations by Kym Olympia

In 2012, the photos were taken as part of the qualitative research of our undergraduate thesis for the BS Architecture course at the Technological University Manila. My thesis partner and I spent a whole week at the 9 coastal barangays (Alima, Maliksi 1, Maliksi 2, Maliksi 3, Digman, Poblacion, Sineguelasan, Talaba 2 and Zapote 5) of Bacoor Bay, documenting the current state of the “poorest of the poor” - the fisherfolks. Our thesis was about the failure to provide the security of tenure for the fisherfolks at the coast. They are part of the growing number of informal settlers we considered as “special cases” for although they are original settlers, they are also victims of land conversion and urban sprawl. We were awarded best thesis for the BS Architecture batch of 2013.


Fast-forward to 2018, I was contributing to a book about architectural fictions and the current state of the city. One of my stories is “Walang Kotrabida” which is about the ripple of cruelty as opposition to the usual positive counterpart, ripple of kindness. One may thought of it as pessimistic and only focuses on negativity but it also tackles our own cruelty unknowingly imposed to others creating a cycle - a cycle that everyone may just be a prey of. Looking for materials that would best fit my new endeavor, I stumbled upon my files from almost 6 years ago. The exploration takes on the struggle between negative - positive, the ironies in between and the conflict to attain balance that consist realities of life.

 

The exploration is out of the curiosity of making an unpleasant scene, pleasant. The process starts by color manipulation and mirroring of images, leading to exploring duplication and multiplication. Certain patterns start to emerge the more the source image becomes unrecognizable until only the interesting geometries are left. The resulting product is a familiar image that seems indiscernible at first glance until it slowly unveils itself
to the keen observer, by memory and rationality.

 

This particular collection of 9 visual prints is my take to remind us to always look at anything with optimism no matter how cruel the reality may seem.

Illustrations are in 12" x 12" archival digital prints and are available only in editions of 5 (five).


Site : 9 Coastal Barangays at Bacoor Bay

Year : 2012

Year Edited : 2018

Credits : Bernadeth Rebustes, Thesis partner

"bouy"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"ingress"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"refuge"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"lubid"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"latrine"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"tulay"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"lambat"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"siesta"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (5 copies available)

"banderita"

12" x 12" digital archival print edition of 5 (4 copies available)

bouy

Bouys are used in fishing to mark locations of nets left adrift.

welcome

An entrance to a fisherfolk’s hut (house). Huts are raised on stilts and are mostly made of bamboo, nipa and other found materials.

huts

A fisherfolk readies for a harvest at stilted huts in the middle of the Bacoor bay. These huts serve as refuge during the harvesting of mussels that only occurs after every 6 months. The huts can only be accessed by fishing boats.

drying fish

Most of the fisherfolk can not afford the convenience and comforts of technology. Drying fish is still the best possible way to preserve food for longer storage periods.

toilet and shower

Most huts lack the proper sanitary facilities. A section of a fisherfolk’s hut is used as a “toilet and shower” where all wastewater including fecal matters fall directly to the water below.

deck

Huts are connected by boardwalks, shared decks and walkways made of bamboo. Used containers of petroleum, paint and other materials are reused for all utility purposes.

fishing net

Fishing nets are being prepared and repaired at the fisherfolk’s common room that also serves as living room, dining and bedroom.
 

a fisherfolk’s bedroom

This fisherfolk family has a bedroom made of bamboo. The bench made of split bamboo is also used as a bed and a folding bed is laid with banig for sleeping. A kulambo is used as a screen for mosquitoes and other insects.

fishing boats

FIsherfolks build their own boats with the help of local craftsmen whose training, skills and knowledge of boatbuilding are only passed down from previous generations. They usually decorate the boats with vibrant colors and the boat letterings and graphic decorations are done by skilled painters (artists).

tote bags

17" x 14"

post cards

6" x 7"

all available prints are for sale, contact us for more info.

Escolta Block Party at  The Hub: Make Lab | Escolta, Manila, Philippines | November 2018

Hue Matters at Pineapple Lab | Poblacion, Makati, Philippines | November 2018

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