writings, projects and exhibitions of Clarissa Chikiamco

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Condemning the incident of child abuse on "Willing Willie"

Normally I reserve my posts for updates on art matters.

However, as a member of the Philippine media, I feel it is important to state my thorough condemnation of the incident on the Willing Willie TV show earlier this month on channel TV-5. In the March 12 episode, 6-year old little boy Jan-Jan cries as he gyrates and does a sexy macho dance to the raucous delight of the audience and notably the show's host Willie Revillame. Jan-Jan is obviously visibly upset while performing but, from a family of very limited means, he does this for the promise of cash (those who hope to appear on this show and who watch it are usually from the lower income demographic). TV host Revillame noted himself in between his bouts of laughter, "Ganyan ho ang hirap ng buhay ng tao. Jan-Jan... sasayaw bilang macho dancer sa edad niyang 'yan para sa kanyang mahal na pamilya. Pinahanga mo ako, Jan-Jan." ("That's how hard life is. Young as he is, Jan-Jan will dance like a macho dancer for his beloved family. You've impressed me, Jan-Jan.") Revillame sees and points to Jan-Jan's distress while continuing to laugh and encouraging Jan-Jan to do the dance again. He gives Jan-Jan Php 10,000 (a little over $200) as reward (or payment or compensation, depending on your perspective).

As someone in the arts, I am used to shock tactics but this video has truly appalled and horrified me. It is also appalling that his parents see nothing wrong with this, as they said on a visit to the show the other day defending themselves and even calling Jan-Jan "talented." They had Jan-Jan perform again on the show as well his sister who seems to be 2-3 years old (in a dance with music which was not appropriate either). Revillame, on the other hand, seemed proud of the number of hits the video is garnering on youtube. His own apology smacked of insincerity as he said "there are more important issues which people should be concerning themselves with" and that "w
hat's important is that we were able to see that this family was made happy."

This incident truly pains me, particularly thinking that the paradigm of the parents - that there is nothing wrong here - could be widespread in this vastly poverty-afflicted nation.

I have more thoughts to share but will keep it here for now to update on this post later.

Friday, March 25, 2011

ArtSpeak: Doko kara kimashita ka?

The Ateneo Art Gallery warmly invites you to an ArtSpeak session:

Doko kara kimashita ka? (Where are you from?)

A talk by Clarissa Chikiamco on her experience in Japan

2.00 pm, 30 March 2011, Wednesday

Ateneo Art Gallery

2nd Level Rizal Library Special Collections Building

Ateneo de Manila University

Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Manila, Philippines

Independent curator Clarissa Chikiamco spent 6 weeks in Japan, from 7 February – 20 March 2011, as the researcher in residence at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. In this informal talk, Chikiamco will share about her experience—from research on video art in the FAAM collection to learning Japanese language and culture in her first ever visit to the country. The question, “Doko kara kimashita ka?” (“Where are you from?” or "Where do you come from?"), serves as a parallel to her experience—from the question she was often asked and the question she herself was asking in her research.

After this casual sharing, green tea and Japanese snacks will be served.

For inquiries, call the Ateneo Art Gallery at (632) 426.6488.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

talk in Fukuoka on 12 March 2011, 2:00-3:30 pm


I will be giving a talk at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum on 12 March 2011, Saturday, 2-3:30 pm, on video art in the Philippines. I will be mainly talking about End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present, the series of solo exhibitions of Philippine contemporary artists presenting new video work from 2011-2012.

Please click here to read about my talk. (only in Japanese)

Hope to see you there! I also hope to meet more Japanese artists during and after the talk.