san augustin confessional

whoa! has it been that long since I last blogged? yes! it has. why is that?

While in the Philippines, I felt a unmotivated with this project. It wasn’t that the Philippines or being in the Philippines was uninspiring. As an artist who has been using my Filipina identity within my artistic concepts…being there was total mental stimulation for research on all different levels. Meeting family for the first time, seeing where my father grew up, connecting with the Kilusan Exchange artists and just being put into a different environment that I feel both a connection and disconnection with. Also artists I met, both who use their Filipino identity and those who reach out to other concepts to connect to the world were inspiring in hearing their experiences and seeing their experiences through their art.

So why was I so unmotivated? I suppose it was this sense of not feeling free. This is my philosophy in practicing my art, my freedom. To do. To be. For whatever ‘political’ issues arouse within the group and within the organization which, I work with…it was difficult for me to be free, to do. I suppose this is my realization of my artistic methods in which allows me to create. In this confirmation of the conditions I demand for myself as an artist, I realize the compromise I sometimes must make to work with others and also the refusal to compromise when I believe in something that is important to me. My artistic freedom is important to me…otherwise art becomes just like everything else with rules, politics, restrictions and for me…it loses the playfulness and freedom of expression – and sometimes results in my lack of motivation.

So here I am, back in Toronto with a few days behind me reflecting on my journey and experience in my motherland (the Philippines) ready to share with my homeland and community (Toronto) my experience as a Filipina-Canadian. I have so many thoughts, feelings, and ideas that are ready to be brought forward through my art. To the rest of the Kilusan Exchange participants: Alex, Jeff, Tiff, Ilona and Carlos – Thank you for sharing this experience with me, even with all our challenges that make us grow even stronger as artists and individuals who have something to say through our art – whatever that means to you! 🙂

Thanks Philippines, I cannot wait to come back and learn more – and of course, to really play with you!



  1. What an interesting read. I think all the participants should do something like this. With regards to the restrictions you may sometimes feel Jenn, i think that as an artist you should always be free, as it is you the artists that push the ideals of contemporary society even when society doesn’t even know it.

  2. Hey JLuk,

    Thanks so much for your response.
    Always Free!
    Otherwise whats the point…right?
    Thanks for all your support for the group and following the blogs!!

    Much Love

  3. This is mad true.

    Its really tough when artists work together to conspire a bunch of ideas and already given restrictions. Why do art in the first place if you already know your going to be restricted? No doubt when brought to new experiences you will be challenged and as an artist we define what restricts us. As more of us can define these same challenges and can break free from them a true movement can arise.

    This is the balikbayan story.

    I’m excited to see all the Kilusan Artists work!

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