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OpenSpace | Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House

Photo credit in poster: Eve Javier

Ayala Museum OpenSpace presents


Ayala Museum, in collaboration with Museo Pambata and Barangay San Lorenzo, presents an art installation by Filipino contemporary artist Alwin Reamillo inspired by the traditional Philippine concept of community. Originally commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects, an Australian theatre company, for Bankstown:LIVE—Sydney Festival 2015, Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House has travelled around 4 sites around Sydney until 2017. The house was presented in the Philippines for the first time as part of Open City/ Manila Biennale 2018 in Intramuros last February to March.

Bayanihan Hopping Spirit House is a collapsible bamboo-framed hut on stilts, made from a pine timber base, which supports a skeletal wall and roof structure. It is fashioned after the bahay kubo, an indigenous quadrilateral hut made from bamboo and thatched nipa or anahaw, usually found in Philippine rural areas.  This house, as the artist created it, is lined and decorated with improvised wind chimes , object mobiles, buntings  made from found and recycled materials giving it a sense of journey as it moved from site to site. The various hanging onjects were added from previous community arts and craft workshops. As such, it is an evolving structure, suggestive not only of vulnerability to the forces of nature but also human capacity for resilience.

Photo courtesy of Museo Pambata

As part of its opening ceremonies, the house is carried by members of the host community to its various exhibition venues. This calls to mind the folk practice of townspeople helping to carry a neighbor’s bahay kubo when moving home sites—an act which has become emblematic of bayanihan, a core Filipino value.

Alwin Reamillo (born 1964 in Manila) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Australia and the Philippines. An alumnus of the Philippine High School for the Arts, he pursued studies at the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines and at the Western Australia School of Visual Arts. His practice—from painting, photography, sculpture, to performance—frequently uses mobile elements and crafts, reflecting his ideas on travel, migration and community via cross-cultural engagement. He has presented work both nationally and overseas including Passion + Procession : Art from the Philippines, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2017;  Alegori: Contemporary Art Expressions from Malay Manuscripts, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, 2017 ; Encounter: Art from Different Land / SEA + Triennale 2016, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta ; 2015 Asian Art Biennale: Artist Making Movement, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung; The Roving Eye: Contemporary Art from South East Asia, ARTER Space for Art, Istanbul, 2015.   He is currently developing new work for the final leg of the international touring exhibition Concept Context Contestation : Art and the Collective in South East Asia.  He was conferred the Thirteen Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1994.

This exhibition is presented under the Ayala Museum OpenSpace program, featuring public installations by contemporary artists with the aim of engaging the museum’s community through dialogue with art.


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