LA­BOR DAY

Town & Country (Philippines) - - OUT & ABOUT -

With “Chicken Hands,” on view at the Yuchengco Mu­seum, pho­tog­ra­pher Ryan Ar­bilo puts the strug­gles of over­seas Filipino work­ers in the spotlight. The stark black and white por­traits of var­i­ous Filip­ina house­maids fo­cus on their tired, scarred, and cal­loused hands—a gritty, hon­est rep­re­sen­ta­tion of their many years of hard la­bor and per­sonal sac­ri­fice. For Ar­bilo, who reg­u­larly takes high con­cept fash­ion pho­to­graphs in his line of work, this ex­hibit is a highly per­sonal one, as his mother was also an OFW, ini­tially as house­maid and later as a seam­stress. “The sig­nif­i­cance of see­ing their bare hands…. their ‘Chicken Hands,’ as a sym­bol of the sac­ri­fice and de­mean­ing treat­ment they en­dure, both in­spired and moved me to tell their story the best way I knew how: through the art of photography,” says Ar­bilo. In an in­ter­view ap­pear­ing in a Bri­tish news­pa­per, Ar­bilo re­veals, “I grew up with­out my mother and al­though I am grate­ful for the op­por­tu­ni­ties I re­ceived, it came at too high a price.” Born in La­guna and now based in France, Ar­bilo has been doc­u­ment­ing his “Chicken Hands” women since 2009. Runs un­til June 17, RCBC Plaza, cor­ner Ayala and Gil J. Puyat Av­enues, Makati; 889.1234; yucheng­co­mu­seum.org; @Yucheng­co­Mu­seum on so­cial me­dia.

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