A DAY WITH NIKKI LUNA

Town & Country (Philippines) - - CONTENTS / AUGUST - Pho­to­graphs by Dix Perez

The artist talks to Man­ica C.

tiglao about fem­i­nism, her cre­ative process, and cur­rent projects in New York.

THE ARTIsT AND AC­TIvIsT spEAks TO Man­ica c. Tiglao AbOUT CRE­ATIv­ITY, FEm­I­NIsT ADvOCACIEs AND dreaM projecTs, AND THE LOvE OF HER LIFE.

WhAT TImE DID YOU WAkE Up TO­DAY? Around 8 a.m.

WhAT’S ThE FIRST ThING YOU USU­ALLY

DO WhEN YOU WAkE Up? I get kisses from my hus­band, ABS-CBN foot­ball com­men­ta­tor Mi­kee Car­rion, and then make cof­fee.

WhAT DID YOU hAvE FOR bREAkFAST? Cof­fee and toast. Ex­ER­CISE ROU­TINE? I do Pi­lates and go to the gym.

WhAT DO YOU USU­ALLY WEAR TO

WORk? Shorts if I’m work­ing in my stu­dio, out­side I wear pants.

WhAT’S AL­WAYS IN YOUR hAND­bAG? I

don’t usu­ally have one. WhAT IN­SpIRES YOU? The world we live in.

STYLE ICONS? I love the style of all the girls in the movie Dazed and Con­fused.

hOW DID YOU FALL IN LOvE WITh

ART? All I re­mem­ber as a kid, I would rather draw or cre­ate some­thing to ar­tic­u­late what­ever it was that I felt.

TELL US hOW YOU bE­CAmE AN ARTIST. I had al­ways been drawn to art, mak­ing art—from films and sculp­tures to ar­chi­tec­ture, I would ap­pre­ci­ate the his­tory and con­cept be­hind ev­ery art work. Grow­ing up, all my note­books had more draw­ings rather than notes, and my ta­ble and school walls would be “van­dal­ized” since I drew on them. As far as I can re­mem­ber, the only thing I’ve been sure of and have felt com­fort­able with is mak­ing art.

FA­vORITE ARTISTS? Ja­nine An­toni, Eva Hesse, An­nette Mes­sager, Jenny Holzer, Bar­bara Kruger, Rachel Libe­skind, Emma Sulkow­icz, and Eileen Boxer.

FA­vORITE LO­CAL ARTIST pEERS? Kiri Dalena, Jaja Arumpac, Re­nan Or­tiz, Yvonne Quisumb­ing, Toon (Ma­rina Cruz), Maria Taniguchi, Rac­quel de Loy­ola, and Lara de los Reyes.

WhAT’S ONE ART WORk YOU WOULD kILL TO hAvE? Any­thing from my afore­men­tioned fa­vorite artists.

FA­vORITE mU­SE­UmS? The Prado and Reina Sofia in Madrid; Brook­lyn Mu­seum’s Eliz­a­beth A. Sack­ler Cen­ter for Fem­i­nist Art, the Whit­ney Mu­seum (be­cause they al­low you to protest, cri­tique, and even chal­lenge the in­sti­tu­tion), New Mu­seum, The Guggen­heim, and The Jewish Mu­seum, all in New York; and the Cen­tre de Pompidou in Paris.

WhAT WOULD YOU LIkE TO SEE mORE OF IN

ART? I hope more artists cre­ate art that speaks of is­sues that mat­ter.

WhEN’S ThE bUSIEST TImE OF YEAR

FOR YOU? March since it’s Na­tional Women’s Month, and Novem­ber, when it’s the in­ter­na­tional day to elim­i­nate vi­o­lence against women.

YOU’RE CUR­RENTLY pART OF A RES­I­DENCY pRO­GRAm IN NEW YORk. WhAT ARE YOU

WORk­ING ON? I am very happy with my on­go­ing artist grant. New York’s vis­ual cul­ture is tied to women, art, gen­der equal­ity, and fem­i­nism. I have been able to con­nect with fem­i­nist artists, women’s or­ga­ni­za­tions, and artist groups, such Mary Kelly, The Guer­rilla Girls, artists Rachel Libe­skind, Emma Sulkow­icz, and Eileen Boxer, to name a few, and I look for­ward to meet­ing more like-minded in­di­vid­u­als. I have par­tic­i­pated in some or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Hand Off Our Revo­lu­tion. I will im­merse my­self in find­ing more peo­ple and groups who are in­volved in fos­ter­ing so­cial progress through art and push­ing boundaries of art from its “nor­mal” en­vi­ron­ment, which is the gallery, and reach out to the pub­lic sphere.

hOW hAS IT bEEN SO FAR?

I love New York and I def­i­nitely plan to take ad­van­tage of the city’s rich­ness of re­sources in art and fem­i­nism.

hOW DO YOU pRE­pARE YOUR­SELF TO bE

CRE­ATIvE AND GET WORk DONE? I don’t re­ally have a rit­ual. But my pieces are re­search-based. The process and the con­cept be­hind the piece are more im­por­tant to me. Then I marry both aes­thetic and sub­stance. I do this by im­mers­ing my­self in what­ever my projects are, which means that when I make work about peas­ant farm­ers, I have to work with the com­mu­ni­ties. When I made my pelvic and pineap­ple sculp­ture I made sure it came from a woman la­borer’s ac­tual hu­man skele­ton. I do my best to con­nect to the art work.

WhAT pLACE IS mOST CON­DUCIvE TO

WORk FOR YOU? I travel a lot to get things done. I do have my T&C TOW­NAND­COUN­TRY.ph stu­dio and work ta­ble at home, which are nec­es­sary when I con­cep­tu­al­ize my pieces.

WhAT EL­E­mENT IS Ab­SO­LUTELY NEC­ES­SARY

FOR YOUR ARTIS­TIC pROCESS? I need to be faith­ful to the con­cept. I never com­pro­mise.

AT WhAT TImE OF DAY DO YOU pRE­FER TO

WORk? There is no spe­cific time, but I do fall into the artist cliché of work­ing in the wee hours.

WhAT IS YOUR FA­vORITE CRE­ATION ThUS

FAR? All of them. That’s like ask­ing me who is my fa­vorite child!

DREAm pROjECT? I sim­ply want to be able to show more peo­ple in and out­side our coun­try how I use my art to share the plight of women in devel­op­ing coun­tries. Many are un­aware of our strug­gles in the Third World but we can help them learn more about us. And fem­i­nism is a global is­sue. I would like to con­tinue to in­ter­twine my advocacies for women with my art by rais­ing is­sues in our on­go­ing fight for ed­u­ca­tion, re­pro­duc­tive rights, ma­ter­nal health, end­ing child mar­riages, forced la­bor, em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, fair trade, end­ing gen­der­based vi­o­lence, and the rights to wa­ter and shel­ter. To not be killed or sold just be­cause we were born girls. All of this through art. Even in 2017, women’s is­sues are tak­ing a back­seat and so­ci­ety is back­slid­ing.

WhAT bOOk ARE YOU READ­ING RIGhT NOW? The Hand­maid’s Tale, by Mar­garet At­wood.

FA­vORITE bOOkS? The God of Small

Things, and other books by Arund­hati Roy, Dekada ’70, by Lual­hati Bautista, and Dar­fur Di­aries, by Jen Mar­lowe.

STA­pLE mAG­A­zINE? Rolling Stone.

FA­vORITE GAD­GET? Noth­ing. But I need mu­sic and I have to lis­ten to Pink Floyd while work­ing.

t&c

FREE SpIRIT In­side Nikki’s work space at home. Op­po­site: In her stu­dio.

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