Pacific Crossings: Load na Dito

May 22, 2019



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


7:00 p.m.


A talk by Mayumi Hirano and Mark Salvatus, co-founders of the Manila-based artistic research initiative Load na Dito, presented as part of Pacific Crossings. Hirano and Salvatus discussed their research and recent projects, offering context to their work within the Philippines.

Stemming from her interest in processes of collective making and artist-run initiatives in the Philippines, Hirano spoke about her research project on the Philippines' longest surviving artist-run festival, Visayas Island Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference (VIVA-EXCON). Her work focused specifically on the second iteration of VIVA-EXCON in 1992, which opened the festival up to international artists. With limited documentation of the event, Hirano’s research focused on collecting oral histories, photographs, and ephemera kept by VIVA-EXCON participants.

Salvatus’s presentation took the form of a hybrid artist talk that incorporated drawing, sound, and performative gestures. In sharing documentation of past work, Salvatus discussed his interdisciplinary practice that spans street art, place-based research, archival intervention, and collecting maps. The projects he presented explored themes of migration, movement, and mark making in relation to traces of Philippine colonial histories. While discussing his research into prison gardens, audience members were prompted to look under their seats to find a surprise package of seeds—a gift from Salvatus with an invitation to plant them locally. 

Other programs that took place during Load na Dito’s Pacific Crossings residency from May 20 to June 8, 2019 included Either a Storm or a Drought, an evening of screenings at Artspeak of video works by artists in the Philippines, curated by Salvatus and Hirano; and a talk at the Richmond Art Gallery with the Pacific Crossings curatorial team. 

Pacific Crossings was a public presentation series conceived by curators Makiko Hara, Bopha Chhay, Allison Collins, and Shaun Dacey. The collaborative project drew participants from various regions across the Pacific Ocean in a dynamic exchange, instigating events and activities that offered routes for intersection to take place. Thinking both metaphorically and ecologically, the series addressed the care and consideration required for long-term healthy exchange, and the sharing in responsibility as much as resources.

Presented in collaboration with Artspeak and the Richmond Art Gallery.

Video documentation of this event is available upon request.

Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.