On June 18th, I will be giving a talk on olfaction and climate change at the CISC + Laboratorio de Ideas in Medellin, Colombia, entitled “The Medellin Smell Lab”, or as it translates sexily in Spanish, “Lab de Aromas de Medellin”. Come, come!
This November I find myself in Seoul for the Bio-Art Seoul 2015 Conference. It’s great to be back here in Korea, which is turning into a yearly homecoming of a sort. Annyunghaseyo!
For my bit in the show, I presented the second volume of The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store. There were eight new scents I debuted here. The line was called “A Walk Home” and it was based on the scents of my childhood in the Philippines. These olfactory memories were especially potent when I moved to Manila last year after ten years of being away.
The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store: A Walk Home has these eight scents: Recess, A Chinese Apothecary, Time with My Mom, Swimming Lessons, Wild Grass, Manila Sunsets, Carnival, and Moments of Solitude.
During the exhibition, it was fun to see families smell the perfumes. My favorite part was when I saw the little kids trying them on, especially the really small ones who had to tiptoe to reach the bottles. It was so cute when one group of little boys gathered around, each taking a bottle, and sprayed it on himself. (I pity the ones who got the perfumes marked “Recess” and “A Chinese Apothecary”.)
And now, a cathartic release by writing about an embarrassing moment. It was the exhibition opening, and man, I was so excited to do my first Korean ribbon cutting—complete with the white gloves and golden scissors, yo! I was nervous to cut it in advance like I’ve seen people do when what I should have been worried about was not catching the darn things after you snip them.
I’m the sad chick second from left with the pile of ribbons on the floor. Sigh. No one ever tells me these things. Hmph.
For the record, I still think it’s a lot cooler to let everything dramatically fall to the floor. Hello. It’s a grand opening. Just kidding.
Artist Talk: Wet Media Conference
In Sogang University’s Department Art and Technology, artists (including yours truly) gave talks on their work. My talk, entitled “Living SciFi: Bio-Art and our Futures” drew on my journey through science, art, and design, ending with the show at the Institute for the Future and what I’ve learned here so far.
It was also great to meet some bio-artists. Personally, I identify more with the terms “conceptual artist” and “sci-art” since I currently work with so many different fields of sciences and haven’t stuck to just one, so it was great to learn from these guys, especially those whose work I’ve heard so much about. Mad props to Anna Dumitriu, Vicky Isley and Paul Smith of boredomresearch, Sonja Baeumel, Roberta Trentin, etc. It was cool to meet you guys!
Workshop: Making Smells of Perfumes
A week after the opening, I also did a perfumery workshop with some high school and university students in Korea. There was a group of biology students that were accompanied by their teacher. In the beginning, the students participated in my olfactory memory experiment where they were given mystery smells and then were asked to recall the memory that came to mind.
Later, I asked them to do a Smell Walk and gather objects from nature that they want to make a perfume of. We distilled essential oils and also used some from my own collection of essential oils. It was exciting as one distillation flask caught fire (the kids put it out in time and no one was hurt).
I loved that one of the museum staff participated and insisted on making a banana-flavored perfume. He was a fun student. For the record, I insisted that he tuck his tie so it wouldn’t catch fire.
After the distillation, I also got them to create perfumes using the commercial essential oils I have in my personal collection.
I gave them Apocalypse Project Commander badges as a reward for all their hard work. Thanks, guys!
Aaaannnd that’s officially it for me for 2015. No more exhibitions, talks, workshops, interviews, etc. for the rest of the year. I’ll be in Seoul until November 29th reflecting on the year that was and what to do next. You know I’m not a big fan of this part. A bit of Korean hiking should knock me to my senses. Are you in town? Come join me!
Many thanks to Bio-Art Seoul 2015, Biocon, Seoulin Bioscience Co., and Digital Art Weeks International. Thank you especially to Dr. Sunghoon Kim and Helen Kwak!
For the past few months, I have been involved with a project by The Mind Museum, called A Glass of the Sea (AGoS), an exhibition about the Coral Triangle. Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences have been exploring the Verde Island Passage of the CT and have been discovering an abundance of new species. The Verde Island Passage may well be the apex of marine biodiversity on the planet. How amazing!
The AGoS team was led by The Mind Museum curator Maribel Garcia, Bryant Cabantac, Cris Mora, Carlie Dario, Dem Bitantes, Awesome Lab, and myself. The exhibition is made possible by a grant from USAID.
I did the graphic design of the exhibition. I was inspired by kimono fabrics on my visit in Japan, especially their vibrant and classy colors. We applied this to priming tunnels that are shaped like Asian folding fans as well as English and Filipino signage throughout the exhibition.
You haven’t lived until you’ve done graphic designs of bilingual translations about science. For real. Here’s a fun shot of Darwin and I during installation, while we wrestled with industrial strength velcro.
In “A Story of the Science of the Sea”, visitors are invited to take a wooden sculpture etched with a sea creature on top, and place it on an NFC reader to watch it come to life on screen. Audio narration gives more information about the creature. This was designed by Cris Mora.
We also made specially designed video games that each highlight one problem in our oceans. I designed the games while the awesome people at Awesome Labs programmed them.
One game is Garbage Catch, where the user has to prevent garbage from reaching the ocean floor.
Another game is Net Escape, where you prevent unsustainable seafood from swimming into a large net.
The last game is Sustainable Seafood Market, where users are given two seafood options at a time. They must pick the sustainable over the unsustainable seafood. This was the toughest game for me to design, but it’s my favorite among the three. We initially called this Sushi Tinder (which is way catchier). I dedicate this to the chick I met who said she eats shark’s fin soup in weddings because “it’s already there”. RAGE.
After each game, the user can make a pledge to take care of the ocean. The pledges are all different and specific, such as “I pledge not to eat or buy shark’s fin soup from restaurants.”
Your Role in Sea Life highlights your impact on the ocean. Cris Mora made these amazing shadow sculptures out of garbage, showing an impaled turtle (one of the many species that suffer because of what mankind is doing to the oceans), cities which contribute to ocean problems, and the earth in the palm of a hand.
AGoS is made of primarily sustainable materials, such as the bamboo framework that houses the exhibition.
It also features an education space entitled “Ocean in Motion” where visitors can make their own sea creatures, learn about marine protected areas, etc.
We launched this yesterday, July 16, at The Mind Museum. The exhibition will stay there until October and then will get to travel all over the Philippines. Hurray!
Thanks for coming, Mom!
Here are some photos from The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store’s exhibit at the Open City / Art City Festival last October 4, co-organized the Institute for the Future and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Many thanks and huge congratulations to my friend Zoe Bezpalko (who also modeled one of the Climate Change Couture garments last year and is shown in the above photo wearing an Apocalypse Suit), for handling this single-handedly.
I’m here in Seoul for the moment for some exhibitions and a panel, so I’m very grateful for my friends and collaborators from all over the world who can take over when I cannot physically be there.
Photos courtesy of Zoe Bezpalko
Happy and proud of everyone at Future Feast / GoExperience Redesign! This proved to me that it was possible to get a lot of people of different talents together in the name of raising climate change awareness. It was one big amazing group hug for all humanity.
Check out Radio Republic’s photos here.
Also watch their video below:
This officially marks the end of my residency and exhibition at The Mind Museum. You all know I hate this part. I’ll be taking some time to decompress and think about next steps. In the meantime, The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store has been getting some traction online, so I’m fielding interviews on that end. Updates soon, and thanks for keeping up with the projects!
For Future Feast happening this Saturday, July 26 at The Mind Museum, I am honored to collaborate with these accomplished chefs. Meet them now:
1. Erik Capaque and Claudette Dy
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by taking care of our environment so our food sources will not be endangered. Practice a sustainable lifestyle.”
Erik enjoys exploring ingredients, cooking techniques and procedures and makes his own creation inspired by them. He is known for putting his signature touches to the dishes that he creates, and for his modern approach in traditional dishes. He was exposed to food and cooking at a very young age. Raised under great influences of traditional Ilongo and Bulacan cooking, as a kid he cooked his recreations. During his elementary school days he was able to create several interesting dishes like gumamela (hibiscus) chips, Candied Calamansi Peel, Tomato Jam, Homemade Cured Ham and Bacon to name a few. He pursued his interest in cooking and took up Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management and trained under a Belgian chef at The Old Manila in The Peninsula Hotel. He headed the School of International Hospitality Management of one university in Antipolo, Rizal for 4 years. He is accredited trainer of Commercial Cooking and Baking of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). He finished his Masters in Business Administration and pursued his culinary education at Centre International Culinaire and Culinary Institute of Asia. He is now the Chef and the Manager of Eat. at V Hotel in Malate, Manila.
True passion is never extinguished. JV Claudette Dy had always been fond of creating food—cooking, baking, as well as being a resident food critic. After graduating with a degree in management from De La Salle University and having kids, she realized this so she pursued the knowledge at Enderun. Balancing raising kids, a day job, and a full course load at a prestigious culinary school was definitely a challenge which she surpassed and used well. She now channels this passion and love for food in her cafe at a boutique hotel in Malate, Manila.
Eat. At V Hotel Manila
(63 2) 328-5553
2. Ian Carandang
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by doing what can be done NOW instead of regretting what we should have done in the future.”
Ian Carandang is the owner and head Chef of Sebastian’s ice Cream, the country’s premiere artisanal ice cream brand in Manila. Opening Sebastian’s in 2006, he pursues the dual ethos of excellence and creativity, believing them to not be mutually exclusive. This self-taught sorbetero is a pioneer in artisanal ice cream and constantly strives to elevate, innovate, and discover what can be done within the realm of ice cream and frozen desserts. Among the dishes he has been recognized for are the Champorado Kakanin Ice Cream with Candied Dilis, Green Mango Sorbet with warm sweetened Bagoong, and “Once In a Blue Moon”, his Blue Cheese Ice Cream with Palawan honey and walnuts.
3. Sau del Rosario
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by giving love and respect to Mother Nature.”
Chef Rosauro del Rosario is a native of Pampanga, one of the Philippines’ culinary centers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines. He first worked in several hotels in Manila before moving to Nice, France where he worked with one star Michelin chef Christian Plumail of Restaurant l’univers. He then moved to Paris and worked with three star Michelin Chef Jacque Divellec of Le Divellec Restaurant. Shanghai later lured Sau, where he opened the Mediterranean-themed restaurant Luna. Afterwards, he moved to Singapore to be a chef at Raffles Hotels and Resorts.
Back in Manila, Sau has opened several restaurants: the popular Museum Café, Chelsea Market and Café, and Le Bistro Vert, a sustainable organic restaurant that helps local farmers, with his partners. Le Bistro Vert earned recognition from MBKS Awards as Best New Restaurant and recognized him as among the Best Chefs of the Year. Sau uses his classical yet chic style of cooking by incorporating local ingredients. He is the Executive Chef of F1 Hotel Manila, a consultant for Bluewater Maribago properties and Cauayan Resort in El Nido, and the founder and owner of Food Garage that produces artisanal breads.
4. Kyle Imao
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by polluting the environment less. Let’s ride bikes and patronize local produce.”
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by living a sustainable lifestyle and by just getting enough for our needs and not our greed.”
Kyle is a young cooking prodigy. At the tender age of 11, he was the Philippines’ first grand winner of Junior MasterChef Philippine Edition. Now, 14 years old, his climb to the culinary world just keeps on soaring. He owns and operates his own café inside The Mind Museum, at the Bonifacio Global City, aptly named Kyle’s Lab –a science themed café created by a kid for kids. He has also been a contributor for Junior Inquirer and other publications, sharing his recipes and creative cooking creations. He teaches cooking to kids at The Maya Kitchen and does cooking demos at various events, conventions and TV programs. Truly an inspiration and a shining example that age is not a limit to what one can strive for and achieve.
Kyle’s Lab (0916) 310 0704
5. Judy Lao
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by taking care of our environment now.”
Judy Lao is a baker and the owner for Ju.D’s Fruitcakes since 1975. She is the maker of the world’s first fruitcake cookie and coffee fruitcake made with Blue Mountain coffee from Australia which she specially selected. She has been a vegetarian since 1998. She is a volunteer / commissioner of Tzu-Chi Foundation, teaches vegetarian cooking on Taiwan DaaiTV and at Tzu-Chi Foundation Manila. She wrote two vegetarian cookbooks, “Western Vegetarian Cooking” in 2002 and “Children’s Vegetarian Feast” in 2005.
Ju.D’s Products Philippines / Ju.Ds Fruitcakes
(02) 633 0260, 633-1188
6. Nancy Reyes Lumen
“Let’s prevent the apocalypse by committing to a new lifestyle of sustainability in food and beverage, for now and for the future of God’s children. God told us to take care of His Creation, so we should.. Amen.”
Nancy Reyes Lumen is the self-proclaimed ”Adobo Queen” because of her advocacy that Adobo will be the National Dish “because it is the favorite dish of every Filipino.” She wishes for world gastronomy to recognize this as a Filipino dish. She is the co-author of bestselling books: “The Adobo Book and World Gourmand Winner for the Philippines” and “Make Good Money with Malunggay”. She is a freelance multimedia cooking show host.
09189135834 / 09178819314
Catch their dishes at Future Feast this Saturday, and check back here at The Apocalypse Project for their dishes and recipes!
Thanks to our collaborator, Radio Republic, for the beautiful photos!
Hello, apocalypters! I’m excited to announce that as a culminating event for The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures, The Mind Museum is collaborating with Radio Republic to bring you Future Feast, a celebration of human creativity and our hopes for a sustainable future. The event will be on July 26, Saturday, 12PM to 7PM at the Special Exhibition Hall of The Mind Museum.
With the theme of Redesign, I am working with chefs who are creating new dishes for a Convenience Store of the Future. Radio Republic is bringing in their featured artists for July: Slow Hello, Jireh Calo, and Brisom. There will also be a performance by special guest artist Joey Ayala. This is an event for all ages, so bring in your families and get the kids to play at the Tinker Studio, watch spoken word performances and science shows, dress up in clothes from the Climate Change Closet and have your photos taken at the photo booth, smell the perfumes of The Ephemeral Marvels Perfume Store, participate in Mission Apocalypse Scavenger Hunt and win an Apocalypse Project Commander Badge, and think of how you can help build a sustainable future by making an Earth Pledge.
Ticket prices are as follows:
EXPLORE TICKET (All Day Pass to the galleries of TMM, Access to Live Performances, Mission Apocalypse Scavenger Hunt & Climate Change Closet): 500.00 PHP
TASTE TICKET (Access to Live Performances, Future Tastes (6 dishes), and Climate Change Closet): 300.00 PHP
DISCOVER TICKET (Access to Live Performances and Climate Change Closet): 200.00 PHP
TINKER TICKET (Access to Tinker Studio: Make your own Animal Art): 150.00 PHP
You can buy tickets online here. You can also buy your tickets at the museum on the day of the event. No reservations are required.
See you there!