Rodel Tapaya Do you have a rooster, Pedro?
(Adda manok mo, Pedro?) 2015–16
I first saw this work in the Passion and Procession exhibition at the Gallery as part of the Bayanihan Philippines Project. I was part of this project with the Gallery and Blacktown Arts Centre. It was a critical point in my career as it introduced me to other Filipino artists from Australia and the Philippines, and for perhaps the first time, I truly felt included and represented in my community. Rodel Tapaya’s work particularly moved me. This large-scale painting, rich in imagery and vibrant in colour, accessing Philippine mythologies, was captivating. This was the first work by him that I had seen, but he has since become a significant influence on my own work, giving me the fervour to start painting big – big in scale and intent. I saw his solo show at the NGA in Canberra later that year, and the following year at his solo show at Ayala Museum, Manila, where I was honoured (and starstruck!) to meet him.