Disappearing St. Malo, 2022Wood, nylon nets and mylar

Images: Audrey Melton, Bob Krasner

This work references the first Filipino settlement in the United States, founded in 1783, located in the bayous of Louisiana and now frequently submerged as sea levels rise.  Concepcion re-imagines the settlement‘s architecture that resembles the bahay kubo, stilted houses native to the Philippines, with a lifted porch and a hat-shaped thatched roof made of mylar. The work reminds us that rising sea levels threaten cultural heritage as well as private property, but also highlights the ways in which communities have adapted, survived, and thrived amid water environments and adverse circumstances.

Cheyenne is the 2022 New York Community Trust Van Lier Artist Fellow.

Related Programming

featuring Michael Salgarolo, Atlantic Pacific Theatre & Kapwa Yoga
October 22 | 2 -4 pm

An activation of Cheyenne Concepcion’Disappearing St. Malo with performances & an embodiment workshop. Free, Drop-in

A departure, in a nautical sense, is the east-west distance between two points.

Navigating this latitudinal distance is an act Filipino Americans have been reconciling with since the first fishermen sailed to St. Malo and this phenomena is an undercurrent in the Filipino-American experience today. Departures is a one-day, three act presentation of Pinoy performance based artworks to honor Filipino American History Month. Departures asks artists: What ways has your work navigated the east-west distance between two cultures, countries and coasts?

Occurring in three acts, Departures seeks to uplift the work of three New York based Filipino-American artists. In Act One, historian and scholar Dr. Michael Menor Salgarolo reads St. Malo’s Unexpected Legacy outlining St. Malo’s radical vision. In Act Two, Atlantic Pacific Theater performs “nothing is tubig is nothing is tubig” a short play by Claro de los Reyes. To close out the program, in Act Three, Kapwa Yoga’s Paul Jochico hosts a movement and mindfulness workshop centered on the indigineous Filipino wisdom of Kapwa, or shared inner self.

The three performance based works will occur on Concepcion’s Disappearing St. Malo sculpture. For the mindfulness & movement workshop, participants are encouraged to dress warm and bring a yoga mat and water. The workshop is donation based.


“When Manilamen Fished at St. Malo (1840s-1906)”
Randy Gonzales

Please click below to listen to scholar and writer Randy Gonzales reading selections from “When Manilamen Fished at St. Malo (1840s-1906)” from Settling St. Malo: Poems from Filipino Louisiana, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2023.


Michael Menor Salgarolo

Please click below to listen to historian Michael Menor Salgarolo explain the radical vision behind the Filipino settlement at St. Malo and its unexpected legacies in the twenty-first century. He holds a Ph.D in History from New York University and is currently writing a book on Louisiana’s Filipino communities.


Video by: KMDeco Creative Solutions: Mark DiConzo.
Video created with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Courtesy Socrates Sculpture Park, 2022.




Cheyenne Concepcion is a Filipino-American artist and designer whose work explores how architecture, politics, history and aesthetics shape place across a wide range of media including sculpture, installation, social practice, design and public art. With a critical approach, she creates craft-inspired sculptures, installations and functional objects that confront hidden histories within the American landscape. By shining a light on the stories of the people and places that have been overlooked, Concepcion uses her work to engage ideas of cultural narrative, public memory, migration and activism. Concepcion has received fellowships and residencies from Monument Lab, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Goethe Institut and was a recipient of the Excellence in Design Award from UC Berkeley. A self-taught artist, Concepcion received a Masters of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Bachelors of Urban Planning from UC San Diego.

Instagram: @cheyenneconcepcion