Disappearing St. Malo
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.
ABOUT ST. MALO
“When Manilamen Fished at St. Malo (1840s-1906)”
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. www.randygonzales.com
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.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
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.