Faye Pamintuan Revisits Home and Identity in "What I Owe to Each Line"

Faye Pamintuan Revisits Home and Identity in “What I Owe to Each Line”

March 16, 2022



Daniel Lampa

Faye Pamintuan’s thesis work titled “Re-Routing Roots” confronted the construction of a transnational identity through drawing. The artist tore the massive artwork apart in a video performance in 2018 as part of her thesis. The concept of pulling to pieces the 30-feet work with images and markings drawn from a tree’s annual growth rings was an act of reclaiming her power over her identity.

Faye was born in the Philippines and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines. However, she was raised in Texas. As such, she grew weary of the contention surrounding her identity. “I was tired of people defining in their terms if I was ‘Filipino enough’ or ‘American enough’.” The rhythm and countless repetition characterize her take on the connection of drawing and identity. Every line, curve, and mark within these fragments once represented her disposition to establish new grounds between the two countries she calls home. Her reflection on identity becomes more of an act of understanding herself through action and participation instead of representing its perceived notions.

You may also like: Christina Quisumbing Ramilo: The Tenacity to Stay with the Broken

Four years after, she takes these torn pieces and uses them as a reference to recreate new drawings. This is how “WHAT I OWE TO EACH LINE” pieced together. Faye, whose works are inquiries that respond to the dilemma of the diaspora, worked on the exhibit for a year. “I really felt like I didn’t give the idea and process justice when I presented it during my thesis. So, I felt like I owed it to the work and in turn to myself, time to reflect and present the works and idea properly.”

The show’s title, “WHAT I OWE TO EACH LINE,” was the final element that tied everything together. 

Because of unpredictable life circumstances, Faye ended up creating and finishing the drawings while staying in her childhood home in Texas instead of her studio in Bulacan. She had to send them to Manila to make it to the show on time while she was still abroad. “I found it interesting how in the end, the drawings themselves ended up being the ones that traveled instead of me, and embodied the sense of living in the two places I called home.”

“WHAT I OWE TO EACH LINE” by Faye Pamintuan is currently on view at Gravity Art Space at Mo. Ignacia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City.