Filipino-American Navy Sherwin Rivera Tibayan

On display at AARC

October 11 - December 24, 2021

This work reflects my interest in retrieving and recording the tangible present and photographic pasts of Filipino men who, like my father, were born in the Philippines, immigrated as adults to the U.S., and served for over 20 years in the American Navy. I took many of these portraits of veterans, their domestic spaces, and archival photos beginning in 2011, in my mid-twenties, but they mostly stayed put on my hard drive. In April and May of 2020, during quarantine and against the backdrop of stories detailing increased anti-Asian and Asian-American resentment and violence, I returned to these images as affirmations of dignity and belonging—empowering my own still-developing sense of identity. I am finally sharing them as further evidence of the many ways a person can picture a life made in America.

The visible and material lives of these men, proud like my father, are an admixture of personal, familial, and cultural values and identities; but ones shaped and set by deeper social, religious, and economic-labor forces involving first Spanish and later American colonial-military occupations of indigenous lands. Moving forward, I intend to find ways to work with more Filipino American Navy veterans and their families—making images in directions that complicate, expand, and share their vital stories against the international tangle of cultural and historical contexts that mark and make them, and me—when things return.

Loc Huynh | Acrylic on canvas, 2d mixed media, 3d mixed media | 2018-21 | "Catfish"; "Chao"; "First Time I've Seen Mom Cry"; Graf Face (front view); Graf Face (back view); "Grandma"; "Grandpa"; "Portrait of My Mom Talking at the IRS"; "Paris by Night"; "Disregarding the Pain of Others"; "5"; "Hey Mom Check Out My New Tattoo"; "Ca Chen Cha"; "Bahn Xeo"; "Maybe It's My Fault"; "Mom and Dad Arguing"; "Mom Making Pho"; "Mom and DownRain"; "Mom Cutting Fish"

Above Photos Courtesy of Sherwin Rivera Tibayan.

Meet the Artist

Above photo courtesy of Sherwin Rivera Tibayan

Sherwin Rivera Tibayan is an artist based in Austin, TX whose works address our shifting encounters with photography, and its competing histories and narratives. Hisn works have been exhibited widely, most notably at The Reading Room (Dallas), Mixed Greens (NYC), and the Houston Center for Photography. He has attended residencies at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (NY), ACRE (Chicago), and Triple Canopy (NYC). His works have been recognized by the Magenta Foundation, Photolucida, Artpace, and the Society for Photographic Education.

Attend Sherwin Rivera Tibayan's Artist Talk Via Zoom

Oct 5, 2021 - 6 PM

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Created By
Leila Grace Pandy


Sherwin Rivera Tibayan