Terue Yamauchi, one of our artists-in-residence in 2015, has returned this year for a three months residency in three areas in Mindanao. Yamauchi is a Japanese artist whose recent practice has been based on her long-term research on free-diving fishery tradition in maritime Asia and their potential connection, which so far has taken place in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. What the artist calls her ongoing ontological journey has brought her back to the Philippines to continue work on her art research project.

Terue Yamauchi lives and works in Fukuoka, Japan. She received her BA in Fine Art from the Goldsmiths College, University of London (2006). In 2013, she graduated from Jeju Hansupul Haenyeo School in Korea where she learned a traditional free diving fishery for her art project. In the Philippines, she has carried two research projects on maritime culture, funded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan (2015) and Japan Foundation Asia Center (2016), and had three solo exhibitions: the Siliman University (2015) , UP Diliman (2016) and she have just presented Magbaha-o, an exhibition curated by The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist-in-Residence Program at the Bajau community in Matina Aplaya , Davao City.

* Post-residency report: http://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/fs1518_ty_fr_en.pdf 



“In March 2015 and June 2016, I was given great opportunities to visit the Matina Aplaya Badjau Community in Davao City, and stay there for 10 days in each time as part of The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist-in-Residence Program in the Philippines. The main purpose of my stays was to experience and explore their living practices and life culture developed by living on or by the sea. This year, I noticed ‘magbaha-o’ or transitions occurring in their day to day lives, be it the growth of children, generational shifts in family members, and the progressing influence from outside cultures as their living field has converted from sea to land, out of necessity and circumstance. With this exhibition, I am presenting a body of work that aims to capture significant moments of transition I have witnessed in the community, such as sound recordings and video installations of the freely improvised songs of a Bajau grandfather to his grandchild’s lullabies. By setting the exhibition within the community, I hope to create a space for individuals from within and outside to encounter diversity in human experience, and the existing “organic intelligence” among the Bajau”.

*Residency project supported by the Japan Foundation Asia Center Fellowship Program.




After spending a month on a remote paradisiacal island in Surigao del Sur, she immersed once again with the Sama Bajau, Matina Aplaya community in Davao City for three weeks. She conducted the last leg of her 2016 Philippine residency in two new communities by Davao Gulf: Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and Brgy. Cabuaya, Mati, Davao Oriental.

As an important part of her second nomadic artist-in-residency project in Mindanao, Yamauchi organized a workshop entitled “Human Plastic Seascape” to examine, discuss, and creatively think of solutions with the local participants on how to tackle the local and global plastic/marine debris issues together. Each workshop was organized based on the following contents: 1) Learning and realization of current situation; 2) Community cleanup with garbage segregation; 3) Rethinking waste materials and redesigning waste processing and products from waste materials; 4) Design implementation; and 5) Jumpstarting a community project/s. After a workshop with adult participants in the island, Terue Yamauchi conducted a series of waste management workshops with the children, ultimately resulting in the re-installation of segregation bins in garbage collection points. The community will undergo new series of workshops for the upcycling of the collected waste materials in upcoming residencies. Special thanks to the Bou Family, the Orillaneda Clan and the island community in Surigao del Sur for supporting the residency and its projects.

Terue Yamauchi concluded her residency with one presentation about her project and residency experience at Los Otros / Green Papaya Art Projects in Manila. The artist talked about her practice and experience from exploring and immersing herself in daily lives of small fishing communities in Mindanao. Yamauchi also shared her ideas and thoughts on future artworks that she has been contemplating throughout the residency, in relation to her study on ancient beliefs and mythologies found in one of the deepest historical layers of Japanese archipelago which are believed to have been brought over by maritime people from southern seas.


Terue Yamauchi_GreenPapaya_LosOtros