Tiger, Leopard, 2017
Mik Gaspay gleans stories from material culture. By transforming mundane, mass-produced objects out of their everyday environments, Gaspay’s work uncovers capitalism’s effects on migration and assimilation, class and identity. Having migrated to the US from the Philippines as a child, his work distills historical, personal, and corporate narratives into a theatrical laboratory of objects that exist as emblems of social or personal identity. He reinterprets and recontextualizes the form of found objects to suss out questions of meaning, status, and value. His divergent strategies of artistic production reflect the abundant products and conduits that actively shape our individuality and our shared experiences. Weaving together invention and documentation, Gaspay’s work revises the familiar to express playful queries about the messages embedded within the things that in part identify us.