On photographer Mika Orotea’s trip to Manila in 2019, she felt compelled to make images that connect to her heritage. Collaborating with local Filipino creatives, she confronts her outsiderness by exploring collective family and historical narratives. Her Western upbringing informs her encounter with an “old world”; a history of traditions and deep-rooted Catholicism that she is familiar with but not a part of.
The images operate in a sequence of constructed settings and performative gestures. They are static, acts are concealed and revealed, cinematically shifting the frame closer to and farther from her subjects. She inherently create spaces where her impression of “ritual” forms a way to approach Filipino customs and culture.
Mika would like to personally thank Assi Abogado, Issa Amores, Borge Angeles, Cecile Antonio, Gracia Del Fierra, Don Alfonso Flores, Earl Dignos, Hideki Ito and Hugo Salvador for participating and helping create this body of work, and for engaging in conversations about their culture and personal experiences with the photographer.