Pinoy Food for the Soul is a series where we interview people who love Filipino food and ask them to share a memory with us.
On opening day of his newest group exhibition at Chicago's Hyde Park Art Center, visual artist and friend Christopher Saclolo told Filipino Kitchen that his favorite Filipino food growing up was chicken adobo, but more recently, "I prefer sinigang. Before I didn't used to like the sour taste, but I suppose my palate has gotten more refined. It's like a hug for your tummy."
"I'm trying to create my own aesthetic and my own visual language coming from my parent's heritage of the Philippines. I've been inspired by many things, and specifically, I've been really inspired by Jose Rizal's book, Noli Me Tangere. And in the book, one of the themes is united Filipino identity. What I wanted to create within the paintings is my identity with the Filipino multicultural and subculture identities within the Philippines. That's how I imagine my pieces, they are interweaving all these subcultures, like a collective, as a whole."
His graduate studies at Columbia College Chicago centered primarily in bookmaking, his research at Columbia's special collections library led him serendipitiously (perhaps) to a copy of Rizal's Noli Me Tangere.
"Because I'm second-generation Filipino, I wanted to bring my own sense of identity, not just taking out of my parents. The painting is part of the reflection, second-generation Filipinos trying to figure out who they are," said Saclolo.
The Hyde Park Art Center is at 5020 S. Cornell Avenue, Chicago.