“I was always interested in reconnecting with my culture. Growing up in the Philippines before moving to New York means I have always brought in Philippine design to my work – and it’s always been a part of me that I’ve wanted to develop further.”
My MA studies allowed me to converse with other students in jewellery and ceramics who each have a different perspectives. This paves the way to share conversations while still enabling you to develop your own approach.”
Pesigan’s work communicates her Filipino identity in new and provoking ways through contemporary design, use of materials and assembly. “Working with traditional frame construction and weave materials I took the structure, exposed it and weaved a layer of materials around it,” she explains. “This allows a central functional piece with a changing decorative element layered around you. I’m always trying to push the boundaries of construction to create a more elaborate piece.”
Working through a project, Pesigan found the biggest challenge with cultural collaborations was working with artisans owning different perceptions. She says: “Coming from a formal way of thinking and doing things I found they had an open-ended and traditional way of doing things.” Pesigan was able to convince them of the good intent behind the new working ways and that by engaging them in a united vision they do have “something to offer the global world.
“Through my work I seek to change the image of how the world perceives my country, by being able to celebrate their techniques in a different way. I’d like to continue collaborating with artisans and projects within other countries and learn more cultures. I love learning about other people and then bringing that back home and integrating it into design.”