Anthony Chin

Trophy

Exhibition by Anthony Chin, resident artist for the 2020 MET-NAC International Artist Residency Programme
Open Gallery

In collaboration with Ericson Velez and the basketball community at Bagong Silang Phase 7C, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Sweat salt, Epoxy resin, vintage American basketball trophy, 10 shirts 
Single channel video loop, 5 channel sound 
2020

Exhibition Notes

“…the multifaceted structure of American colonial rule shaped the early history of sports in the Philippines. Apart from the bureaucracy, players from various religious, business, and other private-interest groups also played important roles. For instance, the government’s Bureau of Education embodied the philosophy of ‘body-building as nation-building’ while the Protestant YMCA pursued its goal of instilling ‘muscular Christianity’; both played crucial roles in introducing sports and physical education and fostering their importance among the ‘weak’ Filipinos.”

- Lou Antolihao, Playing with the Big Boys: Basketball, American Imperialism, and Subaltern Discourse in the Philippines (2015)
  • Tab-1
  • Tab-2
  • Tab-3
  • ‘Trophy’ narrates the story of a local basketball player receiving salt onto his open wound. As salt slowly dusts his bleeding arm, the viewer is arrested in a soundscape of noise from a local school. An American trophy weighs down a pile of shirts worn during basketball games with the player’s community in Bagong Silang Phase 7C.

  • The work reacts to the history of basketball in the Philippines where sports was used as an imperialist pedagogical tool. The video and audio were recorded at the University of the Philippines, established by the American administration in 1908. The vintage American basketball trophy was won in 1946 — the year the Philippines gained independence from the United States.

  • Central to the work is the sweat collected during basketball games of the community in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, later processed and crystallized into salt. This sweat-salt is used in the video and also cast to form the trophy’s base, using the original vintage trophy as a cavity for molding. The sweat-salt evokes ideas of collective tension, labor, and physicality, and this material is caught interplaying against the trophy as a symbol of achievement, victory, and as observed in ancient warfare, conquest.

Installation images of Trophy by Anthony Chin at the MET Open Gallery

Video loop from Trophy by Anthony Chin at the MET Open Gallery

Profile

Anthony Chin (b. 1969) lives and works between Singapore and Thailand. He previously worked in the field of industrial design, before travelling the region extensively to focus on visual arts. His field work and excursions eventually led him into creating immersive site-specific works that poetically and conceptually respond to the architectural presence and history of sites. His process is a result of both extensive research, and the utilization of common materials to invoke particular places with attention to their geopolitical implications.

The MET – NAC Artist Residence Program, launched this 2020, provides a platform for artists to engage in an open process of research and knowledge exchange, situated mainly in Manila, Philippines. The residency assists the artists in advancing and developing critical perspectives on their practice by connecting with local communities and building meaningful relationships to address key issues at stake in the local context of the Philippines and beyond. The open studio and exhibition space of the MET will present the artist's research findings, experiences, and insights.