Artist Spaces: Rizzhel Javier

Artist: Rizzhel Javier

Location: Tijuana, B.C., MX

Rizzhel Javier is a San Diego based artist and educator. During our portrait session in Tijuana, she shared stories of her Filipino-American roots. She shared how the juxtaposition of Tijuana and the Philippines makes her feel at home. Rizzhel brought along Filipino fabrics and textiles to use in her images.

From | Her work explores topics in identity, memory, culture and human relationships. As a first generation Filipino-American, Rizzhel uses her art practice to dissect her identity, and that of the larger Filipino-American community through the research and creation of art projects. Her art is grounded in social practice, with the intent to engage the public and build a dialogue on topics that are often difficult to discuss or understand. For Rizzhel art is a way for people to build communication skills and a sense of community.

Stories: Otay Mesa Detention Center

On June 22nd, 2018, Sen. Kamala Harris visited CoreCivic’s Otay Mesa Detention Center. Outside, demonstrators from the ACLU, Border Angels, Pueblos Sin Fronteras, and the San Diego / Tijuana community demanded justice. This private facility houses mothers who have crossed the US / Mexico border seeking asylum, many of whom have been separated from their children.

Stories: When I Was 8

March 13th, 1998, my half sister disappeared. She was found 4 days later near my grandparents house in Dedham, Massachusetts. My sister was 23 when she died. I was 8. This was my first very close experience of death and though I was young, the experience colored much of my early childhood. The following images are of items inside of a box which has lived in the garage of my mother’s house for the past 20 years. I have looked through this box over the years when I seek understanding of this experience. All of these items all have to do with my sister. Aside from memories and photographs, these are the things we have deemed important to remember, and also inside of this box, the painful things we have chosen to forget.

This project began in July 2018 and is an ongoing documentary project which parallels process, healing, and growth.