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Chicken Hands: Photographs by Ryan Arbilo

Chicken Hands - invitation 72dpi RGB

Ongoing until June 17; Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala cor. Gil J. Puyat Aves., Makati; for more information, call (02) 889-1234, visit www.yuchengcomuseum.org

A nine-piece black-and-white photography exhibition at Yuchengco Museum reveals the hardships that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially domestic workers, endure in France. Entitled Chicken Hands: Photographs by Ryan Arbilo, the exhibition features portraits of Filipina housemaids, with a particular focus on their tired, weary, chicken feet-like hands. The images were taken by Ryan Arbilo, a Filipino photographer and videographer based in Paris.

Filipino emigration to France has a face, a female face. The women portrayed in Arbilo’s photographs just want to support their families back in the Philippines.

Arbilo’s ‘chicken hands’ images have the power of an intimate face-to-face encounter. They are portraits with no touch-ups, of women, of mothers, holding out their bare damaged hands—the only tool they have. As visitors look through the photographs, they read the loneliness marked on their faces and the stories told through their hands, revealing the perseverance and endurance of these Filipino women.

Since 2009, Arbilo has been photographing the struggles of Filipino housemaids who travel to France for a better life for their family.

Being the son of a ‘chicken hands’ mother, Arbilo wants to promote awareness on the socioeconomic situations of OFWs who feel the need to work abroad because of poverty in their home country.