Eunice Sanchez (b.1993) is a Filipino artist that engages with themes related to preservation and perception through photography and alternative photographic processes. Sanchez was named the Silver Recipient in the book (self-published/documentary) category at the International Photography Awards Philippines (2017) and was a resident at Visualizing Histories, a collaborative project between Museum Collective, Load Na Dito, and Sa Sa Art Projects, supported by Asian Cultural Council (2021). She was also selected in the ASEAN Artists Residency Programme, a month-long residency project held by ASEAN Secretariat, Maybank Foundation, and Sharjah Art Foundation (2022).
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo I, 163 x 31.5 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo II, 40 x 30 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo III, 40 x 30 cm, Cyanotype, Textile, Tannin and thread, 2022
Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo is Sanchez’s navigation on inherited tradition and coming to terms with departures and mortality. Taken from the losses that her family and her recently went through, Sanchez began investigating the mortuary rituals they’ve practiced in the province, particularly the process of agpaanod, and the irony of its persistence and engravement through centuries regardless of strong membership to Christianity.
Apart from impeding the chain of death and appeasing the spirits, family members of the deceased who remained in the house for the duration of the funeral go to the river to bathe while washing away the signs of mourning. From the root word anod, one allows to be carried by flowing water as worn old clothes are discarded – a form of parting and healing. In Sa Ilog, Nagtatagpo, cyanotype printing on textile is used to preserve images taken from Bauang River and depict multifaceted emotions. Through sewing textiles together, the series also becomes a process of mending and reconciliation for Sanchez: as she is tied to the river, she is also tied to all histories and possible futures. Sanchez will keep returning to the same river; reciting the same prayers and bidding her farewells to loved ones over and over, until it’s her turn.