SAM Mini Mobile Museum: 'May Tainga ang Lupa (The Land has Ears)' by Rodel Tapaya

About the Exhibition  

SAM Mini Mobile Museum is a travelling art exhibition held in partnership with the National Library Board. 

The Mini Mobile Museum introduces the multifaceted nature of contemporary art through a selection of SAM’s permanent collection artworks, adapted for non-museum spaces and created by Southeast Asian artists. Featuring art forms like drawing, installation, sound and video, the Mini Mobile Museum invites the viewer to an intimate experience of the commissioned artwork within a public space. Every exhibition will be accompanied by self-guided activities for families.

On view: May Tainga ang Lupa (The Land has Ears) by Filipino artist Rodel Tapaya 

The Land has Ears harnesses the rich mythology of the Philippines, capturing the fables, folklore and legends of the many indigenous groups that once existed across the archipelago. Alive with colourful characters such as spirits and monsters, such tales of bravery, deception and wit stirred the imagination and entertained. Transmitted orally – often told by an elder to a child – many of these stories were forgotten during the Philippines’ many years of western colonial rule. 

The work unfolds across the seven themes of Land, Water, Fire, Plants, Animals, the Human and Spirit World. Tapaya brings these tales of yore into the current-day by weaving in contemporary issues such as environmental damage, urban poverty, pollution and land scarcity. 

In the artist’s words, “Stories of myths and folktales are our ancestors’ way of understanding the world. The work hopes to illuminate these stories of the past and find inspiration and understanding of the world in the present times.” 

Rodel Tapaya’s commission for SAM Mini Mobile Museum responds to a suite of four dioramas created by Tapaya in 2009, that are currently in SAM's permanent collection. They are: Pedro and the Witch, The Hunter of Pinamaloy, Origin of Grain and The Wise Monkey and the Foolish Giant.