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Therese Regalado

JO-HS Residency February 2023

Therese in the studio at JO-HS, Mexico City.

Therese Regalado of Wareco is a self-professed overachiever, a woman with an obsessive learnedness that enables her to have a can-do-it-all spirit.

She explored the possibilities of silk and bamboo, the latter a material she is very fond of because it “feels alive.” “Every time they are bent and they respond—depending on the moisture content of each pole/cut piece—it’s as if I am given permission to shape or if the bend is not possible then their limitations are set,” she explained. “There’s a pulse.”

Bamboo has been long prized in Philippine furniture making for its accessibility and, to quote a fable involving a very showy mango tree and an unassuming bamboo tree, pliability. For her part, the alumna of local furniture workshop E. Murio uses the hollow vessels for purposes other than what it is traditionally meant for. In lieu of a papag of splintered bamboo shoots, she keeps them whole, working around its hollowness, or deconstructing it only to reconstruct and reimagine the possibilities of something sprouting out of it, something like the myth of Malakas and Maganda.