Flip the Script is about understanding my cultural identity, reconnecting and continuing lost traditions through street art and pop culture iconography and contemporary art forms. Studying lost ancient Filipino script writing through a graffiti lens. When learning a language or a script you have to learn the basics before you can understand and transform it. Similar to how graffiti artists practice in black books to develop their own unique hand styles to add to the lineage and life of this street art form.
Before Filipinos adopted the English language and alphabet they had their own script writing called Baybayin. Prior to colonization by the Spanish this art form was heavily rooted in Filipino history and culture. Recently, new generation Filipinos living in diaspora are relearning these ancient writing systems and reconnecting with their heritage in a modern way.
I want to reconnect with these art forms myself and study them like I did graffiti. Further embodying the lauauge, culture and what it means to me being a half Filipino and Irish Canadian living in Canada. I hope this provides an entry point to dive deeper into these traditional writing systems to understand the culture and people that used these forms of writing as a means of communication and preservesvation. I will learn the foundations then abstract the forms and letters, bringing my own style and diverse upbringing into these ancient art forms. By mixing these two spectrums of graffiti and eastern calligraphy I hope to learn the language, reconnect with my roots and rejuvenate interest in Baybayin script for others to explore this art form in a new contemporary way and to help push conventions and keep this lost art form alive for younger generations to discover.
Ray Vidal is a Filipino-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, muralist, musician and educator. He is passionate about bringing people together through public art engagement, mentorships, workshops, community events and programming. After graduating from OCAD University he has been creating vibrant murals, installations and digital artworks around the city.