Paris-based photographer and videographer Ryan Arbilo will hold his first exposition called Chicken Hands on June 28, 2014 at Theatre des Varietes, Monaco, Monte Carlo.
Arbilo, who also owns Arbilo Gallery in Paris, has been a professional photographer since 2008. His portfolio includes wedding, fashion and glamour photography and videography particularly for Pierre Cardin TV. He is regularly assigned to cover the Cannes Film Festival in France.
“Chicken Hands” is a concept that began in 2009. Arbilo wants to show the struggles of Filipino domestic helps abroad.
“The significance of seeing their bare hands… their “chicken hands”, as a symbol of the sacrifice and demeaning treatment they endure; both inspired and moved me to tell their story, the best way I knew how, through the art of photography,” Arbilo said.
The women included in Arbilo’s exposition are mostly undocumented and have been living in Paris for more than ten years. According to Arbilo, most of these women are underpaid but still manage to smile and never complain. The photographer wants people to see not only the hardship written on their faces but also their perseverance and endurance in providing for their loved ones back home in the Philippines.
“This is a great humanitarian calling for me, to somehow inspire people and our governments to focus on finding a way for families to stay together and thrive above the poverty line and not have the need to go abroad,” he says.
“Chicken Hands” is also Arbilo’s tribute to his mother Rose, who came to Paris in 1991 to work as a domestic helper until she became the first Filipina tailor for horse jockey uniforms. She is one of the ten expert tailors in this field in France. From her savings as a tailor, she was able to open Arbilo Gallery which is now owned by her son.
“I want to promote awareness of the socio-economic situations of these women who felt the need to work abroad because of the poverty in their country. I am a child of a “chicken hands” mother. I grew up without my mother and although I am grateful for the opportunities I received, it came at too high a price. The pain of growing up without her has stayed with me and through this project I seek to understand why. So I honor her and the women here before her,” he adds.
The photos included in the exposition are shot in black and white exposure size of 70cm x 100cm.
“Chicken Hands” exposition will open on June 28th 2014 in Theatre des Varietes, 1 Boulevard Alber ler, Monaco as part of the 116th Independence Day Celebration in Monaco.