Mic Diño Boekelmann was born in Quezon City, Philippines, uprooted and replanted in Germany, Israel and the US where she received her BA from UC Berkeley. Her work has been shown at the NARS Foundation on Governors Island NYC, Princeton University, Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists of America, Princeton Public Library, and the Trenton City Museum. She was awarded the Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Chautauqua Visual Arts Residency, accepted to the NYFA Immigrant Artist Program and is a founding member of NExSE, a Filipino American artist collective and the ERL Collective (emerging residency leaders developing nurturing systems for BIPOC artists). Boekelmann lives and works in Princeton, NJ where she runs The Orange Door, a multifunctional contemporary art space.
The iconic golden Manila Envelope in Boekelmann’s work is an invitation to unearth and visually articulate the complexity of home. She takes a mundane office supply and transforms it into organic paper sculptures.
The use of these envelopes was inspired by her mother’s memories of growing up in the province of Bicol where she saw workers process abaca fibers also known as Manila Hemp. Manila envelopes were originally made from Manila Hemp which comes from a native banana plant of the Philippines.
As part of the displaced diaspora, Boekelmann collects and connects fragments, just like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, that lead back to home, wellness and rest. She hand-cuts her envelopes as she dialogues with the medium to come up with the final form.
She’s Here, 2021
Manila envelopes, hanger, thread, tape 6-3/4ft x 4 ft
A terno dress fashioned out of Manila envelope cutouts of sampaguita and kalachuchi flowers (often associated with the spirits), along with words of affirmation from family elders in Tagalog and Bikolano—as “armor” for her daughter.
(taken from Vina Orden’s article: “Princeton exhibit: What’s next for Filipino American art?”)
Manila envelopes, white fan 5-3/4 ft x 3 ft
A traditional handheld fan from the Philippines, completes the installation as the flowers are freed from the confines of the Manila Envelope form, thus taking on a new sculptural shape, symbolizing the freedom to become something utterly new.
Yellow Home, 2021 Screen prints on paper 15 x 8 inches each
Screen prints of Boekelmann’s parent’s home in Bicol, Philippines. Yellow/Orange symbolizing sunshine, joy and comfort.