Esplanade Presents

Visual Arts

A child dies, a child plays, a woman is born, a woman dies, a bird arrives, a bird flies off

Shireen Seno (Philippines)

24 May – 1 Sep 2024

All Day

Esplanade Tunnel


Still from A child dies, a child plays, a woman is born, a woman dies, a bird arrives, a bird flies off, Shireen Seno, 2024. Image courtesy of the artist.


Shireen Seno explores the intersections of human existence with the natural world through moving images and print. The visual narrative that unfolds across the Esplanade Tunnel delves into her interest in the power of images and how they speak into our lived experiences across time and locales.


Inspired by recollections of her father’s move to the United States in the early 2000s and her cosmopolitan upbringing, Seno reflects on migration and the ways it shapes identity and belonging. In a series of five moving image projections, the artist juxtaposes the lives of birds and humans. Seno directs her camera lens to the local and migratory birds that make the Candaba Wetlands—north of Manila, the Philippines—their habitat, and toward her children and scenes of family life. For Seno, birds serve as role models for humans, as they endeavour to survive across varied terrains. The work invites viewers to contemplate our parallel experiences of building homes and the knowledge embedded in nature.


In a photo-zine and a video, both entitled Trunks, Seno looks at the parts of trees that we relate to at eye level and the affinities shared between man and our natural surroundings. The video essay To Pick a Flower sees the artist weaving together archival photographs of trees from the American Colonial Era (c.1898-1946) in the Philippines. Through these images, she speculates on how trees were exploited for economic gain and the consequences capitalism had on society and the environment. This exhibition meditates on our complex relationships with the natural world and the insight images could lend to these layered connections. 

Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Shireen Seno

Shireen Seno (b.1983, Japan) is an artist and filmmaker based in the Philippines. Her work addresses memory, history and image-making, often in relation to the context of home. Together with John Torres, she founded Los Otros, a Manila-based collective that is a laboratory and platform committed to the intersections of film and art. Her works have been presented at Tate Modern, London (2021), Asia Culture Centre, Gwangju, South Korea (2020) and Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany (2019), among others. Seno was a recipient of the 2018 Thirteen Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines and a Film Fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program in 2022. 

Date & Time

24 May – 1 Sep 2024

Esplanade Tunnel

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