Open Letters to Sea is a durational letter-writing project about hope, hoping, and hopelessness in a time of imposed isolation. Jay writes to a friend named Sea, hoping for reciprocation.

Jay doesn’t know where Sea is, so he sought help from the internet and from friends:

Would you be kind enough to help me?

For the past few days, I have been writing to a friend named Sea. I don’t have any idea where they are at this time of a pandemic. But I desperately hope that the seletters will reach them. I don’t know how, but I aspire these words will get to Sea, come what may.

These are open letters so you can read it, too. You might know somebody named Sea wandering around. If you do, can you please read these letters to them from a distance? If it’s not too much to ask, please also tell Sea that I am waiting for them to write me back. Thank you, friends.


For the Greatest Quarantine Art Expo, Jay reads three of the letters and puts them in the video.

Open Letters to Sea is accessible via Instagram:









Jay Albaos (1991) explores how (Filipino) labor migrants create places and realize themselves in foreign environments. He is interested in exploring the possibilities of his method, artistic immersion, and how it can encourage artistic creation through collaboration and participation. He was a development community worker who worked with Indigenous Peoples.

He was also a theatre community performer before leaving for Finland to study MA Live Art and Performance Studies at the Theatre Academy Helsinki. Currently, he is taking his advanced masters in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium. He tries to incorporate anthropology theories and ethnographic methods in his research/artwork(s).

Jay moves from doing solo pieces to working with communities, silent protests to public-sensitive interventions, research writing, and creative writing, working and doing nothing.

He is from the Philippines.