An installation consisting of thousands of dolls excavated from the Manila landfill of the same name, Payatas is a visceral assault on the viewer. These discarded dolls – once playthings unto which girls cast their hopes and fantasies upon – have ended up in the city’s mountainous garbage dump. Payatas is also home to an estimated 200,000 people, many of whom – including children – scavenge for anything that can be recycled, repaired and sold. In this landscape of rejects and refuse, ‘nothing’ can be salvaged into ‘something’ for one man’s trash is another’s treasure. In the heart of Villamiel’s installation one uncovers a small drawing dedicated to the lost child, and inscribed in its gestural marks, a prayer – the artist’s hope for humanity.