Fil-Am artists explore immigration, survival, adaptation

Fil-Am artists explore immigration, survival, adaptation

/ 11:42 PM April 23, 2019

Kimberly Arteche (left) and Wilfred Galila. CONTRIBUTED

SAN FRANCISCO — A group exhibition focusing on ways Filipinos have “coped, survived and adapted to diasporic life” will be presented by Kularts performing arts group this May.

“PostColonial Survival Kit” will feature soil paintings, sculptures, installations and video/media art as well as scheduled panel discussions and performances.


The exhibition “addresses the ways Filipinos have coped, survived and adapted to diasporic life, including challenges of racism, marginalization and the ways that colonization has affected interpersonal, familial and intra-communal relationships.”

Filipino American artists joining the exhibition are Kimberley Arteche and Wilfred Galila.


Other included artists are Filipino Australian Caroline Garcia and Filipino artists Salima Agra-an, Marcelino Necosia Jr. and Rodelio Saway—all three of whom are Talaandig, an indigenous group in Bukidnon province.

Dreams and journeys

Kimberley Arteche’s work for the exhibition, “Kulambo Dreams,” is a soft sculpture installation using mosquito netting and Sto. Niño figurines. The work characterizes her “inherited intergenerational colonial dreams” and touches on her family’s history.

Arteche works in photography, installation and performance. Recent credits include Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture Festival and residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Growlery. She has shown at East Tennessee State University and at Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center in Hilo, Hawaii.

Sculpture by Wilfred Galila. CONTRIBUTED

Kularts resident artist Wilfred Galila’s work “Ang Paagi sang Panglakaton kag Pamaagi Pakadto sa Pakiguli sang Kaugalingon (The Way of Journey and Process Towards the Integration of Self)” is a multimedia installation with choreography and performance by Jonathan Mercado.

The work is his “exploration of an ongoing journey of decolonization and survival in a postcolonial world and the process of piecing together fragments of a Filipino identity.”

Galila’s recent video work for performances include “She, Who Can See” (and its film adaptation), “Incarcerated 6×9” and “In the Belly of the Eagle: [email protected] is Deity.” His films have been screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.


Garcia will present a digital video work featuring field recordings that have been turned into compositions by Fil-Am musician Josh Icban. Necosia Jr. and Agra-an will present soil paintings.


The exhibition will have an opening reception on May 3 featuring musical performances from the Talaandig artists.

In the “Komiks as Survival Kit” program on May 17, there will staged reading of Isugid Pinoy!, a comic book by illustrators Don Ellis Aguillo and Rafael Salazar. The performance will be done by Fil-Am theater group by Bindlestiff Studio.

In the “Hip Hop as Survival Kit” program on May 24, Joy Ng will moderate performances by Sammay Dizon and Rocky G.


A panel discussion on May 11 will feature artists from the exhibition. This will be the fourth installment of what has become Kularts’ series of panel discussions titled “Dialogue on Arts and Culture in the Pilipinx Diaspora.”

Kimberly Arteche’s sketch plans for her “Kulambo Dreams” installation. INSTAGRAM

Focusing on “pressing issues and share successful models of impactful art-making,” the series convenes Filipino American and international Filipino artists, funders and administrators.

This year’s topics include Creative Survival Tactics; Folkloric/Indigenous Diasporic Expressions; and Intersection of Arts, Civic Engagement, and Funding.

That same day, there will be a Kamayan Kabaret in the evening. The traditional communal meal eaten without utensils will feature entertainment by comic Joe Cascasan and others.

There will be a closing reception on May 31.

“Postcolonial Survival Kit” runs May 1-30 at The Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market St., San Francisco. Visit

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TAGS: “PostColonial Survival Kit”, art exhibit, colonization, cultural adaptation, diasporic life, Fil-Am artists, KulArts
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