The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu
Stephanie Syjuco, Still from Body Double (Platoon), 2005, DVD projection. Courtesy of the artist and James Harris Gallery, Seattle.
Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino
May 26 August 6, 2006M
The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822
To mark the 2006 Filipino Centennial Celebration in Hawaii, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, presents Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino. The exhibition, curated by New York-based guest curator Kóan Jeff Baysa, brings together twenty-six emerging American-Filipino artists from across the United States.
The term alimatuan, is from a mountain tribe dialect in the Philippines meaning “the soul of the spirit.” Guest curator Baysa, purposefully chose this metaspiritual concept to communicate both the remoteness of cultural affinities that American Filipinos share with their forbears and the intrinsic values they impart as hallmarks of history, memory and identity.
In addition, the customary designation “Filipino-American” is reordered in the title to read “American Filipino” underscoring the fact that the artists, whether born in the U.S. or abroad, claim America as their place of residence while proudly acknowledging their Filipino descent.
According to Baysa: these emerging and underrepresented artists [integrated
into the diverse American culture] now address issues that can be viewed as post-post-colonial, with agendas that are more self-directed and about the quotidian. Ethnic-oriented exhibitions like Alimatuan provide insight into the explorations of complex, diverse, and expanded identities that reflect on how the concept of self mutates between generations, and how Individuals with similar histories, contextualized within differing environments, can provide mutually contrasting and informing frames of reference.
The exhibition connects many of the participating artists through their interest in installation art and the capacity for installation to generate atmosphere or create an environment in which personal and artistic concerns may be played out and directly experienced by the viewer. These include New York-based Athena Robless Casualties of Life: Sleep, New York-based Pablo Orendains Cats Cradle, Honolulu-based Bradley Capellos Prayer Room 2 (2006), and Bay Area Eliza Barrioss sound and video installations Juncture and Vicissitude (both 2006).
Among video works in the exhibition, San Francisco-based Stephie Syjucos large-scale video installation Body Double (Platoon) (2005) consists of a sequence of tropical landscapes appropriated from the 1986 Oliver Stone film Platoon. As a body double for Vietnam, the Philippines occupies a strange place in the imagination of the American public a physically insignificant place and also a completely familiar place via its substitution for Vietnam in many Hollywood war films. Syjucos video installation ignores the original filmic narrative to focus on the artists attempt at discovering her place of birth, a kind of reworked home movie.
Artists in the Exhibition
Alongside installation and video art, the exhibition includes drawing, painting, sculpture, and sound art by an equal number of men and women from across the continental United States and Hawaii. Artists include: Michael Arcega (San Francisco, California), Eliza O. Barrios (San Francisco, California), Kanoa W. H. Baysa (New York, New York), Bradley Capello (Honolulu, Hawaii), Maureen Catbagan (New York, New York), Ernest Concepcion (New York, New York), Edward del Rosario (New York, New York), Maria Dumlao (New York, New York), Chris Ferreria (San Diego, California), Hannah Israel (Columbus, Georgia), Trisha Lagaso Goldberg (Honolulu, Hawaii), Jose E. Guinto (Los Angeles, California), Robert Guiterrez (San Francisco, California), Marlon Sagana Ingram (El Cerrito, California), Michelle Lopez (San Francisco, California), Riza Manalo (Brooklyn, New York), Carlyle Micklus (New York, New York), Pablo Orendain (New York, New York), Tomiko Pilson (Chicago, Illinois), Jerome Reyes (San Francisco, California), Athena Robles (New York, New York and Washington, D.C.), Lordy Rodriguez (Houston, Texas and San Francisco, California), Larilyn Sanchez (New York, New York), Jasmin Bardo Sian (New York, New York), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco, California), and Millette Tapiador (Brooklyn, New York).
A full-color catalog with an introduction by Baysa and essays by independent writer and scholar Reena Jana, and University of Hawaii Assistant Professor of American Studies Theodore S. Gonzalves accompanies the exhibition.
MAHALO Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino is generously underwritten by Corporate Sponsor Hawaiian Telcom with additional in-kind support from Sony Hawaii, Horizon Lines and ResortQuest Hawaii. The exhibition is guest-curated by Kóan Jeff Baysa and organized at The Contemporary Museum by TCM Curator Michael Rooks with TCM curatorial intern Kris Ikegami.
About THE CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, is the only museum in the state of Hawaii devoted exclusively to contemporary art. TCM provides an accessible forum for provocative, dynamic forms of visual art, offering interaction with art and artists in a unique Island environment. TCM presents its innovative exhibition and education programs at two venues: in residential Honolulu at the historic Spalding house, and downtown at First Hawaiian Center.
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