We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles brings attention to the dynamic voices in our diverse metropolis that extend viewers’ knowledge and understanding of the Asia Pacific region. The exhibition highlights seven female contemporary artists of diverse Asian Pacific heritages living and working in Los Angeles.
Over the past few months, I have been making collages with scrap fabric on Khadi Paper and embroidering on Khadi. Handwork like embroidery has been the means of educating women into the feminine ideal but at the same time it also proved a weapon of resistance to the constraints of femininity as it provides women with a set of skills that can be utilized for self empowerment.
A native San Franciscan, Carlos Villa (1936-2013) was an artist and educator whose legacy was immeasurable. His works from the 1970s and 80s deftly reject the ethnographic terms historically ascribed to non-Western art. Combining repetitive action, performance, and activism, his abstract assemblages are visually dramatic expressions of Filipino-American identity.
The artworks in What Will Have Being draw the relics of fallen empires into discourse with contemporary political and environmental instabilities, considering the legacy of our species on this planet. Creating a throughline between ancient past and possible future, the works suggest a museological exhibition of antiquities that has been forgotten and reclaimed by nature.
Our identity is dictated to us from the moment we are born, but as we grow up, identity is what we actually choose to be. I do believe that our circle of friends is what makes us who we are. We are all outsiders, Asian artists living abroad, and their deep friendship has offered me a ground on where I can stand and embrace my own identity.