Visual Artists Address Colonization and Challenges of Pilipinx Diasporic Life In Group Art Exhibition

Visual Artists Address Colonization and Challenges of Pilipinx Diasporic Life In Group Art Exhibition
Show explores racism, marginalization and colonization through sculpture, installation, and media art

Caroline Garcia,  Queen of the Carabao  (video stills), 2018

Caroline Garcia, Queen of the Carabao (video stills), 2018

San Francisco, CA - April 4, 2019 - Kularts, the premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts in the United States, presents PostColonial Survival Kit, a group exhibition featuring Kimberley Arteche (US), Wilfred Galila (US/Philippines), Caroline Garcia (Australia), and visiting artists Marcelino ‘Balugto’ Necosia Jr. and Salima Saway Agra-an of the Talaandig Tribe in Mindanao, Philippines. The exhibition explores survival tactics of contemporary tribal and diasporic Pilipinx against the historical and ongoing inequities of cultural erasure, and marginalization, brought on by centuries of colonization. The exhibition features tribal soil paintings, sculpture, installation, and media art and will run from May 3rd through May 31st at the Luggage Store Gallery.  

The month-long exhibition features curated programming including an exclusive performance by Talaandig Tribe Culture Bearers Datu Rodelio ‘Waway’ Saway, Salima Saway Agra-an, and Marcelino 'Balugto' Necosia Jr. for the opening reception on May 3rd. The visiting tribal artists will be exhibiting their internationally recognized soil paintings. The contemporary tribal voice complicates the identity dialogue within the Pilipinx diaspora.

To assimilate is to disappear into a colonial culture and systema system that was created not to welcome its colonial subjects but in order for its subjects to serve it. Our power lies in our various ways of being, and our embrace of our hybridity. By reconciling the postcolonial with our indigenous selves, we go beyond the mere survival and towards a healing process and the manifestation of our utmost potential that lies dormant within all of us.  — Wilfred Galila, featured artist

Postcolonial Survival Kit features a nuanced mix of Pilipinx, Pilipinx-American, Pilipinx-Australian, and Indigenous perspectives. The exhibition comes at a time when there is increasing visibility of the Pilipinx voice in America, considering the national recognition of recent works such Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, written by the late historian Dr. Dawn Mabalon, and Gayle Romasanta; the fiction America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo; the debut of Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad’s cookbook, I Am Filipino: And This is How We Cook; as well as media coverage such as National Geographic’s recent feature on the “estimated 10 million Filipinos...who work overseas as a way of escaping unemployment, low wages, and limited opportunities at home.”

The exhibition’s location in SOMA Pilipinas is also significant. The newly recognized Filipino Cultural Heritage District of San Francisco is focused on fostering a thriving, sustainable community of Pilipino residents, and businesses and, in light of conversations around gentrification and colonization, is a portrait of POC agency and identity not only in the Bay Area but the U.S.

Other programming will include Art Dialogue in the Pilipinx Diaspora, an international convening to discuss the role of the arts and culture in Pilipinx civil society, Komiks as Survival Kit with a reading of Isugid Pinoy! directed by Joe Cascasan and performed by Bindlestiff Studio, and a performance and panel discussion on Hip Hop as Survival Kit with Sammay Dizon, Rocky G, and Joy Ng.

Postcolonial Survival Kit runs from May 3-31 at the Luggage Store Gallery, 1007 Market Street, San Francisco, 94103. Gallery hours are Wednesday - Saturday, 12-5PM and by appointment. For tickets and more information, please visit and


Schedule of Events

May 03, 2019, 6:30-8PM
Opening Reception
Music by visiting Talaandig Artist

May 11, 2019  10AM-5PM
Art Dialogue in the Pilipinx Diaspora
An international convening to discuss pressing issues and share successful models of impactful art-making.

May 11, 2019  7-9pm
Kamayan Kabaret + Dinner
Traditional Pilipino communal meal eaten without utensils with entertainment hosted by comic/actor Joe Cascasan music by Joshua Icban, Aimee Amparo and other guests.

May 17, 2019, 6:30-8PM
Komiks as Survival Kit
Stage reading of Isugid Pinoy! By Don Ellis Aguillo, and Rafael Salazar directed by Joe Cascasan and performed by Bindlestiff Studio

May 24, 2019, 6:30-9PM
Hip Hop as Survival Kit
with Sammay Dizon, Rocky G, and moderated by Joy Ng

May 31, 2019, 6:30-8PM
Closing Reception

The Luggage Store Gallery
1007 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103
Gallery Hours:
Wed - Sat, 12-5PM and by appointment

About Kularts:
Founded in 1985, Kulintang Arts, Inc., now known popularly as Kularts, is the premier presenter of contemporary and tribal Pilipino arts in the United States. Through three decades of service, Kularts has grown into a leading elder arts organization, uniting generations of artists and community activists in a common effort to build a collective space and sense of belonging within San Francisco, specifically the SOMA Pilipinas: Filipino Cultural Heritage District. Kularts creates work that makes visible the contributions of Pilipino Americans and creates room for cultural continuity and knowledge.

About The Luggage Store Gallery:
The Luggage Store, also known as The 509 Cultural Center is a non profit artist run multidisciplinary arts organization, founded in 1987. We obtained our 501C3 non profit status in November, 1989. Their mission is to build community by organizing multidisciplinary arts programming accessible to and reflective of the Bay Area’s residents.

Kimberley Arteche

Kimberley Arteche

About Kimberley Arteche:
Kimberley Acebo Arteche is an educator, cultural worker, and interdisciplinary artist working in photography, installation, social practice, and performance. Her work explores the hybrid cultures formed by technology, movements of immigrants in America, and the way movements through space and spaces has been affected by these two. Arteche received her BFA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and MFA from San Francisco State University where she received the School of Art’s Distinguished Graduate award.

She has been awarded the Murphy Cadogan Contemporary Art Award by the San Francisco Foundation, was Kearny Street Workshop’s Featured Visual Artist in the 2015 APAture Festival, and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the Growlery. She has shown at East Tennessee State University and at the Wailoa Arts & Cultural Center in Hilo, Hawaii. She serves on Southern Exposure’s Curatorial Council and is committed to collaboratively creating decolonial practices within arts institutions, and creating visibility and providing resources for emerging Asian Pacific American and BIPOC Artists.

Wilfred Galila

Wilfred Galila

About Wilfred Galila:
Wilfred Galila makes use of various media for storytelling and art making as a means of gaining a deeper understanding of postcolonial identity and culture through a transpacific diasporic lens, framework, and experience.

He collaborated with multi-awarded dance artist Alleluia Panis on the multimedia dance theater productions, She, Who Can See (2015) and Incarcerated 6x9 (2018), and the dance film She, Who Can See (2017) that was screened at the 2018 CAAMFest. Their latest collaboration is In the Belly of the Eagle: Man@ng is Deity.

Galila is the lead artist for Kodakan: Pilipinos in the City, a photography and media project that explores the diverse identities of Filipinos in San Francisco through time, exhibited at the San Francisco Main Library (2013-2014), the I-Hotel Manilatown Center (2015), and the A.C.T. Strand Theater (2015).

His films were screened at the 23rd and 26th annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

His writing was published in Beyond Lumpia, Pansit and Seven Manangs Wild, an anthology of prose and poetry by Filipino American writers, and in Milvia Street Art and Literary Journal of Berkeley City College.

Galila was nominated for a 2019 Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.

About Caroline Garcia:
Caroline Garcia is a culturally promiscuous, interdisciplinary artist. She works across live performance and video through a hybridised aesthetic of cross-cultural dance, ritual practice, new media, and the sampling of popular culture and colonial imagery.

Caroline’s practice is shaped by alterity. In her work, she centers peripheral bodies by adopting the role of shape shifter - sliding into the gaps between cultures, experiences of otherness and timeless clichés of exotic femininity. She takes an intersectional approach to contemporary dance (read: twerking), the politics of diasporic identity and representation through a lens of cultural piracy. She is concerned with reimagining forgotten choreographies, alternate ways of viewing images of the past that eschew classical myths, liminal spaces, and the mimetic capacities of the Filipina.

Caroline Garcia

Caroline Garcia

Caroline's recent projects include Flygirl, developed at The EMPAC Residency in New York, facilitated by Australia Council for the Arts in 2016/17, and performances at the Manila Biennale, Art Central Hong Kong, The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics NYC and DARK MOFO in 2018. Caroline was one of the eight artists curated into Primavera 2018: Young Australian Artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and is the 2018/19 recipient of the American Australian Association’s AUSART Fellowship Award. She is currently undertaking a Master of Fine Arts at The New School (Parsons) in New York City in 2018-20.

Caroline has presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, The Australian Center of the Moving Image, The Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, and Fremantle Arts Centre; as well as DARK MOFO, Channels: The Australian Video Art Festival, Proximity Festival, Underbelly Arts Festival, NEXT WAVE, The Festival Of Live Art, Junction Arts Festival, Sydney Contemporary and Art Month Sydney, among others. She has exhibited at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Center of Contemporary Photography, Carriageworks, The SUBSTATION, Firstdraft, BLINDSIDE, Blacktown Arts Centre, Penrith Regional Gallery and the Lewers Bequest, Cement Fondu, and Darren Knight Gallery, among others.

Balugto Necosia Jr.

Balugto Necosia Jr.

About Balugto Necosia Jr.:
Marcelino ‘Balugto’ Necosia, Jr. is a multi-talented visual artist, musician, and instrument-maker, who grew up in the foothills of Mt Kitanglad fully immersed on his Talaandig culture. His strong influence would come from the gentle mentoring of his uncle, Datu Rogelio "Waway" Saway.  Despite the lack of formal education, the Talaandig School of Living Tradition prepared Balugto to participate in a much larger artistic platform. He received the prestigious 2010 Philip Morris Philippine Art Awardee. He has performed and exhibited throughout the Philippines, including the National Museum of the Philippines and internationally at the Singapore Biennale, Singapore National Museum, International Music & Art Festival-Nami Island-Korea, and The Lower Branch Gallery-San Francisco, CA. This intimate familiarity with the land and its people provides him with opportunities for artistic expression. He is appropriately nicknamed “Balugto” (Talaandig for rainbow), as his talents are a true kaleidoscope of various arts: visual, performance, and music. Balugto recorded an album which features his musical talents as a percussionist. He has been creating visual art since 1997, a practice that includes painting, sculptures, and constructing the best sounding drums in the community. Balugto prefers to use natural pigments, and pen and ink in his paintings. Mountain soil itself provides Balugto with a vast variety of hues for his palette. Balugto performs as percussionist with Datu Rogelio “Waway” Saway in national concerts and cultural festivals in the Philippines. His vision is to share the perspectives of the Talaandig tribe with the world.

Salima Saway Agra-an

Salima Saway Agra-an

About Salima Saway Agra-an:
Salima Saway Agra-an is from the Talaandig tribe of Bukidnon. She has been practicing art for 15 years. She uses soil, grass, leaves, latex paint, acrylic, and water color as her medium. She wants to tell the world about the existence of their tribe. Salima has worked with tribal elders to document the epic chants and mythologies of her people and layer them into her paintings along with Talaandig cultural practices, symbols, and metaphors. She has exhibited works in the Philippines and internationally, with notable exhibitions including with the Kalinawa Art Foundation, and the 2013 Singapore Biennial. Salima’s contemporary soil paintings are included in collections in both the Philippines and abroad.