Drawing its title from a painting by the late Carlos Villa, this roundtable conversation ruminates on the aesthetics and ethics of contemporary Filipino American art in the Bay Area. As one of the first sites of Filipino settlement in the United States—and a place where Filipinos have long fought to remain—San Francisco is an unusually fertile ground for Filipino/American artists and performers to hone and exhibit their craft. From the fight to save the International Hotel (an SRO housing elderly Filipino and Chinese men) from demolition in the 1970s, to the ongoing crises in housing and higher education, Filipino American cultural workers have continued to play a central role in inciting social change in the city. The methods and forms through which they do that, however, have taken very different form from what is generally understood as the genre of “protest art.”
In bringing together a small group of San Francisco-based artists, art educators, and cultural workers, we consider the state of art making in the city and discuss how new directions in Filipino American art are redefining notions of identity and community across the canvas, in the black box and in the streets.
This program was organized and moderated by Thea Quiray Tagle, in conversation with artists Jenifer K. Wofford, Eliza Barrios, Michael Arcega, Cece Carpio and Lordy Rodriguez.