Power, Agency and Representation: Filipino Americans in the Visual Arts
Each panelist will give a brief presentation, followed by a discussion on the themes of agency and representation - what kinds of power one can exercise as a Filipino American working in the art world today, how a history of colonialism and dispossession might actually serve as a source of empowerment in apprehending the world from a creative angle, and how this peripheral vantage point could lead to new, innovative forms of "seeing" and challenging structural inequalities through the power of the aesthetic.
Stephanie Syjuco was born in Manila. She works in photography, sculpture, and installation, moving from handmade and craft-inspired mediums to digital editing and online archives. Her work explores the tension between the authentic and the counterfeit, challenging deep-seated assumptions about history, race, and labor. She has exhibited widely, including at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Lordy Rodriguez was born in the Philippines and raised in Louisiana and Texas. He obtained his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and his MFA from Stanford University. Recently he has been working on a series of ink drawings that critically look at the effect visual languages have on culture and identity through the use of mapping and cartography. His work has been shown at the Nevada Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum in St. Louis, and the Austin Museum of Art and he also has public art projects with the San Francisco Arts Commission at San Francisco International Airport and the federal General Services Administration.
PJ Gubatina Policarpio is an educator, curator, and community organizer. He is the co-founder of Pilipinx American Library and organizer of Filipinx Artist Retreat. He creates spaces for critical and thoughtful interactions between communities, art, and artists, especially addressing a diverse, multilingual, and multicultural audience. He is originally from the Philippines.