I write, curate and teach about art. I am assistant professor at the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman where I facilitate courses in art history, criticism, public art and cities. I love the wonder that resides in art, its capacities to reclaim the senses rendering them astute compass in a world burdened by stimuli.
I marvel at the intricacies of crafting, the subtleties of meaningful conversations, and the power of word and image to ferry the imagination.
My research centres on contemporary public art practices in cities. I consider economies of artistic production, orbits of circulation and reception, and the possible ways contemporary art can mediate the public sphere. I have done field work on the topic in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, in the last two countries in 2014 for my Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship sponsored by The Nippon Foundation. I lived in Singapore for various periods (for a fellowship at the Asia Research Institute in 2007 and as researcher at the National Gallery Singapore through the Singapore International Foundation between 2010 and 2011. I finished a research residency at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum Japan this March 2017.
The Southeast Asia Neighborhoods Network, a project with Urban Knowledge Network Asia, the International Institute of Asian Studies Leiden with funding from The Henry Luce Foundation New York was launched last 2017 at ICAS 10 in Chiang Mai. I am principal researcher for Manila in this project and am working closely with visual artists in exploring the languages of contemporary art as approach and method to examine the dynamics between art, gentrification and urban development. SEANNET has a blog where I also write entries.
I co-curated an exhibition Tropical Cyclone at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts Taipei, Taiwan in October 2017. Last December 2017, we launched the Philippine Contemporary Art Network, a platform for Philippine contemporary art for which I curated an exhibition that examines ideas of the region and locality. This October 2018, PCAN will hold a curatorial workshop in partnership with The Japan Foundation Manila.
I will also curate Island Weather for the Philippine Pavilion at next year’s Venice Arts Biennale, where I will realise a site specific and immersive environment with artist Mark Justiniani. I look forward to spending time in Italy between now and 2019.
I practice yoga avidly, read voraciously, dream of a garden and a desk with a view of an old, gnarled tree. The imagination affords us unprecedented freedom. I claim mine by way of words and art.