Professor Arcega Discusses Arts, Culture of Philippine Diaspora

Thursday, June 08, 2017

INQUIRER.NET (MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES) -- The “New Diasporic Works” panel discussed the ways that Philippine dance, music and cultural practices inform the creation of diasporic western-trained artists. It was moderated by Kim Arteche, an artist and educator who works in photography, installation and social practice. Panel members included Michael Arcega, an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation and an assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

Panel members discussed the balance of playing the diversity card or sensationalizing Filipino identity for opportunity and exposure as well as the difference between creating art for audiences versus the community.

“In negotiating those spaces, I realized that I just had to give up that question altogether and make work that is for the field that I specialize in,” says Arcega, whose fine art installations feature boats, in particular the Philippine bangka. “Sometimes there are strong nods to where I’m from, sometimes there’s not trace. I make work from a place where I’m just myself, I’m not trying to represent.”