Carlos Villa and Santiago Bose, two of the most well known and influential Filipino artists working today, have been brought together for the first time to hold a two-man exhibition and lead a collaborative workshop at Pacific Bridge Contemporary Southeast Asian Art.
The exhibition, "The Spirit that Dwells Within", is a dynamic pairing of two visionary artists. Although Villa, born in San Francisco, and Bose, born in Baguio, The Philippines, had never met let alone worked or exhibited together, they have addressed many of the same issues throughout their careers. Both are known and respected for expanding the boundaries of fine art materials and methods in their personal explorations of, and advocacy for, Filipino identity. This exhibition juxtaposes new works by both artists that challenge us to reconsider "the spirit that dwells within."
Villa and Bose are leading a "Manong Workshop," a multimedia workshop on design, papier-m‰chŽ, recycled papermaking, installation and performance. The workshop is designed to familiarize Filipino American youths with the life and times of the "Manongs," early Filipino migrants to America as farm laborers in California and Hawaii, and to expose Filipino American youths to creative means of interpreting stories and histories of their own with the use of available materials. Since many of the Manongs are in the twilight of their lives Villa and Bose believe that it is vital to hear and remember their stories for it is a part of the collective memory of the Filipino Americans. The workshop is being hosted jointly with Pusod Center for Arts, Culture and Ecology in Berkeley and Pacific Bridge.
Villa, the son of Filipino immigrant parents, is a professor in the Painting Department at the San Francisco Art Institute where he has taught since 1969. His contributions to the development of the Bay Area art scene began with his first two-person exhibition with Joan Brown at KPFA in 1958 and continue until this day with his current work.
Since his graduate exhibition in 1972, which opened as Marcos declared Martial Law, Bose has earned an indisputable reputation as one of the most prolific, ingenious and innovative artists the Philippine art scene has ever produced.
The Spirit that Dwells Within opens September 9th and runs through October 28th, 2000.