Archive for the ‘Galleon Trade’ Category

putting it all together

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

A few pics from the Galleon Trade install at YBCA last week:

And two pics taken at Electric Works yesterday of the full-size (48″ x 68″) proofs for my Market Street posters!

Making art is hard but also fun.

last thursday

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition is up, and open for the world to see.
Fun opening, great show! (Of course, I’m totally biased. But I’m still right.)
A more thoughtful reflection, as well as better install shots, once I’ve caught up with other work. In the meantime, a few snaps…

Suspicious lineup: the California 6 of Galleon Trade BAN 5–Osterloh, Wofford, Wong Yap, Cortez, Wilson, and Poethig:


The BAN 5 six, plus Reyes, and Traders ’07 Barrios and Morales:

Poklong’s work in the foreground, Megawati’s in the background:

The CWY and the ATF contemplating, with Taniguchi’s piece behind them:

Macarthur’s watching you:

Peeps peeping at Jaime’s work:

the room with all the beer:

Someone hiding behind a hairy shelf:

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now Five Edition
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco
September 5-October 19

this thursday

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

It’s on.
Like Donkey Kong.


Party starts upstairs at 5 pm!
The installation’s well underway: the show is looking HOT.T-T-T.
Man, I know me some talented artist friends.

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition
Sept 5-Oct 19
reception Sept 4, 5-8 pm
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, San Francisco

5 ring circus

Thursday, August 21st, 2008


Whew. It’s been a drawing-and-photoshop biathlon-marathon the past couple of weeks: just as well that I’ve been able to have the Olympics on TV in the background the whole time I’ve been working. I can’t actually watch what’s happening, but having this ambient sense of athletes working hard and persevering has actually been really inspiring as I’ve been drawing. (It’s also prevented me from whining about my work as much as I might, under the circumstances).

I had zero intentions of tuning in to the Olympics, but I’ve gotta say, I’ve really enjoyed them. I got utterly sucked in to the Opening Ceremonies, and what with the time-difference on the broadcast, and the need to stay up late working on this project, it’s been the best thing I could ask for as far as something to enjoy listening to as I work. Artists are hard-working folks, but athletes…well, let’s just say we could probably learn a few things more from athletes about discipline, self-sacrifice, team effort, and sportsmanship.

So. All of the drawings are now complete, scanned, and colorized, with many thanks to Electric Works, Michael Hall, and especially Libby Pidgeon for their expertise. The file sizes were really massive, at least for my tired little laptop, so everything took about about a bazillion times longer to layout and save. Even with Michael and Libby’s awesome help, I barely slept all of last weekend. Each of the 6 posters is about 68 inches high by 48 inches wide: each has one massive central image, and 5-7 peripheral images, which is why all the image files were gargantuan. The images below and on the last post are peripherals: the 6 main images are more detailed, and I’ll share those later.






And no, that’s not me in the drawings, since some folks have asked. Playing the part of Flor in all of my photo references has been the lovely and talented actress and comic Nicole Maxali.

I laid out, and on Monday submitted, the almost-final versions for the San Francisco Arts Commission’s review committee meeting this week. Given their feedback and a litte bit more tweaking, it looks like we’ll be going to press with them within the next 10 days-ish! There ended up being 37 drawings total, which was actually much wiser composition-wise than my delusional ambitions of making closer to 60. I can’t share the finals just yet of course, but I’m really pleased with the way the images and narratives balanced out in each poster.

On Monday night, I also started teaching fall semester drawing at DVC, which went surprising well, considering how delirious I should have been: next week, I start teaching at Berkeley and USF, plus Galleon Trade starts installing, plus I finish the posters. Did I mention that I’m also still trying to get my house on the market in the next 2 weeks? Michael Phelps, please. Try harder.

air kisses and chit chat

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Yep, the BAN 5 opening was a blast. Not quite as jam-packed as the last one, but that’s a good thing. As is typical for most openings, it was pretty much impossible to really enjoy the art amidst all the chaos, but it was a great opportunity to catch up with friends, many of whom have been deep in the woodwork as of late. Big openings sometimes feel like class reunions in that way.

The socializing was great fun, but there were a lot of explanations to folks as to where Galleon Trade: BAN 5 wasn’t, since it doesn’t open as part of BAN 5 until September. While Yerba Buena has been staggering its exhibitions for some time now, I think that this is the first time that they’ve staggered a Bay Area Now opening, so people were bound to be confused.

Now, I know that art openings are very kissy-kissy and oh hi, how are you, and that there’s often a certain degree of, well, brightly decorated banter, but the artifice of this kind of social behavior got just a little bit more absurd Saturday: a number of people offered gracious congratulations to me/Galleon Trade, which was fine, but the TRULY awkward moments were where several people extended their congratulations into an out-and-out “I love what you did!” Um, even though there’s nothing up.

Still, I maintain that this was still people just trying to be nice, but it was prretttty funny…anyway. On to photos of what was a very fun night.

crowds in YBCA’s foyer

BAN 5 starlet Misako, with Jesse and K.Lo

Mr Boll Weevil and Disco Duck, reunited

more crowd-y-ness

Woffles, Inaoka, Houlding

Tully, gearing up to get down for her “Syndicate” BAN 5 project:

Tully and Tan vamping, Syndicate style:

Linda Cole on-screen! Everything IS Better Now! (Jonn Herschend’s project)

Il Divo:

tongues agog at all the artsy mayhem:

…and what big artsy social event would be complete without a picture of Eugene in his sassy pink shorts, revving the crowd up before his band performed?

Go catch the show. And lemme know what you think.
It’s an air kiss-free zone now, so you should be fine.

Bay Area Now 5
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

supa dupa

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

OMG. Ask and ye shall receive!
The Journalism Fairy granted my superhero nickname wish!

Super Wofler
Bay Area Now: Hitching a ride with Galleon Trade

San Francisco Bay Guardian
Wednesday July 16, 2008

Super Wofler! That’s as good a nickname as any for artist, curator, teacher, and creative tornado Jenifer K. Wofford. In Denmark, a Super Wofler is a mass-produced ice cream cone ”” as Wofford discovered during a recent artist-in-residence stint near Copenhagen, where she also tracked down a version of Planters’ elusive and endangered CheezBalls, as well as a school named Wofford College, founded in 1854.

But in the Bay Area and in the Philippines, the Super Wofler of Wofford College is Wofford, whose project Galleon Trade invokes and revises Spanish colonial trade routes to forge new cultural and critical exchange. Sparked by Wofford’s curatorial and organizational acumen, Galleon Trade kicked off one year ago in Manila, the Philippines, where art by 12 Californians ”” including Michael Arcega and Stephanie Syjuco ”” landed at two galleries, accompanied by many of the artists. Last year, the Guardian gave Goldie awards to Wofford and Arcega, but many other Galleon Trade participants ”” such as Jaime Cortez and Gina Osterloh ”” have made equally striking and impressive work.

Wofford has a large San Francisco installment of Galleon Trade planned for the Luggage Store Gallery next year. For the moment, the “BAN 5″ version will spotlight some local Galleon Trade”“ers, and some Filipino artists ”” like Norberto “Peewee” Roldan of Green Papaya Art Projects ”” who Wofford met last summer. “A couple artists are doing work that is phenomenological as opposed to overtly political,” she says, during a phone interview that includes an only half-joking reference to “carpetbaggers” when the touchy topic of including non”“Bay Area artists is broached. “I could see people getting pinched about the fact that we’re expanding the idea of what should be included.” Who says the Bay Area only resides in the Bay Area, anyway?

Sept. 5”“Oct. 19 in the YBCA Terrace Galleries.
Opening party, Sept. 4, 5”“8 p.m.

Bay Area Now 5 and Galleon Trade

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

As most of you know, Bay Area Now 5 opens at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts this July 19.
As some of you know, Galleon Trade is part of the party! (We’re arriving fashionably late, however–
Galleon Trade: BAN 5 Edition
opens upstairs on Sept 4, after Taraneh Hemami’s Theory of Survival closes)!!
I’ve been meaning to update you folks for a while on this exciting-ness. There were a few reasons for the quiet:
1, I was completely burnt out and needed to resolve other projects first, including that Denmark thing
2, Galleon Trade: BAN5 is still over 6 weeks away, actually
3, there’s still the biggie Galleon Trade at the Luggage Store to develop in earnest, so I’m trying to pace myself.

Press for, and general public kibbitzing about, Bay Area Now is always significant, so it’s high time I let you in on how this slight detour from our trade route has come to be.

YBCA curators Berin Golonu and Kate Eilertsen were looking to expand the vision of BAN5, and invited artists to sub-curate some special projects (to this end, BAN5 also includes projects organized by Taraneh Hemami, Queens Nail Annex, Valerie Imus, and yours truly). I gave them a few Galleon Trade-related ideas, and they were most interested in one where I played match-maker, pairing a few Bay Area Galleon Trade artists who had traveled to Manila last year, with artists they had met there.

From the fancy, official YBCA wall statement you’ll soon see:

Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition addresses the deeply transnational ties between the Bay Area and the Philippines by pairing artists from both places. It features work by local artists Jaime Cortez, Megan Wilson, Johanna Poethig, Gina Osterloh and Christine Wong Yap, all of whom were members of the contingent that went to Manila in 2007, and met many local artists.

In the spirit of the transpacific “trade” of Galleon Trade, these 5 artists were paired up with Manila artists Maria Taniguchi, Poklong Anading, Norberto “Peewee” Roldan, MM Yu, and Yason Banal. Their works are in direct conversation with each other, each artist’s unique practice enriching and resonating with another’s.

Apparently, as is traditional with BAN (Bay Area Now), some folks are already prickly about who’s been included, and who hasn’t: the fact that GT: BAN 5 includes Manila artists who aren’t even IN the Bay Area is bound to confuse a few more. BAN is also about artists who have never shown at YBCA, so that it gives them a new showcase: this also factored into this latest incarnation of our project.

Another thing that seems unclear to people new to our endeavor is that Galleon Trade is an ongoing, multi-year project, not a one-off YBCA pet project, which means that there are still at least two, if not more, future exhibitions involving various members of our motley crew. Also, the relationships formed by our trip to Manila have continued in all sorts of organic, dynamic ways not necessarily seen by the greater public: the music exchanges that Chris Brown (Trader Poethig’s partner) has been doing with folks in Manila, the Philippines Fulbright Fellowship that Gina Osterloh just returned from, or the Futura Manila show that a few GT folks are in, for example. And, of course, there are the various ongoing email communiques and long-distance friendships many of us are still maintaining.

Sooo. Hopefully, this helps clarify.

Galleon Trade sails again, and big ups to Johanna, Peewee, Jaime, Maria, Christine, Yason, Megan, Poklong, MM and Gina as they prepare their amazing work for this next port of call!

And as for the rest of you:
Come to YBCA this Saturday the 19th for the big kick-off party (buy your tickets early NOW. It sells out.)
And, come last week of August, it’s all hands on deck to help with install for our Sept 4 opening…

July 19-November 16
*Opening Night Party July 19 8 pm!!
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission St San Francisco

exchange rate be damned

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

For those of you who didn’t get the memo, I’m in Europe! And after 3 summers of easy, inexpensive travel in South-east Asia, I am now dealing with the painful sticker shock of how little the dollar is worth in Europe. I had a hot dog and a hot chocolate from a 7-11 in Copenhagen the other night, and it cost $10 US. Ouch.

Prior to Denmark, I spent a few days in London with my Manila friends Maria Taniguchi and Rita Nazareno, who are now living there. I also got to meet up with Laura McKinney, one of my former Leadership High School students, who’s working there for 6 months! Such a treat.

The weather wasn’t super-cooperative (except for the sunny morning when I left, natch), but I still managed to see some art, to enjoy being back in London, and to goof around with Maria and Rita. Those two totally spoiled me. Rita made spamsilog for breakfast one day! Spamsilog in London. Yesss.

Woff, Rita, Maria in West Hampstead:
And a wall I became obsessed with at a fun bar we went to called Trash Palace, in Chinatown:
I need that wallpaper like yesterday.

Maria’s just finishing up her first year in the MFA program at Goldsmiths: it was a treat to get to visit the campus studios, to see what she’s been working on, and to get a better sense of the young British art scene. We also visited her friend Lui Medina, another artist from Manila who was preparing for her own master’s graduation exhibition at the Slade. Mm, I am SO glad that I’m done with my degree. Also glad that I got my degree from somewhere outside the stressed-out fishbowl of the international art market. There’s some great talent here, but the pressure is intense!

Maria at Goldsmiths:
other Goldsmiths pics (this is Maria’s studio mate):

hallway with graphite “mural”:
Art schools are fun to visit.

After a mildly harrowing day of travel, getting my embarrassingly heavy luggage across half of London , a couple of airports, and a couple of train stations, I made it to Copenhagen Thursday evening.

One thing we don’t get on the California latitude is lovely long summer nights like more northern places do. It’s not even June 21 yet, but it doesn’t get dark in Denmark until about 10:30 pm or so, and then starts getting light again around 4 am. Even though I got in around 6 pm, I could still take a nice, long evening stroll around the city. Gorgeous! I’ll be coming back at least a couple times to see it more in-depth.
Got up the next day, checked out of the hotel, and then dragged my luggage onto a train for Jyderup, a mere hour away.
And Soelyst Artist in Residence Centre, where I’ll be for the next month, is not even a 5-minute walk from the station! Perfect.
I’ve been here a little over 24 hours, and I’m still rubbing my eyes, trying to process the loveliness and simplicity of it all. I’m not sure if I could be further from Oakland if I tried. I dragged my rolly suitcase across all the gravel (great comedy moment) to the main building here:
And was given a warm welcome, and then installed in my bedroom here (the open window):
I got here a little early, so I’ll get my studio space on Monday, I think.

There was a reception for Pastiche, Soelyst’s summer outdoor sculpture exhibition, so a nice little crowd of folks showed up in the evening (these pics were taken around 6 pm) for the event:

A lot of folks from the exhibition are staying at Soelyst through the weekend, so I’ve already met some other nice, talented artists.

I feel just total gratitude to be here, and to finally be able to relax, unwind, and start making art again without daily stress or distraction. It’s so quiet, and green, and lovely, I still can’t quite believe I’m here.
Look! I’m surrounded by trees! How crazy is that?
Wofford, stupefied by the loveliness, and grinning on the inside, big-time.

pneumatic holiday hijinks

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Maybe I’m just trying to get the December festivities over and done with early, but doing things ahead of time isn’t exactly my MO. I’m not sure just what this earlybirdlyness is about, but I’m enjoying it…

Had back-to-back little get-togethers this past weekend: a long-delayed session of Drawing Night with a few of the usual suspects, and then a small Galleon Trade reunion with a few of our Bay Area cult members.

Drawing Night, after a long hiatus, is back on: our December session was a little heavy on the balloon animals, but it’s not like we have strict drawing night by-laws we are required to adhere to.

On top of a number of the usual suspects in attendance, Gerone dropped by to draw, which just added to the fun. We all made atrocious Christmas card drawings and collaborative googly-eye collage drawings, but I haven’t photographed those yet. For now, it’s all about the balloons.

photo: MRGIII

There were drawings of balloon animals, there were drawings on balloon animals, there were balloon animals that looked nothing like balloon animals at all…The nice thing about balloon animals is that they don’t actually need to resemble anything. Virtually everyone is content with whatever dubious abstraction they create.


hall and ricci: balloon game-face

The ballooning carried on to the Galleon Trade Pasko, as well, where we all agreed that ‘Balloon Animals 101′ should be a required assignment for every beginning sculpture student, as a great, inexpensive way to deal with volume/space/form, as well as impermanence and obsolescence. We’re so art school that way.

jaime c strikes a pose

Lastly, what Galleon Trade event would be complete without a gratuitous photo of Christine and her magnificent Green Tea ice cream halo-halo? Served up with a bow tie and a smile!



I’m still suspicious of the implications of an innocent, delightful Filipino treat being topped by an originally Japanese dessert. Served in an American home. Is this like some deceptively sweet WWII metaphor? An edible analogy for globalization’s exploitations in the Pacific Rim? What? What?
It seems I’ll need to eat it a few more times to figure this out.
Yum to that.

I’m gonna find ya, I’m gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha

Monday, September 17th, 2007

One Way or Another has arrived at the Berkeley Art Museum this week! Galleon Trade compadre Mike Arcega is in this massive exhibition, as are other local hometown heroes Indigo Som, Ala Ebtekar, and Binh Danh.

Given that Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture festival, and Galleon Trade comadre Gina Osterloh’s solo show at 2nd Floor Projects also open this week, it’s a pretty banner moment for Asian American arts here in the Bay Area… congrats to everyone who’s been hustling to get things in order for these great events!

Mike Arcega’s work at BAM:



the APAture flyer:



Gina Osterloh’s work at 2nd Floor Projects:



And here’s some of the BAMPFA propaganda:

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) presents One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, a major exhibition that asks what it means to be Asian American in today’s world.

The exhibition features more than thirty works by seventeen Asian American artists, most of whom were born after 1970 or who grew up in the U.S. during that decade. Working in a range of styles and media, the artists reveal widely divergent ideas about being Asian American. One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now is organized by the Asia Society, New York, and opens at BAM/PFA on September 19 and runs through December 23, 2007.

Unlike an earlier generation of Asian American artists whose work made very bold and deliberate statements of identity — as seen in the ground-breaking Asia/America: Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art, organized by the Asia Society in 1994 –the artists featured in One Way or Another create work that is not dominated or defined by their ethnicity. Instead, “Asian Americanness” is a theme that informs, rather than drives, the artists’ work.

“The biggest thing we had to address was what constitutes ‘Asian American arts,’” says Susette Min, one of the exhibition curators. “Is it art created by an artist who identifies as Asian American? Is it art created by an artist who has at least one parent who’s Asian? Is it art that has something thematically associated with being Asian in America? Does it have to be politically motivated, or engaged with ‘traditionally’ Asian American issues?”

One Way or Another features artists primarily from three major regions with large Asian American populations: Los Angeles, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Four artists are based in the Bay Area — Ala Ebtekar and Indigo Som (Berkeley), Mike Arcega (San Francisco), and Binh Danh (San Jose) — and four in Los Angeles: Glenn Kaino, Mari Eastman, Anna Sew Hoy, and Kaz Oshiro. The exhibition’s title is taken from the 1978 Blondie hit, and reflects the visible influence of popular culture on these artists’ work.

OK! See you kids out and about at these events this week!

Berkeley Art Museum

Kearny Street Workshop and affiliated venues

2nd Floor Projects