3 Filipino artists mount ‘When We Were Kids’ in California | Global News

3 Filipino artists mount ‘When We Were Kids’ in California

07:54 PM July 16, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California—Three Filipino artists are mounting an exhibit titled When We Were Kids at the 1AM Gallery here.

The group art show visually explores children in play, power and poverty.

Minette Lee Mangahas, Christopher De Leon, and James Garcia have each created a series of work that vividly capture childhood imagination, struggles, and innocence loss from the perspective of growing up as a Filipino in the Philippines and the United States.


“I grew up in Manila surrounded by waves of working children. They sold garlands of fragrant sampaguita flowers through the car window. They went door-to-door collecting newspaper for the paper-making factories. They sold sweets—’taho!’—duck eggs, nuts, and baskets in hand carts they pushed and pulled around city,” Mangahas said.


“This series is about their play and those moments when they feel free,” said Mangahas.

In When We Were Kids, Mangahas uses minimum gestures to convey entire stories. Her intimate calligraphic ink and pencil drawings capture movement and emotion at moments of sheer rapture and destitution, a tribute to the 200 million child laborers around the world.

Christopher De Leon provides an honest series of work that transmit feelings of nostalgia by tapping into his own childhood, revisiting his own memories in each painting.

De Leon illustrates the familiar more universal moments of youthful imagination that are often interrupted by the realities of the world around us.

James Garcia blends abstract backgrounds and symbolic imagery in envisioning more playful and lucid environments for the urban Filipino youth that are living muted and depressed in poverty. He attempts as a visual artist to tell the story about these children that yearn for a more carefree and simpler life.

Opening reception of When We Were Kids will be on July 15, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The show will run through August 14.

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TAGS: arts, California, US

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