Marlene within the Circle of Togetherness, SOMArts SF for A Place of Her Own exhibition, 2015

"Art is doing. art deals directly with life."

- Ruth Asawa, Japanese American Sculptor


I am a queer Filipino-Japanese American artist living and working in the Bay Area.* Focused on facilitating a critical dialogue about historical and institutional inequity, I utilize personal narratives for public consumption. I am an image-maker who re-contextualizes personal family photographs and cultural materials. My art references my own experience as a mixed race person living in a white dominated society. The work contends with the Japanese internment of World War II and the resulting anti-Asian prejudice of its “yellow peril” propaganda. Using autobiographical materials, my art endeavors to highlight a grave injustice that is consistently disregarded by western society and that has established an ongoing legacy of harm towards Asian Americans.

I am currently working on restorative art practices in an effort to create an avenue for personal and communal healing. While the exploration of trauma is a key component to my work so far, it is not enough for the art to chronicle historical violence. I strive to process my lived realities in a manner that repairs instead of re-harms. My most recent work combines the process of meditation with the visual repetition found in many of my other projects. Through multiplicity I am trying to gain a better understanding of the emotional elements of making. 


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* Though originally from the California Bay Area (Newark, Hayward, and Oakland), I now temporarily live in British Columbia, Canada with my wife as she earns a PhD in art history.