2022 Soma Project
For this grant project, I reflect upon the history and continued presence of the Filipinx community in the SOMA Pilipinas Cultural Heritage District of San Francisco while visiting significant historical and cultural sites. These include the Victoria Manalo Draves Park, Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, Alice Street Community Gardens, and Kapwa Gardens. My time spent painting these spaces gave me a more profound and lasting connection with the district and our shared history. I was initially drawn to the natural world, whether the banana tree, calamansi planter, or community garden, for it gives me rootedness while healing my relationship with the land. The works become paths for deeper inquiries about transience, dwelling, finding belonging, diasporic experience, and the complex relationship between nature, identity, and place.