Bloodlines showcases nine artists who create artwork as a method of reclaiming, preserving and transforming the role of cultural heritage in their lives. By negotiating the physical and spiritual bonds between past and present, these artists explore familial relationships, the lingering effects of diaspora and how ancestral memories shape the way we exist in the modern world.
In summer 2017, ArtXchange Gallery posted a call for artists exploring the role of heritage and ancestral identity in their artwork. The final group of nine represent the strong themes and new insights that emerged during the process. Some artists use their work as research and investigation, while others use their work as memorial or reclamation of history. The common thread among all is the affirmation that history and ancestors, their presence or lack thereof, are very much active in shaping how each artist experiences the present.
Preview the Bloodlines Exhibition online!
Jite Agbro’s work draws from her personal experience growing up in both American and Nigerian cultures, collecting imagery of traditional and contemporary styles of Nigerian dress as an act of ‘forging’ status objects for integration into the American cultural context.
MalPina Chan’s work in printmaking, mixed-media and glass is a continuing investigation of the transitory nature of the human condition, our connection to each other, to circumstances around us and to the natural world.
Derek Orbiso Dizon
is a Filipino-American visual artist whose mixed-media installations and sculptures honor materials with ancestral significance, including shells, flowers and amulets, centering stories of intergenerational grief, reclamation and liberation.
Linking diverse sources including pop culture and her lineage from Mayan hammock weavers, Priscilla Dobler’s
vibrant paintings on woven strips of canvas use symbolic representations from the Scottish and Mexican sides of her family.
Creating artwork that acts as a personal bridge back to the motherland, Raychelle Duazo
is a queer femme Filipina-American artist and illustrator whose comic book-esque, graphic works illustrate the personal process of reconnecting with her cultural identity post-diaspora.
Based in Karachi, Pakistan, Samina Islam
showcases richly embroidered photographic works drawing from her family history, her identity as a Dutch-Pakistani woman and her experiences negotiating her identity between highly opposite cultures.
dramatic ‘Voyager’ series often serves as memorials of lives lost, evoking imagery of Viking funeral vessels, incorporating his Scandinavian heritage and childhood spent around on and around boats, as well as his own personal journey of recovery from extreme grief and loss.
evocative large-scale portraits depict subjects with their identities obscured and covered, exploring the lack of representation and disconnection experienced by men of color in history and the modern world.
Through family photographs, etchings and poetry, Storme Webber
, a Two-Spirit artist and poet of Alutiiq/African American/Choctaw/European heritage, unearths a personal history of herself and her ancestors, restoring narratives that have been lost in the evolving myth of Seattle.
Bloodlines runs from October 5 through November 25.