There’s an area in San Francisco called SoMa, which stands for “South of Market Street.” Once a rundown industrial part of town, it’s revitalized into a hip arts district home to hopping nightclubs, art galleries and headquarters to companies like Wired and Twitter.
Interesting factoid about the hip ‘hood: It’s also known as “SoMa Pilipino.” Not only is approximately a quarter of the population in the area of Filipino descent, many of the smaller streets were named by early Filipino settlers after their loved ones back home (Dore, Minna, Tehana, Jessie, Natoma).
So it only makes sense that SoMa’s 1:AM gallery is putting on a group exhibition celebrating Filipino folklore and mythology through urban contemporary art.
“When I was growing up, there was no difference between the real and mythical,” says Minette Lee Mangahas, one of the more than 40 participating artists. “Ghosts, dwarves, trolls were
as real as the trees and anthills they were said to live in. Part of what has been lost to us in the U.S. — in the Westernization of our culture in diaspora — is the magic that connected us to the rhythms of nature.”
Titled “Tabi Tabi Po” (“Excuse me,” which is what you say before entering a ghost-infested area), the multimedia exhibit is curated by James “Ganyan” Garcia and features an impressive lineup of artists of Filipino descent from the U.S., the Philippines (in partnership with Pablo Gallery), and even Norway. Artists include Angry Woebots, Minette Lee Mangahas, Analog, Krayolaeater (who did the artwork shown above), Jet Pascua, and dozens more.
Scary? Sure. But it’s all for a good cause. A percentage of art sales will be donated to the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng through BAYAN Philippines and BALSA (Bayanihan para sa Sambayanan).
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMA district, the exhibit’s opening reception is this Friday the 13th (how apropos), from 7-10:30 pm, but you have until December 12 to check out the cutting edge art. Special events include a Bindlestiff Puppet Show on December 5, and a closing reception on December 12 with a live performance by Baliktad.
Tabi Tabi Po
Nov. 13 – Dec. 12, 2009
1:AM, 1000 Howard Street, San Francisco
To find out more, go to www.1AMSF.com.