MORE THAN LUMPIA: Joel Javier Coda (2022)

Joel Javier
Coda (2022)
Mixed media on panel
36 x 36





Artist Statement

“I work synchronously between self-expression and subconscious. My works are automatic, multi-layered, abstract expressions ultimately serving as metaphors for my lifelong journey and self-discovery as a first generation Filipino American. My work goes through many stages with each layer revealing a ghost image underneath. My working style can also be likened to listening to modern instrumental, post-rock music, compositions that are at times light and subdued and other times heavy and frenetic in pace – energies that have guided me in my own self-discovery of my ethnic identity as Filipino. The Filipino American community is multi-layered and complex, arguably considered a minority among minorities. We are “brown” but not brown enough, Asian but not Asian enough. I was born and raised in a Filipino middle-class family, my parents having migrated to the US from the Philippines, each with their large respective families. They left a third world country that consists of a rich indigenous heritage and blend of Southeast Asian cultures. They also left behind a country that endured over four hundred years of Spanish colonization, American occupation after WWII, and a government rife with greed and incivility instigated by the Marcos dictatorship and implementation of martial law. While it is not my intention to be explicit of my Filipino American identity through my work, I aim for my work to be experiential. For me art is subversive, art is my chosen voice to begin a dialogue that leads to conversations about the self which in turn ushers deeper meaning.”

About Joel Javier

Joel Javier is an accomplished artist and art educator with over fifteen years of experience in the museum and art education field. After earning his MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Javier has administered and facilitated art education programming at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art and Intuit: Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, where he was instrumental in expanding public programming and advancing an award-winning fellowship program for Chicago Public School teachers. Joel Javier was selected as one of five Filipino American artists from Chicago to be awarded the opportunity artist group collaboration “Art and Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino”, a project funded in 2015 by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The Field Museum of Natural History. The Filipino American artists participated in an art exhibit and painted a mural with five Filipino artists at the Erehwon Center for the Arts in the Philippines and again at The Field Museum in 2016. The cultural exchange and culminating art exhibitions created a dialogue about the implications of the global Filipino diaspora and the role objects play in interpreting ethnic identity, a theme that Javier continues to explore in his own work. Through arts education and his own studio practice, Javier continues to be an advocate for equity, diversity, and opportunity in the arts.

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