Jane Lombard Gallery is pleased to present Island Time, a group exhibition curated by gallery artist James Clar. Featuring a wide range of practices, Island Time explores the subjective notion of time and its social, cultural, and historical fluidity from the lens of emerging and mid-career artists living and working in the Philippines. Island Time will include work by Poklong Anading, Miguel Aquilizan, Leslie De Chavez, Corinne De San Jose, Kiko Escora, Gregory Halili, KoloWn, Christina Lopez, Gary-Ross Pastrana, Luis Antonio Santos, Shireen Seno, and Derek Tumala.
Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media offers a theoretical foundation for Island Time’s central premise. Described as a concept that “…symmetrically and yet contradictorily…defines a modern West by producing an oppositional and premodern East,” techno-Orientalism refers to “a collusive, futurized Asia” that “further affirm[s] the West’s centrality.” Othering, in this framework, has served to bolster the Western position of technological and cultural superiority, while justifying the acts of dehumanization that underpin this carefully constructed hierarchy.
From this lens, however, artists who have been subjected to the techno-Orientalist gaze have creatively subverted the dynamic to their own aims. The exhibition’s title reclaims the term from its derogatory origins, often used to denote a disordered, non-rigorous, non-Western environment that runs on its own mechanisms and systems. In an act of defiant decoloniality, such alternative temporalities are embraced by the selected artists as spaces to exist outside of Western hegemony. Within the psychological, conceptual, and communal realm of “island time,” Clar has curated a meaningful exchange between diverse artists at the leading edge of contemporary art in the Philippines, many of whom will be showing their work in New York for the first time.