LAST UPDATED: 27 MAY 2020, 4.00 (GMT)

Continuing its mission to build trust and cultural relations between the Philippines and the UK, the British Council supported Motions of this Kind: Propositions and Problems of Belatedness, the first institutional exhibition in the UK dedicated to recent contemporary art practices from the Philippines. Eleven contemporary artists from the Philippines were on spotlight at the exhibition, featuring newly commissioned work, as well as materials from the never-before exhibited Ifor B. Powell archive.

Motions of this Kind explored the ebb and flow of images, the surge and sweep of concepts and bodies alike. A title taken from Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia, the expression considers the literal rise and fall of tides as much as the metaphorical fluctuation of ideas. The project explored the historical and contemporary forces linking this archipelago with other key global spheres of social, political, and economic power. 

With belatedness as the central theme, Motions of this Kind  examined the ways in which time and contemporaneity move through turbulent eddies rather than smooth flowing rivers, creating, as Homi Bhabha termed it, ‘ambivalent’, ‘disjunctive’ temporalities. It explored the way that time and space are drawn together into tidal currents that can both hasten and delay circulation, disrupt or enable new pathways to emerge. It attempted to diagram the relationships of movement, and the politics of speed, from, within and between the Philippine Islands. 

Artists include: Yason BanalJon CuysonLizza May David and Gabriel Rossell SantillànCian DayritMichelle DizonEisa Jocson, Amy Lien and Enzo CamachoKat Medina and Mark Salvatus.

Motions of this Kind  was co-curated by practitioners from the UK and Philippines, namely Rafael Schacter, Renan Laru-an and Merv Espina. The Foyle Special Collections Gallery is curated by Cristina Juan with support from Delphine Mercier. 

The exhibit incorporated a range of public programming, including a performance by artist Eisa Jocson in her first performance in the UK; a range of experimental film screenings; as well as a one-day colloquium on 12 April 2019. It was held at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London.

Jon Cuyson, Dancing the Shrimp (whodoyouthinkyouare?), 2019, Multivariable installation with paintings, found objects, sculpture, sound, fabrics, text. Dimensions variable. ©

Agnese Sanvito.

Eisa Jocson, Princess, Performance. ©

Jörg Baumann.

Michelle Dizon, The Archive’s Fold, 2018, Multi-image slide and sound installation with texts. ©

Agnese Sanvito


British Council


The exhibit incorporated a range of public programming, including a performance by artist Eisa Jocson in her first performance in the UK; a range of experimental film screenings; as well as a one-day colloquium on 12 April 2019 at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London. The exhibition ran from 12 April to 22 June 2019.

Roundtable discussion

Following the successful show in London in 2019, a roundtable discussion was held on 20 February 2020 at the UP Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines. The activity allowed curators and artists to share reflections and insights from their experience working together in London. In attendance were Yason Banal, Jon Cuyson, Cian Dayrit, Renan Laru-an, Kat Medina and Rafael Schacter.


We co-presented Motions of this Kind: A roundtable discussion with the Vargas Museum.


Rafael Schacter 
Dr Rafael Schacter (b. London) is an anthropologist and curator based in the Anthropology Department at University College London. He received his PhD from the same department in 2011 and was a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow 2014-2017. His previous work was focussed upon public art, specifically graffiti and the emergence of street-art and is set at the boundary of the anthropology of art and of urban space. 
He has been involved numerous high-profile exhibitions, co-curating the exhibition Street Art at the Tate Modern in 2008; curating Mapping the City and Venturing Beyond at Somerset House (in 2015 and 2016 respectively); Crossing Borders/Crossing Boundaries at the Street Art Museum, St Petersburg, in 2016; and most recently Silver Sehnsucht in London’s emerging Silvertown district in 2017.
Merv Espina 
Merv Espina (b. Manila) is an artist and researcher based in Quezon City, Metro Manila. His practice involves moving images, sound, performance and text, to play with the lapses of cultural institutions, mistakes of current historiography and the problematics of archives. 
He helps run Green Papaya Art Projects, an independent arts initiative founded in 2000 that's slated to close in 2021. He was part of the curatorial team of SUNSHOWER: Contemporary art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now (2017) at the Mori Art Museum and National Art Centre Tokyo, the largest survey of Southeast Asian artists to be exhibited in Japan. More recently, he was one of the curators of VIVA EXCON 2018, the longest-running arts biennial in the Philippines.
Renan Laru-an
Renan Laru-an (b. Sultan Kudarat) is a researcher, a curator and the Public Engagement and Artistic Formation Coordinator at the Philippine Contemporary Art Network. Between 2012 and 2015, he directed the Philippine-based DiscLab | Research and Criticism, a multidisciplinary platform and ‘virtual’ organisation for critical writing, theory, discursive activities and long-term research on Philippine contemporary art, as well as visual and network culture. 
He was one of the curators of the Singapore Biennale 2019: Every Step in the Right Direction. He has (co-)curated the 8th OK. Video – Indonesia Media Arts Festival, Jakarta (2017) and other recent exhibitions, including A Tripoli Agreement, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2018); An Ecological, The Obligatory, Vargas Museum, Quezon City (2017), to name a few.

Participating artists

Yason Banal

Yason Banal is an artist whose work moves between and among video, photography, sculpture, performance, text and painting, taking myriad forms and critical strategies in order to research and explore associations, frictions and refractions among seemingly divergent systems.


Jon Cuyson

Jon Cuyson was born and educated in the Philippines and has been in solo and group exhibitions in Manila since 1999. He started exhibiting in Europe since 2002. His works employ different techniques and media including texts, photographs, painting, artist books, installations, video and interventions.


Cian Dayrit

Cian Dayrit is an intermedia artist working with painting, sculpture and installation. Straddling between fact and fiction, Dayrit’s works explore origins and histories, and their representations, in visual apparatus, from the map, curiosity cabinet and on to the museum. With an interdisciplinary practice rooted in the exploration of colonialism, ethnography, archaeology, history and mythology, Dayrit seeks to interrogate notions of power and memory, as framed by institutions, in particular museums, mass media and the state.


Lizza May David / Gabriel Rossell Santillan

With individual practices often mirroring each other around common themes – identity, knowledge, personal and subaltern narratives, amongst others – Lizza May David and Gabriel Rossell Santillán demonstrate the reciprocal influence acquired by studying together at the University of Arts Berlin, Germany. Together, the duo use their respective artistic and cultural backgrounds – Mexico and the Philippines and meeting in Germany – to assemble alternative knowledge forms based on visual appearances, indigenous chants and daily news. 


Michelle Dizon


Michelle Dizon is an artist, filmmaker, writer, and Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies at UC Riverside. The violence of imperialism and the intimate spaces of resistance within globalization form central pivots in her work which take the form of multi-channel video installations, multi-image slide projection, expanded cinema performances, essay films, photographs, discursive events, pedagogical platforms and writing.

Participating artists

Eisa Jocson

Eisa Jocson is a choreographer, visual artist and dancer. She exposes body politics in the service and entertainment industry as seen through the unique socio-economic lens of the Philippines. She studies how the body moves and what conditions make it move – be it social mobility or movement out of Philippines through migrant work. In all her creations – from pole to macho dancing and hostess to Disney princess studies – capital is the driving force of movement pushing the indentured body into spatial geographies.


Amy Lien & Enzo Camacho

Amy Lien (b. USA) and Enzo Camacho (b. Philippines) have been collaborating since 2009. Their practice has existed through a series of geographic displacements: between their respective home cities of New York and Manila and recent periods living and working in Berlin, Milan and Singapore. Accordingly, their work reflects different models of organizing around art – particularly ‘contemporary art’ – within and outside its supposed centres.


Kat Medina

Kat Medina is a painter who utilised elements of craft-making in her works. She explores making places through architectonic nuances, extending her research to the possible lives of objects immediate to her surroundings and images through interaction, development and understanding its place within contemporary society. Medina is interested in the way that a painting can be utilized as a starting point to describe our current way of viewing within its own limitations, demands and meaning.


Mark Salvatus

Working across various disciplines and media, Mark Salvatus tries to build direct and indirect engagement using objects, photography, videos, installations and participatory projects that present different outcomes of energies, meanings and experiences. Calling his overall artistic practice ‘Salvage Projects’, a name that corresponds to the meaning of his surname, he deals with the debris of everyday politics in the city, remnants of the blurred history of the nation and its complicated narratives, and the fragments of the constant movements that he is confronting and experiencing.

Videos and photos

On YouTube

Full artwork specifications and artist's notes can be found under the downloadable section. 



Yason Banal 

For a long time the glitch remained motionless...and in disbelief!, 2019

Jon Cuyson  Dancing the Shrimp (whodoyouthinkyouare?), 2019
Cian Dayrit   Northern Conquests in Oriental Soil and Sea, 2019
Lizza May David and Gabriel Rossell Santillan   How many seas will you swim?, 2019
Michelle Dizon The Archive’s Fold, 2018
Eisa Jocson Featured works: Becoming White, 2018; Magiting Sessions; Colouring WhiteColouring White, 2019Princess Studies, 2019
Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho Featured works: The Angry Christ, 2019; Notice of Coverage, 2019; Beneficiaries, 2019; Death Curve, 2019; Immersion, 2019
Kat Medina Featured worksMinding the pit, 2019; Making and unraveling a loom, 2019; Commissioned with support from The Drawing Room, Manila
Mark Salvatus Blue Moon, 2019 Produced by Salvage Project
Cristina Juan and Delphine Mercier

Informal Empire: Philippine-British entanglements until the 19th century, 2019

On Flickr 

Check out the happenings from the exhibit opening and roundtable discussion.  

See also