Learning How to Break Cycles
July 10 - August 7, 2021
12:00 - 6:00 PM, Wednesday - Saturday
Southern Exposure, 3030 20th Street
Viewable from the sidewalk on Alabama Street
Southern Exposure presents a solo project by Malaya Tuyay. Viewable from the Alabama Street sidewalk outside Southern Exposure, this multi-layered installation incorporates print, textile, and painted work exploring personal narrative, healing, and Tuyay’s intersectional queer, mixed Pilpinx-American identity. Their work draws on traditional woodblock and textile techniques as well as mural and graphic novel traditions to tell stories inspired by resilience and joy as ways of bringing communities together in collective processes of healing. This work honors the voices and lived experiences of queer POC ancestors and community, in moving beyond trauma and mourning into places of celebration, love, and mutual support.
When creating this work, I am always thanking the people who got me here, who worked to give me this privilege to express myself and feel confident and comfortable to be a queer mixed artist. I am thankful for my parents; my Lola; queer and trans artists and activists who worked so hard with so much love to create more openness for our generation; Black, Indigenous and People of Color activists and artists who paved the way for future generations. I want to continue to share our stories, and also highlight nuances to our identities and histories. We don't have to be perfectly sculpted to be accepted. We are human, messy, sad, angry, joyful, powerful, weak, extraordinary, and ordinary. We experience many things. We shouldn't have to be perfect and exemplary to be accepted. We don't need the seal of approval from elite worlds to create our art. We are accepted in our fullness by each other. We do not shift for whiteness, we cannot. I am still learning so much, thank you for all you are teaching me.
Malaya Tuyay is from small town Carpinteria, but now works and lives in the Bay Area. She channels the legacies of print and textile mediums to share her experience with trauma and her process of loving the different intersections of her queer mixed Pilpinx-American identity. She draws from this personal experience of losing her mother at a young age to create real and tactile objects out of grief. Her craftwork—particularly sewing and printmaking— is inspired by and in deference to the history of marginalized groups who often used these mediums to pass on their own stories, which are not retold or recognized in the canonical history classes of western institutions. In exhibiting work, she seeks to initiate conversations with others in the process of defining their own identities and to bring people together to exchange personal histories and collectively empower each other to create a radically new world. She further embodies this ethos by mobilizing her art practice in support of mutual aid organizing in the Bay Area and international advocacy work supporting frontline environmental defenders in Mindanao, Philippines.