Patrick D. Flores on Green Papaya Art Projects— 02.11.2021

Last week, Phase 1 of the Papaya archive was uploaded on the Asia Art Archive (AAA) website, a gargantuan project Papaya and AAA has been working on since 2017. For today’s Throwback Thursday, we would like to continue celebrating this milestone by sharing with you what curator and professor Patrick D. Flores’ thoughts on Papaya’s role in the community, written to endorse Papaya’s application for the International 2020 Relief Fund for Organisations in Culture and Education, along with several posters of Papaya’s events through the years.


Green Papaya exemplifies the type of space that works with a particular community of kindred practitioners and creates interdisciplinary programs animated by impulses different from those emanating from, let us say, the market or museums. Not totally isolated from institutions or typical economic systems, it nevertheless insists on a distinction that is by turns polemical, strategic, and political. This is the context from which Green Papaya draws its strength and conveys its energy to a hopefully broader public sphere. This is also why it must be supported in light of the need of a cultural ecology to be exposed to a wide range of sympathies and expressions.

Green Papaya, moreover, is invested in archiving its work not only to register its history, but also to contribute to the fluid narrative of Philippine art and culture. In many ways, it forces a dialectic.

In other words, Green Papaya introduces a markedly critical attitude towards norms and in doing so applies pressure to some nodes in the artistic network to expand, innovate, calibrate, and recast assumptions about what it means to conceive of and sustain platforms for contemporary articulations. It foregrounds an ethical procedure as well as a logistical model for the production of energy in the art world.

For charting a less trammeled path, convening coteries not commonly present in institutions, and refusing to follow tried and tested logics set by habits and conveniences, Green Papaya serves a constituency that is vital in ensuring the survival of a lively art world. Finally, it renders a more ample field of practice and mental landscape as it provides opportunities for experimentation, critique, and general speculation about art itself and the society in which it is entangled intricately. Green Papaya initiates consequences out of this critical relationship with perceived hegemonies and from within incites its own circumstances.

Patrick D. Flores

Patrick D. Flores is a Professor at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines - Diliman, Curator of the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, and the Director of the Philippine Contemporary Art Network (PCAN).

The Green Papaya Archive (Phase 1) is now available at:

“Benedict Anderson Drinks” (2008), the “not-so unofficial reception” for esteemed scholar and professor emeritus of Cornell University Benedict Anderson.

“Arts Network Asia Manila Interphase” (2009), a dialogue with the local arts community led by Arts Network Asia (ANA) founder Ong Keng Sen and ANA director Tay Tong, ANA manager Manuporn Luengaram, and panel members Margaret Shiu, Dinh Le, Tran Luong, Gridthiya Gaweewong, Anoli Perrera, Rahayu Supanggah, Fred Frumberg, and Nikko Zapata.

“Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara”, a screening of a film by Iara Lee produced by Caipirinha Productions Inc, 2016.

”Utopia”, a screening of a film by John Pilger, produced by Darmouth Films, followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Leonie Tillman, 2016.

“Alptraum” (2012), a traveling exhibition project staged in Washington D.C., London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Kapstadt, and Johannesburg before Manila, conceived by Marcus Sendlinger, Jay Stuckey, and Richard Priestly with Pio Abad and Maria Taniguchi as co-curators for the Manila edition.

“Toronto: Ways of Seeing” (2013), a screening of a selection from the 26th Toronto Images Festival, programmed by Pablo de Ocampo.

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen’s “ArtSpeak” as part of her residency and participation in the Lian Ladia-curated exhibition “You Have Every Right” at the Ateneo Art Gallery (2013).

“Moldovan Punch with Stefan Rusu: Conversations and screening of select video works by Stefan Rusu”, the programs curator at Dushanbe Art Ground Center, Tajikistan, 2015.

“Denuded” (2014), a contemporary dance performance by Bruno Isakovic presented in cooperation with Transitopia Dance Commune and Daloy Dance Company.

Jangwook Lee, conversations and screenings, presented in cooperation with Space Cell and Los Otros, 2016.

Back-to-back conversations with Chicks on Speed member Melissa Logan and Ichihara Lakeside Museum curator Ayana Watanabe, 2015.

“Somewhere Else” (2016), a talk and screening of films by Audrey Lam and Dirk de Bruyn.