Revisiting the Teacher’s Village Space— 02.04.2021

Yesterday, 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 celebrate this milestone by sharing with you the concise yet informative introduction AAA Researcher Chương-Đài Võ wrote for the collection and several photos from the time Papaya had a space in Teachers Village (2001-2008).


The Green Papaya Art Projects Archive contains substantial material on the contemporary art ecology in Metro Manila, as well as collaborations with artists, researchers, and curators in Southeast Asia and around the world. Founded by Norberto Roldan (a.k.a., Peewee) and Donna Miranda in 2000, Green Papaya Art Projects was part of a wave of artist initiatives that had started throughout Asia from the mid-1980s onwards as alternatives to institutions and commercial galleries. In an environment that sees collectives and non-profits close down every two years or so, Green Papaya Art Projects has continually transformed and become the longest active, artist-run organisation in Manila.

Green Papaya Art Projects started as an exhibition space but soon shifted its focus to off-site projects and those beyond the visual arts—as seen in the operational documents, correspondences, photographs, videos, news clippings, and publications. The material covers experimental dance and choreography; film screenings and one-day performances; collaborations with other organisations and curators not associated with Green Papaya Art Projects; residencies that brought together local and international artists; and special projects such as publications, multi-disciplinary research, and noise performance. Green Papaya Art Projects has shown many well-known artists from the Philippines—established icons as well as then-emerging artists, many of whom are women.

In addition to Roldan (Artistic Director from 2000 to present) and Miranda (who opted to focus on her own practice since 2009), Green Papaya Art Projects has worked with the following collaborators:

2000–01: Bobi Valenzuela, who curated The Umbrella Country and Santiago Bose’s last one-man show.

2000­–09: Roberto Chabet, who curated exhibitions by his students from the University of the Philippines and became a close adviser of Roldan.

2001–05: Manuel Chaves, a graphic designer, and Gilda Cordero Fernando’s creative collaborator. Chaves started the underground music programme Amplified Assemblage; a screening programme billed Small Screen Cinema; and curated solo exhibitions with Gary-Ross Pastrana, Louie Cordero, Pablo Biglang-awa, Gino Gonzales, and At Maculangan. During this time, Green Papaya Art Projects opened a small bar, and Chaves and Roldan financed Green Papaya Art Projects with income from design projects.

2002–06: Nilo Ilarde, who hung Roldan’s 2002 solo exhibition, and curated mostly solo exhibitions with artists such as Maria Taniguchi, Christina Dy, and the collective Surrounded by Water.

2003­–10: Red Lasam Escueta and Jose Jay Cruz of Transitopia Contemporary Dance Commune collaborated with Miranda on Anatomy Projects, Wi-Fi Body: Festival of Independent Contemporary Dance, Contemporary Dance Map, Contemporary CorpoReality, and Night Festival: New World 2010 in Singapore.

2009–11: Lian Ladia, who cofounded Planting Rice with [KC1] Siddharta Perez in 2011, and curated a series of residency projects, exhibitions, and collaborations under a programme called The Ephemera of Disposable Goods.

2013–20: Mervin Espina, who as Program Manager started the new media programme of screenings, sound performances, noise performances (which use digital gadgets and self-made instruments), and talks.

2018–present: Iris Ferrer, who started as an intern in 2010 for Project Immemorial, an exchange programme with Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art in Darwin, Australia. Part of the Green Papaya Art Projects curatorial team, she was Managing Curator for the 2018 VIVA ExCon Capiz; and Conference Manager of the 2nd SEAARM (Southeast Asia Artists Residencies Meeting) in Roxas City. She is currently Managing Curator of Green Papaya Art Projects, editor of the 2018 VIVA ExCon catalogue, and co-editor (with Mayumi Hirano) of the 2018 VIVA ExCon Community Archives Project.

In addition to Roldan, the members as of 2021 are Lesley-Anne Cao, Yuji de Torres, Iris Ferrer, Apid Jiloca, Kiko Nuñez, Joaquin Roldan, Touki Roldan, Jel Suarez, and Dominic Zinampan.

This archive project is ongoing, and records will be added in future tranches.

The team for the Green Papaya Art Projects Archive includes Chương-Đài Hồng Võ, Garfield Chow, and Hazel Kwok (formerly) of the AAA Research team; Project Researcher Lesley-Anne Cao; and Charlotte Mui and Elaine Lin of the AAA Collections team. Wong Tin Lok assisted the AAA Research team as an intern.

Chương-Đài Võ is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive. Her writing on modern and contemporary art in Southeast Asia can be found in publications such as Afterall, Sismographie des luttes, the exhibition catalogue Southern Constellations: The Poetics of the Non-Aligned, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum’s Modern Art. Recent curatorial projects include Form Colour Action: Sketchbooks and Notebooks of Lee Wen, and Ho Tzu Nyen’s The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia, Vol. 1: G for Ghost(writers). Her research has been supported by Institut national d’histoire de l’art, Mellon Foundation, Asian Cultural Council, Fulbright Program, University of California Pacific Rim Research Program, and the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities. She is researching the construction of modernisms in Vietnam, 1925-1975.

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

These images represent the early exhibition programming of Papaya in Teachers Village East. Other programs happening during this period (2001-2008) include Manuel Chaves' underground music program Amplified Assemblage and Donna Miranda's Anatomy Projects and Wednesdays I'm In Love.

Kiron Robinson’s  neon installation “Umihi Dito” hanging behind the glass wall of Papaya’s space in Teachers Village East during his solo exhibition, 2008. Photo by MM Yu.

Lani Maestro’s solo exhibition I am You (2002), curated by Manuel Chaves. Photo by Manuel Chaves.

Lani Maestro’s installation “What Is the Color of Forgetting” inside Papaya’s bathroom, 2002. Photo by Manuel Chaves.

Gary-Ross Pastrana’s solo exhibition of collages, curated by Manuel Chaves, 2003. Photo by Manuel Chaves.

Maria Taniguchi’s solo exhibition New Domestic Animals (2003), curated by Nilo Ilarde. Flyer designed by Norberto Roldan.

Patricia Eustaquio’s solo exhibition Swine (2004), curated by Roberto Chabet. Photo by MM Yu.

Jonathan Olazo’s solo exhibition Utterances in the Time of Woe (2004), curated by Roberto Chabet. Photo by MM Yu.

Missing Vocabularies, a 2005 group show curated by Poklong Anading. Photo by MM Yu.

Jumpcut 2 Video Exposition, a 2006 group show co-curated by Norberto Roldan and Jun Sabayton. In photo is Kaloy Olavides doing a durational performance on the opening day. Photo by MM Yu.

Gina Osterloh’s self-curated solo exhibition Shooting Blanks (2008), the last exhibition held at the Teachers Village space. Photo by Gina Osterloh.