Stephanie Comilang

Stephanie Comilang (b.1980, Toronto) is a Filipina-Canadian artist living and working between Toronto and Berlin. 

With a focus on the migrant experience, one capable of reducing people to anonymous individuals living and working in unstable elsewheres, Comilang considers the growing disparity between the human and the global. Through a genre she terms “sci-fi documentary,” Comilang creates films whose narratives are driven by multiple voices and points of view to consider how culture and society engage with such salient aspects of the globalized world as mobility, capital and labor. The intimate narrative and filmic devices Comilang employs cause her films to fit not so neatly into either category of that hybrid definition—they feel too possible to be sci-fi, too close to be documentary, and instead carry something of the imagistic epistolary or confessional.

Her work has been shown at transmediale festival, Berlin; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Tai Kwun Hong Kong, Hong Kong; International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam; Tate Modern, UK; Asia Art Archive in America, New York; and Haus der Kunst, Munich. She was awarded the 2019 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious art prize for artists 40 years and younger.

Education:

2008
Ontario College of Art & Design University

Collections:
The Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Solo Exhibitions:

2023
Piña, Why is the Sky Blue?, Collaboration with Simon Speiser, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff

2022
Piña, Why is the Sky Blue?, Curated by Lisa Long, Collaboration with Simon Speiser, Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin
Piña, Why is the Sky Blue?, Collaboration with Simon Speiser, Gallery TPW, Toronto
Piña, Why is the Sky Blue?, Collaboration with Simon Speiser, Curated by John G. Hampton with Lillian O’Brien Davis, Mackenzie Gallery, Regina
Women of Thai Park, ChertLüdde, Berlin

2021
Yesterday in the Years 1886 & 2017, The Institute for Endotic Research, Berlin
Float, Curated by Murtaza Vali, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi

2019
It All Makes Sense, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto Come
To Me Paradise, TOR, Frankfurt Am Main

2017
Yesterday In The Years 1886 & 2017, Artspeak, Vancouver

2014
Flirting: Kyoto, Kyoto Art Centre, Kyoto

Group Exhibitions:

2022
Ancestral Weavings, Tate Modern, London
Blue Assembly, University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, Australia
L’art de la Recherche, Dazibao, Montreal

2021
Nation, Narration, Narcosis, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
K60, Willhelm Hallen, Gallery Weekend, Berlin
Zin Ex. De la abstracción al algoritmo, Centro Internacional de Cultura Contemporánea Tabakalera, San Sebastian
Merzbau Garten, Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin
So Close I Can See Inside of You, Chert Lüdde, Berlin

2020
A Hypothetical Show For A Closed Museum, Curated by Victor Wang, M Woods, Beijing
First Person Plural, European Media Arts Festival, Kunsthalle Osnabrücke
Open Possibilities: There is not only one neat way to imagine our future, NTT Intercommunication Centre, Tokyo

2019
Sobey Art Award Exhibition, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton
Re:Working Labour, Curated by Daniel Eisenberg and Ellen Rothenberg Sullivan Galleries at the School of Art Institute Chicago, Chicago
The Bicycle Thieves, Curated by Hanlu ZhangPara Site, Hong Kong
Poor Imagination, Sullivan & Strumpf, Singapore
Labour of Love, Curated by Monika Janulevičiūtė and Antanas Lučiūnas, Centre of Contemporary Art, Vilnius
Take Care, Centre d’art Contemporain de la Ferme Du Buisson, Paris
Public Volumes, Small Arms Inspection Building, Mississauga
Worlding It Otherwise Or Else, Bärenzwinger, Berlin

2018
I’ll Be Your Mirror, Curated by Crystal Mowry, Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener/Waterloo
Between Points, Supportico Lopez and Archivo Conz, Berlin
Ghost: 2561, Curated by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Video & Performance Triennale, Curated by Korakrit Arunanondchai, Cartel, Bangkok
The Surface of the Sun, Curated by Erik Martinson, Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, Estonia
Tropical Escapism, Gallery 856, Cebu, Philippines
Performing The System, Kunstverein Hildesheim, Hildesheim
Whose Land Have I Lit On Now? Contemplations on the Notions of Hospitality, Curated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung with Elena Agudio and Denise Ryner, Savvy Contemporary, Berlin
DGTLFMNSM, Intimacy, Dresden
Movers & Shakers, Curated by Betty Julian, Prefix ICA, Toronto

2017
What A Time To Be Alive, Dikeou Collection, Denver
What is Left What is Right?, Curated by Christina Battle and Jenna Faye Powell, Forest City Gallery, London, Ontario
Eyes Above Bodies Below, The Ryder, London, England
Im_mobilities, Curated by Juana Awad, Julia Eckert und Nada Schroer, Galerie KUB, Leipzig
True Politics, Gegenkino, Leipzig
Promises of Monsters, Kunstverein Hildesheim
What Does One Do With Such A Clairvoyant Image?, Curated by Leila Timmins, cheyanne turions and Jayne Wilkinson, Contact Festival, Toronto
I Am The Organizer of My Own Objects, Curated by cheyanne turions, Dazibao, Montreal

2016
Cruising & Saltsplex, Curated by Elise Lammer, S.A.L.T.S, Basel
How To make Space, Oasis Gallery, Hong Kong

Selected Screenings:

2022
Jameel Art Centre, Dubai
Art Basel Film Sector, Basel

2021
Cinema Gallegiante Floating Cinema, Venice
Haus der Künst, Munich

2020
Filmwork, Akademie der Künste der Welt, Köln
Decoratelier, Brussels
Artist Cinema, Curated by Laure Prouvost, E-flux On-line

2019
Arkipel International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Jakarta
A Space, Vancouver
E-Flux’s Bar Laika, New York
Vector Festival, Toronto
Belles Artes Outpost, Manila
Tai Kwun, Hong Kong
Transmediale Festival, Berlin
OCADU, Toronto

2018
Trinity Square Video, Toronto
Kunsthal: Extra City, Antwerp
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick
Architecture Film Festival, Stockholm
DGTLFMNSM, Dresden
Kosmotique, Dresden
Ashley, Berlin
Los Otros, Manila
International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam

2017
856 Gallery, Cebu
Images Festival, Toronto
Institut Für Zukunft, Leipzig
UCLA as part of VoidLab, Los Angeles

2016
8-11, Toronto
Agora, Berlin
Asia Art Archive in America, New York

Grants, Awards & Residencies:

2022
Callie’s, Berlin
Federal Foreign Office Artist Residency, Berlin Kunstfonds

2021
Canada Council, Concept to Realization
Berlin Senate Research Grant

2020
Belles Artes Artist in Residence, Philippines
Kamias Triennale Artist in Residence, Philippines

2019
Recipient of the Sobey Art Award
Canada Council, Concept to Realization
Canada Council, Arts Abroad

2018
Canada Council, Arts Abroad Ontario Arts Council, National and International Residencies

2017
Toronto Arts Council, Media Arts
Canada Council, Arts Abroad
Canada Council, Research & Creation
Tropical Futures Institue Residency, Cebu, Philippines
Images Festival Award to Toronto Artist

2016
Canada Council, Grants to Media Artists
Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance

2015
Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Media Artists

2014
Ontario Arts Council, National & International Residency
Canada Council, Travel Grant to Media Artists
Kyoto Art Centre Residency, Kyoto, Japan

2012
Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Media Artists

2011
Toronto Arts Council, Grants to Media Artists

2010
Ontario Arts Council, Grants to Media Artists

Selected Bibliography:

2021
“Stephanie Comilang Warehouse 421”, by Rahel Aima, Artforum
“Review: Yesterday in the Years 1886 & 2017”, by Lynhan Balatbat-Helbock, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

2020
Droning Paradise, by Tracy Valcourt, Border Crossings Magazine
“Small Gods: Perspectives On The Drone, by Alex Quicho, Zero Books

2019
“Bicycle Thieves Review”, by Dana Kopel, Art In America
“Like A Vessel: A Conversation between Peaches and Stephanie Comilang”, Canadian Art
“What Now For Hong Kong (And For Us)?”, by David Markus, Frieze
“I’ll Be You Mirror”, review by Noa Bronstein, C Mag

2018
“Cyborg Dreams and Labouring Prosthetics in Stephanie Comilang’s Lumapit Sa Akin”, Paraiso, by Danelle Ortiz, Nang Issue 4
“Shamanistic Artistry: Highlights From Ghost: 2561”, by Annie Jael Kwan, Asia Art Pacific

2017
“Review of Yesterday In the Years 1886 & 2017”, exhibition review by Heather Rigg, Art Papers
“The Banality of Violence in Architecture”, review by Evan Panka, Canadian Art
“Meeting Yesterday In Paradise”, Profile of Stephanie Comilang by Hyunjee Nicole Kim, Asia Art Pacific
“In Focus: An article about Stephanie Comilang’s film Lumapit Sa Akin”, Paraiso, by Heather Rigg, BlackFlash

2016
“Lumapit Sa Akin”, Paraiso, by Alexander Iadarola, DIS Magazine

Guest Lectures, Talks & Panels:

2022
Art Basel Film Sector, Basel

2021
Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Braunschweig
University of Toronto, Toronto
Art Basel, Conversations, Hong Kong
The Institute of Endotic Research, Berlin
Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Akademie der Kunst der Welt, Köln
Art Gallery of Vancouver, Vancouver
MacEwan University, Edmonton

2020
University of Toronto, Toronto
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

2019
Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Institut Kunst, Basel
Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto
Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main

Visiting Faculty:

2021
Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Emerging Intensive Program, Banff