Stephanie Comilang
How To Make A Painting From Memory
ChertLüdde, Berlin
17 September – 29 October 2022

ChertLüdde presents the first solo exhibition of Filipina-Canadian artist Stephanie Comilang within the gallery context.

The exhibition takes as a starting point the community of Thai women present in the German capital and their custom of gathering in Preußenpark, a meeting point but also a source of commerce. Colloquially called Thai Park, the grounds shift into a Sunday market during the warmer months of April to October, offering the possibilities of economic independence to its vendors.

Comilang’s video installation details the historical-political forces and the community behind Berlin’s Thai Park through a video installation accompanied by a new series of 3D printed sculptures. With interviews shot in both Berlin and Thailand, the film focuses on bringing together multiple ideas of communal architectures. How does the migrant female make space within spaces that aren’t her own and how do we draw lines between an architecture of belonging?

A critical text by Rosalia Namsai Engchuan accompanies the exhibition.

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.

Photos by Andrea Rossetti.