JOHANNA POETHIG Studio News 2022

Coral Colony Crisis, 2022, 10' x 8', acrylic on canvas



Solo Show:

December 10, 2022 - January 28, 2023


Saturday, January 21, 2023

2:00 - 3:00pm

The Luggage Store Gallery

1007 Market Street@6th, SF

To enquire about exhibit or work contact:

Tel: 415-340-2690

Ungkat means to recall in Tagalog. Most Shell Games are a confidence trick, a conjuring where legitimacy is always in question. Informed and inspired by my formative years in the Philippines,  identity, memory, perspective, views of empire, legitimacy and connection weave through this body of work. Corrugated Memories, is a series of drawings on porcelain, shaped as corrugate roof fragments blown off by typhoons, based on old photos of life in the Philippines taken during 1957 - 1972. SUNGKAAN, a popular Philippine shell game, is interpreted as a coffin and instrument in collaboration with composer Anne Perez using interactive electronics and live performance.Sticky Fingers, an archival print and set of poker cards weaves together the Tasaday hoax, botany and the thievery of Imelda Marcos inspired Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez' article Toad Lily-Tricyrtis imeldae.

TEXT-tiles, are text excerpts printed on fabric selected from books including The Sovereign Trickster by Vicente Rafael and Remaindered Life by Neferti X. M. Tadiar, about imperial wars, authoritarian imaginary, life/death and resistance layered into patterns based on traditional Philippine weavings. Burial Jars, a mixed media installation of Coke bottles hold prescriptions, pills, postcards, newspaper clippings, photos, sand, flies, fears, hopes, magic and memories in a powerful mix that make it an anting-anting or amulet. In Coral Colony Crisis threat and beauty entangle in endangered reefs. The use of tires to create new reefs become toxic adding to the disaster facing the coral colonies of the Philippine seas. PINATUBO is the notorious volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 15, 1991 on Luzon. Complicating the eruption was the arrival of Typhoon Yunya. The effects were felt worldwide with global temperatures dropping over the next 2 years. US Clark Airforce base was covered in ash, the final step to closing American bases in the Philippines. White Rabbit on the Road to Baquio; In ruffled diapers along a steep mountain road I ask for candy from an unwilling Ifugao girl. The iconic White Rabbit candy from China that crosses generations and the ancient bronze amulet of the Ifugao float in the visual stream of this childhood encounter. Barrionics, Rico Reyes, Anne Perez and Johanna Poethig videos, Pobreng Alindahaw, 2002, and The Search for Kwan, 2010, play in a silent loop.

TEXT-tiles, 2022, 9' x 5', print on linen

Corrugated Memories and PINATUBO, 2022

Kulintang, 2022, 9" x 17", porcelain

SUNGKAAN, 2022, wood, porcelain, interactive sound electronics

Burial Jars, 1994, Mixed media, 12" x 20"

White Rabbit on the Road to Baguio, 2022

acrylic on canvas, 42" x 53"

Corrugated Memories: Manila Time, Philippine Rabbit, Jeepney in Mud, Urban Strike, 2022, porcelain

SUNGKAAN Performance

Watch a short video of Tághoy, taghóy, tag: Hoy!

by Anne Perez, composer


Book Release

This is a series of short stories with images of iconic public art projects created over 5 decades. The transformation of neighborhoods in San Francisco, freeways of Los Angeles, Chicago’s downtown loop, the first memorial for the gay elected official Harvey Milk, housing struggles, labor movements, public health, immigration, jails, education, global cultures, sexual violence towards women are examined through an artist's personal narrative. The creative and technical process of producing both intimate and monumentally scaled art in public spaces in multiple social contexts are brought to life in this first person voice, with candid observation, insecurity, humor and critique. Published by The Luggage Store with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Available at The Luggage Store Gallery or at here:

Shop Wall Stories


A Variation on 79, Side to Side Passes of a Dumbball, Dedicated to the Memory of John Cage (1912-1992). 

5 scores by David Ireland realized by Chris Brown and Johanna Poethig

This realization of David Ireland's 5 scores applies processes that he used in creating his scores to activate the acoustics of the House using live sampling of sounds from the House mixed with electronic tones. CHRIS BROWN, composer, pianist, and electronic musician, makes music with self-designed sonic systems that include acoustic and electroacoustic instruments, interactive software, computer networks, microtonal tunings, and improvisation. JOHANNA POETHIG is a visual, public artist and performance artist who creates public art works, murals, paintings, sculpture, and multimedia installations. She is a 2022 recipient of the California Arts Council Individual Artist Legacy Award. Joined in performance by electronic musician and poet AVA KOOHBOR.

David Ireland House Performance


Gardeners of Belonging celebrates people who cultivate growth, flourishing, and belonging: like gardeners, they know that this work is both about tending plants and about tending the soil. The seven participating artists each selected a “gardener” from their life and created a portrait while sharing a dialogue about belonging. The art works were created for the 14th @lifeislivingfest in West Oakland and then moved to @ybca as part of the exhibition Brett Cook and Liz Lerman: Reflection and Action. On view at the Yerba Buena Cultural Center until April 2023. Featuring: Gardeners x Artists: Roberto Bedoya & Brett Cook, Sister Peace & Erin Yoshi, Miss Major & Evan Bissell, People’s Kitchen Collective & Robert Trujillo, Joan Osato & Nick James, Jean Melesaine & Vanessa “Agana” Espinoza, Amalia Mesa-Bains & Johanna Poethig.


Celebrating Arts Benicia's 35-year history

Sunflower Portal, 2022, acrylic on wood, 40' x 30", on view at Arts Benicia, October 2022

Mercury 20 Gallery


March, 2022

Mercury 20 Gallery, Oakland

In the last weeks of my father’s life he hovered in between states of sharply conscious and revelatory subconscious. How many hideouts do you have? Where are the escape hatches? One afternoon he drifted up out of sleep on a submarine.These paintings and drawings are portals or escape hatches into the life systems of the Terrestrial. Mychorrhizal networks, interspecies transmissions, mathematically precise patterns and mutualism inspire this work. Algorithmic plant patterns float in abstracted compositions. Landscapes mix plants out of season and geographic location. Acacia thorns provide protection. Plants, fungi and lichen perform the metabolic songs of networks through wired telephones, old cans, and vintage microphones. Large drawings of phytomorphs or people in plant forms suggest a fabulist future. These works surround a submarine along the center of the floor, a whale from the human subconscious forming a rubble pile of archeological tile forms, art objects and periscopes that survey the vista through mammalian senses. A current of sound runs through the Submarine of war, of work, of stealth, of humor, submerged, sub-colonial, sublimin, surging, streaming, sinking and surfacing from our dark waters.

Review in Daily Californian

Sound Surfacing : Performance on March 13 by Chris Brown and Laetitia Sonami:

Sound Surfacing Performance

LANDLINE, 2021, acrylic and oil on wood, 12" x 42"

Spores on Air, 2022, acrylic on wood, 12" x 12"

Earth Station Garden, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 84" x 84"

Succulent Dance, 2022, 108" x 60", graphite and acrylic on non-woven media with wire.

Extremophile, 2022, acrylic on wood, 12" x 12"