Super Sarap

The Asia Society Texas Center (ASTC) has announced a new mixed-media exhibition which celebrates food and the many ways what we eat can shape and exemplify who we are. The new exhibition is called Super Sarap and is the ASTC’s first exhibition to focus on Filipino American artists.

This free exhibition features four artists making their Texas debuts: Mik Gaspay, Jeanne F. Jalandoni, Charlene Tan, and O.M. France Viana.The exhibit aims to tackle common perceptions of Filipino culinary traditions all while exploring how cultural norms and food intertwine. The exhibitions name, Super Sarap, comes from the Tagalog word sarap which means a delicious flavor, special ingredient, or even appetite.

The exhibit features a wide variety of media including sculpture, photography, video, neon displays, and found objects including everyday kitchen utensils, ingredients, and common dishes found in Filipino cuisine. Viewers are invited to engage with the artists’ perspectives on common items like rice cookers, decorative forks and spoons, traditional balikbayan Filipino care packages, the ube purple yam, the langka or jackfruit, as well as traditional Filipino ingredients like the avocado, banana, guava, tapioca, and halo-halo, an ice cream-based dessert.

“In the last several years, chefs and foodies from around the country have hailed Filipino cooking as the ‘next big food trend’, but that is a label that often appears only on ‘ethnic cuisine,” says guest curator Patricia Cariño Valdez. “Trendify-ing a cuisine dismisses the historic nuances and communities that developed it.” In Super Sarap, the four artists seek to invert and examine this trend by exploring their own relationships with Filipino cuisine as well as sensitive issues such as cultural appropriation, immigration experiences, and how food can be a vehicle for broader cultural meanings.

Super Sarap will be on display at the Asia Society Texas Center from Saturday, March 16 through Sunday, July 21, 2019. The exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

A special opening reception featuring all four of the artists will be held on Tuesday, March 14 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and is also free to the public. If you’re interested in the opening reception, the ASTC requests you RSVP here.

For more information on Super Sarap or any other exhibitions, visit asiasociety.org/texas.