Q: Tell us about your practice

A: I am an interdisciplinary artist. For the past few years, I have been deconstructing colonial mythologies by taking words and photos from colonial texts and rearranging them through collage, sculpture, installation, and performance. I like to think about what is beyond the frame of the photo, and what is in between the lines of these texts. I complicate pre-existing narratives of place, lineage, and temporality.

Q: You have shared in the past that the red and pink used in your recent installations are intended to "excite rather than soothe," can you elaborate on your relationship and history with working these colors?

A: Pink and reds first emerged in my work for a different series when I was thinking about what color could represent a kind of visibility of past pain. I was making work that alluded to landscape and I kept thinking, what color would these pieces be if the trauma of the past was absorbed by the land? I wanted a color that was not just a marker of pain, but also power. I was interested in the land not being a passive receiver, but absorbing the events, becoming radioactive, powerful, radiant, and with agency. For this installation, I am still thinking about those ideas.

I also had a studio visit a while back with my dear friend and wonderful artist Tamar Ettun, who introduced me to Baker Miller Pink, which was a Pepto Bismol pink used in the 1970s to paint the inside of prisons to "calm" those imprisoned. I like thinking that my pinks do not control or try to pacify bodies, but instead arouse, excite, and allure.


Q: For your current exhibition at SmackMellon, Roots Burrow Through Stones and Hard Facts, you've collaborated with musician/composer Lau Nau and writer 
Jason Schwartz.

What is the significance and role of collaboration in your practice?

A: I love collaborating and usually collaborate with artists, dancers, writers or musicians for exhibitions I create. I love working with others who excel in their field and their practice to generate new ideas and possibilities. Lau Nau is a brilliant musician. The first time 
I heard her perform I cried throughout most of it. That is how we started collaborating. Her work brought me to tears and I went up to her after her show to thank her. We exchanged information and when I had the opportunity to create and install, I immediately asked her to be part of it.

Jason is a brilliant writer. When I read his writing, I am transported to another space, like watching a movie. His writing makes me feel like I'm in a subtly altered reality – almost like a dream or a strange parallel universe. I learn so much from working with others. One of the most fun and magical parts of creating the work is to be in a community with others finding ways to make visible or audible these ineffable ideas.

Q: What has been inspiring you lately?

A: I am always inspired by other artists and cultural producers who shift and challenge preconceived systems and histories. I have this informal "book club" with artists Ginny Huo and Maia Cruz Palileo. We call ourselves Major Feelings, inspired by Cathy Park Hong's book "Minor Feelings." The works of Maia and Ginny move and inspire me. The conversations I have with both of them, individually and together, always deeply touch me and remind me why I am engaged in the practice of producing visual culture in the first place.


“As a Filipino American, I was immediately drawn to Sara’s work which ties back to our ancestral roots through the use of archival text, photos, maps, and textiles. The way Sara is able to incorporate all these historical elements in her art is truly beautiful and unique. The works that we have of hers hold a special place in our home, representing not only our culture but also our family.”



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