Nikki Luna’s solo exhibition This is how to be a woman of the world opens just three days prior to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25. This International Day aims to raise awareness on violence against women and girls. And Nikki Luna’s work deals with the systematic violence perpetrated against women and girls, in the Philippines and beyond. The title of the exhibition is a direct quote from Duterte, the current president of the Philippines.

Nikki Luna (1977) studied visual art at the University of the Philippines, and she is currently undertaking her masters in Women and Development Studies at the same university. She recently received the prestigious Chevening Award to conduct a master in Art and Education at Goldsmiths, the University London, UK. In 2018 she authored the book I Love my Body to raise body awareness among girls (the book is published by Power in Her Story). In 2016, she was the recipient of a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. She exhibits her work at home (CCP; Vargas Museum; Lopez Memorial Museum) and abroad (Aichi Triennale, Japan; Singapore Biennale; Beijing Biennale; Le Festival International des textiles Extra Ordinaires, France). In 2015, she was one of the CCP 13 Artist awardees. In 2008, Nikki Luna conducted a residency at the Cooper Union Summer Art Residency in New York. And as an activist, she conducts art therapy workshops in conflict zones in the Philippines; Luna: “I believe that art is something that you can share. It feeds your soul.”

“Art is a powerful tool,” Nikki Luna says. "Art can tell peoples’ stories, retell history, incorporating the voices from the margins and continue sharing art to engage, provoke action and to promote healing in communities,” she adds. “It never crossed my mind not to speak of the injustice from the thousands of EJKS [extrajudicial killings], rape culture, misogyny under this administration,” she says. “I will continue to use my art to show the lives of the people wronged by the system.”

Dancing with a dictator. 2018. Carved wood. Series of 26
Imelda Marcos’ left pair carved wooden shoe identical to the crystal encrusted shoe she wore during the inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos as 10th President of the Philippines

image courtesy of Jippy Pascua