curated by Dio Sumagaysay





This December, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to present The Red House a solo exhibition from Filipino artist Mark ‘Kidlat’ Copino and curated by Dio Sumagaysay. The art world of the Philippines, unsurprisingly, is as varied as the country itself. The Philippines is culturally and historically complex and the art scene is rich, fostered by strong artistic alliances that reflect the many challenges and realities of contemporary life. The art scene is also deeply rooted in the multi-layered and colorful Filipino history.

As a people, Filipinos have been praised for their resiliency and unwavering spirit in the face of natural and human perils. Following Spanish colonization, Japanese and American occupation, a peaceful revolution in 1986 named “People Power” overthrew the corrupt military government and Marcos family to reclaim democracy. Against the backdrop of long-standing battles with poverty and over population, Filipinos have endured disasters from volcanoes, earthquakes, and storms like the deadly 2013 typhoon Haiyan which killed at least 6,300 people and left two million Filipinos homeless.

The work of Filipino street artist Mark Copino, who goes by the pseudonym “Kidlat” (“Lightning” in English), is inspired by social realities, narratives of resilience, and the blend of historic cultural fragments. He is known for creating dream-like, minimalist stencil graffiti, evocative of American contemporary artist Logan Hicks, wherein vibrant color is added to a broad monochromatic space, evoking a subtle sense of hope. Kidlat’s work breaks free from the traditional Filipino artists who historically favored painting pastoral and peasant scenes with folkloric themes. His individual contemporary identity, while distinctly Filipino, emerges from practicing art in the streets where experimentation can flourish without strict rules.

In The Red House, Kidlat has created contemporary minimalist imagery of typical Filipino children in his neighborhood with only a few domestic elements immediately visible to the eye. Each piece contains symbols including animals that express the ambiguities of history and culture that affect the quality of life for his generation and the younger. Some of his work reflects the reality of inequality and other lingering effects of centuries of colonialism and repression manifested in the daily lives of Filipino children.

Kidlat’s work becomes an integral part of the greater body of contemporary Filipino art that embraces personal narratives through symbolism. His work invites viewers to initiate conversations and incorporate their own personal experiences or memories to end up with richer perspectives and interpretations.

The opening reception for The Red House will be held at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Friday, December 7th from 7-10pm. Stephanie Chefas Projects is located in Portland, Oregon at 305 SE 3rd Avenue on the second floor of the Urban Row building. The exhibition will be on view through December 28th, 2018 and is free and open to the public.


Mark “Kidlat” Copino (b. 1981) is a contemporary artist living and working in Cebu, Philippines.

After leaving art school, the streets became a recreational ground that paved way for Kidlat’s socio-political art to be viewed by the masses. He along with other street artists, founded Cebu’s most active art groups at the time ‘Ubec Crew’ , the Junks Collective and recently Asylum 38. Well-known as a conceptual artist, Kidlat’s thought-provoking work shows off symbolic subjects in minimalist compositions. This establishes mysterious yet straightforward dialogue with anyone who dissects his art. After mounting his third solo in Qube Gallery in 2018 and a fourth solo in Block17 Artspace on the same year and having joined group shows with notable entries in Art Apart Singapore 2015, Art Kaohsiung 2016, Art Tainan 2018, Kidlat has now carved his name in the Southeast Asia contemporary art scene with a growing base of collectors and followers. The Red House is his first exhibition in the United States.