A Few Hours Into the Future

ARTIST:Michael Arcega

EXHIBITION DATES:2019 . 03. 30 --2019. 05.19
EXHIBITION OPENING: 2019 .03. 30 16:00

Director: Manman CHENG  
Producer: YANG Ga

Chief Advisor: QIU Zhijie


This exhibition invites the viewer to consider the possibility that we are in an extinction event. Unlike the catastrophe that killed off the dinosaurs, the Anthropocene era extinction is extremely slow and will continue for several generations more. The installation and objects in the show expresses a feeling of ennui, a tedious, lonely and impending apocalypse. Arcega coined the term Slowpocalypse (slang) during a workshop with The Bureau of Linguistical Realities in San Francisco, CA, USA. This new word was created to give a mental shape to a feeling and intuition about our fate. Additionally, this exhibition is an attempt to give form that our bodies will relate to intuitively.


Beijing is a complex, contradictory, and mysterious city, like an old man. CaoChangDi is located on the edge of Beijing's fifth ring road, and it combines urban and rural areas. In recent years, CaoChangDi has come to be seen as an art district  rather than "straw yards" from a long time ago. Meanwhile, CaoChangDi is also a village full of artists, villagers, Galleries, institutions, and vendors. During his residency at Unicorn Center for Art, Michael integrated seamlessly into the local culture, and collected materials for his works. He created a large-scale installation that occupies the main gallery, a media-heavy tricycle, and other sculptural objects. The first item the viewer will encounter is a vehicle that functions as a portal into an inflatable room. Once inside, the immersive space isolates the person from the rest of the world; they will feel transported and displaced. Simultaneously, the viewers outside the inflatable architecture will see ghostly images through the plastic membrane. The bamboo scaffoldings give structure to the blown plastic wraps, making a reference to buildings and man-made architecture.

Michael Arcega is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. His research-based work revolves largely around language and sociopolitical dynamics. Directly informed by Historic narratives, material significance, and geography, his subject matter deals with circumstances where power relations are unbalanced.

As a naturalized American, his investigation of cultural markers is embedded in objects, food, architecture, visual lexicons, and vernacular languages.

Michael was born in Manila, Philippines, and migrated to the Los Angeles area at ten years of age. He relocated to San Francisco to attend college. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, California, where he is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University. His work has been exhibited at venues including the Asian Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in NY among many others. Arcega’s work has been discussed in publications including Art Forum, the New York Times, Art Practical, Art News, X-TRA, SF Chronicle, Artweek, Art Papers, and Flash Art among others. He is a recipient of the Artadia grant, Joan Mitchell MFA Award, Murphy Cadogan Fine Arts Fellowship, among others. He has been an Artist in Residence at the 18th Street Art Center, Montalvo Arts Center, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Fountainhead Residency, Artadia Residency at ISCP, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Al Riwak Art Space in Bahrain, and the Recology Artist Residency Program. He was awarded the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts.