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Artist Category: Adult 19+


Jay Cabalu is a queer Filipino-Canadian pop artist based in Vancouver, BC. His works are hyper-detailed collages – a portal into a vibrant world made from manufactured images. He collected print media after his family immigrated to Canada, an experience that heavily informs his art practice today. He has a BFA from Kwantlen University and has shown his work in Vancouver since graduating in 2013. A series of self-portraits Jay created from 2017-2019 garnered the attention many exhibitions centred on queer-Asian identity. His first and second solo exhibitions were showcased in 2022 and 2023.

Artist Statement

De los Reyes is a self-portrait created to diversify the visual language of pop art. It includes cultural signifiers of pop art and the Filipino-Canadian immigrant experience. After my family moved to Vancouver in 1991, I noticed a lack of Filipino representation in media and our local community where Filipino restaurants and public gatherings were uncommon. De los Reyes is created from pop imagery, but it presents aspects of underrepresented Filipino culture, such as Catholicism (a result of the Spanish colonial period), basketball and an affinity for Spam. The popularity of Spam is also rooted in colonial history. It was first brought to the Philippines during WWII when the Philippines was an American colony. This work illustrates the power of diversity and proudly showcases my cultural identity and perseverance in the face of intergenerational colonial trauma. Since its creation, this work has been featured on the cover of the McGill-Queens University Press publication, Canadian Culinary Imaginations. A print of this piece is also on display at Barkada, a Filipino restaurant in Hong Kong.


Instagram: @jay_cabalu

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