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Ria Unson is a Manila-born Filipino American visual artist, now living and working in St. Louis, Missouri after emigrating to the US at 13 years old. Unbeknownst to her, her great-grandfather was assigned to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, following the American colonization of the Philippines. By sheer coincidence (or destiny) she moved to the historic neighborhood that once housed the Philippine Village at the Fair. It is still the occupied territory of the Osage Nation, the Missouria, and the Illini Confederacy.

“As a conceptual artist that works across media, I think critically about how ideology shapes narratives and vice versa; to reimagine the archive as a tool for understanding the world and my own lived experience as a migrant and post-colonial subject.Through painted portraiture, assemblage, projections, and audio installations, I continue to illuminate how constructions from the past impose themselves on the present and future. I am committed to creating artifacts for histories that have been erased, misrepresented, altered, or excluded; and to engaging viewers in conversations about how the colonization of minds is not limited to those whose land has been colonized.” -Artist Statement

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