The Pao Arts Center is proud to present a new series of works by Filipino American artist Bren Bataclan, inspired by his own immigration to Daly City, California in 1981.
His minimalist, hyper-stylized compositions are immediately accessible to viewers of all ages and backgrounds, even as they convey deeply-felt themes of estrangement and belonging, discovery, and confusion. Kulap invites recognition, reflection, and contemplation of what it means to be an immigrant, a citizen, and an evolving human being.
About the Artist: Bren Bataclan is a Cambridge-based artist who was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco area. Prior to becoming a full time artist, Bren taught design and computer animation at UMass Amherst and the Museum School. In the early 2000s, Bren began giving away paintings in public spaces with a note saying, "This painting is yours if you promise to smile at random people more often." Since then, he has given away 3,000 paintings in 70 different countries and to all 50 U.S. states. Schools began to ask Bren to give presentations about his kindness-related street art project. His presentations led to 150 mural projects for schools, hospitals and businesses. Heinemann Press published an elementary school textbook entitled, "The Smile Artist," about his artwork. And in 2017, he gave a TEDxTalk about his street art project. Bren received his BA in design at UCLA (summa cum laude) and his MA in computer animation at the Ohio State University.
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