Wawi Navarroza Philippines, b. 1979


Wawi Navarozza works in photography and employs her own figure to create formal staged compositions in tableau vivant large format to investigate displacement and disorientation, reflecting on the exploration of a deeper sense of place and identity that is rooted in her own experiences as a Filipino and its specific blend of East/West, Catholic/Pagan and Latin/Asian.  In her series Tropical Gothic presented in the exhibition, Navarroza reconstructs and rediscovers herself amongst layers of disparate objects rendered in eccentric and vibrant colours - cascading local fruits, overgrown fauna, vinyl tablecloths, and patterned textiles that physically wrap around the frames. Following in the tradition of other female artists who use history, appropriation, and citation as a form of cultural critique - Frida Kahlo, Mickalene Thomas and Cindy Sherman - these self-portraits reference a shared condition among women across time and space, history and geography.


Wawi Navarozza is a multi-disciplinary Filipino artist who is primarily known for her use of photography in her art practice.


Spanning almost 2 decades since devoting a full-time practice in the arts, her work has been shown in important institutions such as the National Museum of the Philippines, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and also widely exhibited in museums, galleries, and festivals abroad: Singapore Art Museum 8Q, Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Hangaram Museum, Korea, National Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Fries Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum Belvedere, amongst other spaces in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and the United States.


Navarroza has received a number of awards such as the critical Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Thirteen Artists Awards, Ateneo Art Awards, Lumi Photographic Art Awards Helsinki, and was distinguished as Finalist for the Singapore Museum Signature Art Prize, WMA Commission Hong Kong and Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2018.


Her art has been surveyed in major publications such as “Photography Today" (Phaidon) and “Contemporary Photography in Asia” (Prestel).


She has been a strong proponent of books as an extension of artistic work and with this, has published two books of her own DOMINION and Hunt & Gather, Terraria. In 2015, she founded THOUSANDFOLD, a platform for contemporary photography and a library for photobooks in Manila with the aim to further educate and encourage more publication of photography author-works from the Philippines.


Navarozza currently lives and works in Istanbul.