Isola Tong


Isola tong is a transpinay interdisciplinary artist and architect whose spirit-specific research and practice involve counter-imagination and collaborative place-making embedded in animistic worldviews, incorporating its frictions with postcolonial realities while questioning reigning perspectives of natural science, translated into soundings, gatherings, and visualizations of relational specificities and ecologies. Invested in the mystery of nature, time, as well as intersections of displacement, tong sees her role as a transducer of encountered specters in archaeology, ethnomusicology, the archives, and the built/natural environment, appropriating her rendering of the materials in creating pathways to healing and transformation through community-specific projects that invoke the social. Intersubjectivity is foregrounded in her ritualistic making and site-specific performances in the public realm that problematizes the contradiction of finding belongingness in an itinerant existence. As part of her socially engaged practice, she hosts Transcestral Gatherings, an experimental space for trans and nonbinary Filipinxs in diasporic communities to connect with their complicated heritage, offering respite, affinity, and remembrance through a critical lens. Rooted in collaborative placemaking guided by engaged pedagogy, this transformative practice creates a liminal space for reimagining, reinventing, and reflecting upon our unstable becomings, challenging imperial paradigms.