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Lugao Kasberg: Balay Means Home

June 7, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Curated by Danicia Monét

Lugao Kasberg is a Mangyan-American artist based in New York City. His earliest memories were with family and community speaking his native Hanunó’o-Mangyan tongue in the Philippines. Balay means home in his traditional Hanuó’o language. Growing up in Indianapolis, IN as an indigenous person he experienced the hardships of poverty, depression, and abuse when his parents separated. Through the strength of family, education, entrepreneurship, and the arts he learned the importance of hard work and dedication as he was determined to attain a better life while also helping others.

During high school and college Lugao orchestrated community outreach initiatives which helped hundreds of youth explore, share, and celebrate art. This effort also ignited his love for film, photography, and documentation. As a successful commercial artist in New York City he was involved in creating works for some of the top brands in the world. After feeling creatively drained and unfulfilled in 2018 Lugao decided to reunite with his Mangyan family in the Philippines and live in the village.

He documented his journey through film, photography, and audio recording. Lugao is the first of his eight Mangyan-siblings and mother to return to their ancestral land after leaving for the United States in 1992. He shares the importance of family, community, and the connection to the land. Mangyans are the indigenous people of Mindoro Island in the Philippines. They have inhabited the land for thousands of years by practicing sustainable farming and developed tightly knit communities with their own language, writing systems, and government.

Like many other indigenous people, Mangyans also face issues of discrimination, land rights, and access to resources. As a solution, Lugao is using his platform to create visibility while also helping to grow the culture by developing initiatives for the youth and community through education and the arts. One such initiative is “Rice 4 Kidz”. This endeavor has had an impact by serving over 55,000 hot meals to one thousand Mangyan schoolchildren with the help of rice sponsors, faculty, and international community during the hunger months of August through October. Service being at the core of his work, Lugao aspires to bring positive change to this present generation for future generations.

To learn more about the artist visit
Instagram: @Lugao.co and @lugaokasberg


June 7, 2019
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Guichelaar Gallery
1125 Cruft Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203 United States
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