A gif of the exhibition title, Ambrosia, in Hoss Sharp with various glyphs and images shuffling and replacing random letters in the word.

Jeanelle Estanislao

A glyph of a paintbrush.


Growing up as an immigrant in America has sometimes made me feel disconnected to my culture. For the longest time I felt like I needed to assimilate to American standards and culture. I felt further isolated when there was a lack of representation of people like me in the media. Through Unang-Gen, I wanted to create work highlighting the Filipino-American experience and the many layers to it. I wanted to understand the historical impacts Spanish and American colonization has on Filipinos and Filipino-Americans today. Colonization has transformed our values, religion, language, beauty standards, and so much more. I wanted to know more about the conflicts Filipinos faced when they moved to America and how that has transformed our communities today. I read about historical events, interviews, and research papers. I reflected on my research by writing about my own experiences. This work illustrates the feeling of being in-between. I drew inspiration from the hand-painted signs in the Philippines and the unique lettering. I only hope that children of immigrants see a piece of themselves in my work and know that they are seen and understood.

A blue poster on the left side with “Ang Unang Henerasyon” at the top and a jasmine flower and rose underneath. There are little suns scattered in the background. In the middle there is a red poster with “Morro Bay” on top and there is a drawing of a giant rock by the water and land. Underneath, a smaller sign that says “cultural disconnect” in blue, yellow, red, and white. On the right side there is a smaller sign that says “Unang-Gen,” in black with a blue shadow. Underneath, a blue poster with yellow stars says, “The Filipino Dream: Becoming American,” in white and red.
Handwritten signature from Jeanelle Estanislao in black.