Gala Porras-Kim

Gala Porras-KimArtist’s Statement

My work questions how knowledge is acquired, tests the potential of the art object to function as an epistemological tool outside of its traditional, art historical context, and challenges the possibilities and limits of learning about the cultures that surround us. The work can be perceived as both aesthetic and utilitarian, capable of serving as a means for an outsider to access information about an unfamiliar culture.

Recent work examines the ultimate and literal signifier of culture, language, particularly its sounds. Specifically, Whistling and Language Transfiguration is an interdisciplinary project involving the translation of a minority language, Zapotec, and the political and linguistic implications of the language’s deterioration. The works in WaLT include a vinyl record edition of a translation of Zapotec into whistling, as well as the tools made for its background research. They represent an effort to maintain the viability of the Zapotec language by pointing out its unique qualities, and contribute to the preservation of a language that was and is the cultural heritage of the Zapotec people.


Select Solo Exhibitions 2009-2013

Whistling and Language Transfiguration, Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, CA

I Want to Prepare to Learn Something I Don’t Know, Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, CA
F for Overdue, FOXRIVER, Singapore, Singapore
Adaptations, Dobaebacsa HQ/DaiShengFanDian, Seoul, Korea

Select Group Exhibitions 2009-2013

Between Bodies, USC Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere, Los Angeles, CA

Make Hay, David Petersen Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

After the Gold Rush, Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Suelto, La Central, Bogotá, Colombia

Select Community Based Artwork

Prospecting Notes About Sounds, 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, CA

Why Video, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA


Latin American Studies, departmental honors, UCLA

Diversity Grant, California Institute of the Arts


M.A., 2012
University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME

M.F.A., 2009
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

B.A., 2007
University of California, Los Angeles, CA