Nona Garcia

(Philippines 1978 – )


Upper Asian gallery
Further information

Recovery is a powerful installation by contemporary Filipina artist Nona Garcia. Garcia grew up in a hospital run by her parents and has an interest in medical imaging. Her installation Recovery consists of 60 light boxes displaying x-rays of ancestral objects from the Baguio region of the Philippines, many from the collection of the BenCab Museum, Baguio. The indigenous spiritual practices of the region have ancient origins in devotion to ancestors and nature spirits and continue to be exercised, often in concert with Christianity, the dominant practice in the officially secular nation, as well as Islam.

The objects imaged for Recovery include protective sculptures of rice deities (bulul) from the mountainous Ifugao province, bowls carved in the form of animals, jewellery and protective charms, as well as ritual storage boxes and anthropomorphic vessel stoppers. Among the talismanic jewellery presented are a palangapang ceremonial neck piece with six trapezoidal plaques, a warrior’s necklace of crocodile teeth and bore tusks, an Ifugao woman’s head ornament in the form of a figure with outstretched arms, and a linglingo fertility pendant.

While the x-rays in Recovery capture the inside these sacred objects, some of which are intended to remain sealed, their effect on the materials produces images that reveal almost nothing about the contents, and in fact add to their mystery.

Place of origin
Baguio City, Benguet, Central Cordillera, Luzon, Philippines
Installation, Time-based art
60 light boxes; x-ray, plexiglass, wooden frames, wires, LED lighting, transformers
240.0 x 360.0 cm (irreg.)
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated

Roger Pietri Fund 2017
Accession number
© Nona Garcia