Enzo Camacho & Ami Lien: Langit Lupa (Heaven and Earth)

An ongoing artist residency

Active Cultures presents a new series of projects, programs, and publishing with Berlin and New York-based artists Enzo Camacho and Ami Lien. As an itinerant, public arts organization, AC germinates perennial, long-term series of projects––what we informally call residencies––led by artists whom we invite to experiment, publish, collaborate, and work across our platforms online and in Los Angeles. Beginning in late 2023, AC will work with the duo to expand their ongoing work examining the political and historical landscape of state-sanctioned violence in the struggle for land justice and food sovereignty in the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.

Over the last decade, Camacho and Lien have developed a collaborative practice addressing these localized histories from the perspective of imperialist damage. Their current work pays particular attention to agricultural practices and the exploitation of land and labor in Negros, an island known for sugarcane production in the Philippines. The prevalence of state-sanctioned violence that accompanies this plantation economy has led them to reflect upon mourning as a form of collective action. Throughout their field research, they have worked alongside activists, survivors, and other local community members to both attend to the loss of lives and livelihoods and gesture towards an undergrowth of resistant practices.

The first season of AC’s work with the artists begins with a series of commissioned writings, which will be published online and in conjunction with their international exhibition, Offerings for Escalante. The first, “On Heaven, Earth, Hell” by scholar Eunsong Kim, introduces the artists’ newest experimental documentary, which documents their recent time in the Philippines and lays the historical and practical groundwork for their residency with Active Cultures in the fall of 2024. The essay will be co-presented with Para Site, a leading nonprofit arts organization in Hong Kong that produces exhibitions, publications, and discursive and educational projects aimed to forge a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society. Further writings will be published alongside the exhibition presentations at the Center for Contemporary Arts Berlin, Glasgow International, and MoMA PS1 in 2024.

Since our founding, AC has imagined ways to sustain lasting partnerships with artists; to let projects seed and grow over time; and to build platforms for folks to expand new facets of their practice through experimentation and multifaceted engagement with the public. In 2024, Camacho and Lien’s residency in Los Angeles will layer conversations, collaborative research, and the development of programs, including screenings, performances, workshops, and feasts together with LA-based and Filipinx artists, collectives, and cooks.

About the Artists

Enzo Camacho and Ami Lien are artists and writers from the Philippines and the US respectively. Together, they have an artistic practice that moves from the Philippines outward to other places, addressing localized iterations of labor and capital from the perspective of imperial damage. They have had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Freiburg (2018); and Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2018). Their work has been included in recent group exhibitions at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2022); the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2021); the 5th New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); the 39th EVA International, Limerick (2021); Manifesta 13, Marseille (2020); the Drawing Center, New York (2020); the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei (2019); the Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London (2019); the NTU Center for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2018); UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2017); Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok (2017); and Green Papaya Art Projects, Manila (2009). From 2021 to 2023, Camacho and Lien were fellows at the Graduate School of the Universität der Kunste, Berlin.


Major support for Enzo Camacho & Ami Lien: Langit Lupa (Heaven and Earth) is provided by the California Arts Council Impact Grant.

This project is also made possible through the generous support of its Board of Directors; the Gatherers Annual Fund; the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery LA, an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan; and by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Cultures.