Overlapping Territories is an interdisciplinary, experimental space for six artists to engage, discover, and reimagine what it means to be in relationship to the land. Curated by Ashley DeHoyos, this ongoing project begins with a Houston-centered approach as a way of understanding what conversations around land already exist within the city. Artists Liyen Chong, Catherine Davila-Martinez, Angel Lartigue, Matt Manalo, Jenah Maravilla, and Monica Villarreal will create multidisciplinary projects that reflect the breadth of the investigations and interrogations into land-centered politics and the issues attached to particular geographies and histories.

The exhibition, which opens on April 1 with brief artist talks and a performance project by Monica Villareal, is inspired by questions about how we occupy land, including histories of settler colonialism, migration, personal and collective liberation, in tandem with understandings of Indigeneity and what it means for us to be in conversation with land through a decolonized, ancestral, or embodied practice. The ideas presented in the exhibition will be further explored in the Overlapping Territories Symposium, which features a keynote address by artist Nikesha Breeze and guest speakers from across the U.S.

Overlapping Territories is an ongoing project of Curator Ashley DeHoyos who is working with artists to identify and trace a network of knowledge and experiences through public conversations, art, and interviews with other curators, cultural producers, and scholars from across the Southwest United States. The Knowledge-Building Research Lab is the first public iteration of the project. The project welcomes the public into the process through the form of an exhibition, a series of performances, workshops, and a knowledge-building symposium as a way to build community and interest in the overall themes and direction of the longer project.


Liyen Chong moved from New Zealand to Houston in 2016. Her art practice is encyclopedic, often folding in elements or languages from different disciplines with an acute awareness of history. Often working in episodes, her art work has involved deep dives into graphic design, ceramics, embroidery, paper-marbling and oil painting. Recently, her work has begun to explore the relational, incorporating the audience into story circles and reading groups that examine themes of belonging to the land, entwining both her and her audience’s personal stories into an examination of colonization through contemporary indigenous thought. As a separate project, her organizing work with Arts Accountability Houston examines ways in which the practice of self-advocacy can constructively build collective power among artists. Chong was born in Malaysia and moved to Aotearoa New Zealand as a teenager. She has been the recipient of prestigious artist residencies in New Zealand, South Korea and Indonesia. Her artworks can be found in prominent public collections such as the National Gallery of Australia and The Chartwell Collection in New Zealand. In 2021, her work was acquired by the City of Houston Airport collection.

Catherine Davila-Martinez is a mixed media sculptor with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and current Masters of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Houston. As an artist she has led a public art commission, erecting an outdoor sculpture of an Ankh utilizing crystals and stones from and for the community of 3rd Ward; Zin’s Memorial commemorates the legacy of Anthony Mills, aka Wali Aqueel, aka ZIN. Davila-Martinez has exhibited work in Houston at Lawndale Art Center’s 2021 Big Show and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art’s group exhibition and symposium, In the Sun. She is a recipient of the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts’ 2021-22 Graduate Scholarship and is a lecturer for Convergence Research, a platform for interdisciplinary research, experimentation, improvisation, and performance. Davila-Martinez is a founding member of the Black Women’s Road Trip Collective.

Angel Lartigue is an artistic researcher born and raised in Houston, Texas. Lartigue’s work explores the relationship between the body and land through the use of “putrefaction” matter as raw material. This concentration has led them to experiment with using archaeological processes of decomposition in artworks, incorporating fungi, insects, and even odors captured during fieldwork. Lartigue participated in research training in human remains recovery at Texas State University’s Forensic Anthropology Center (the body farm) in 2018. Lartigue designed the 2017 label book, La ciencia avanza pero yo no, which is part of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Hirsch Library rare books collection. Recommended by Italian curator, Eugenio Viola, Lartigue was accepted as an honorary research fellow to the artistic laboratory, SymbioticA, part of the University of Western Australia Perth for 2020. Lartigue is a member of Collective Artists in Solidarity with Palestine (CASP), a Houston collective created as a response to the lack of Palestinian solidarity within cultural art centers.

Matt Manalo creates work that involves elements of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. He uses raw materials and found objects, sometimes collected and oftentimes donated. By doing this, he is making his practice environmentally conscious as well as understanding the idea of scarcity and abundance. He uses the grid as a foundation for most of his work to tackle geography, cartography, borders, and the idea of displacement while having a constant conversation about how “home” should be defined. Being a first-generation immigrant, Manalo discusses his experiences navigating around the physical and social structures of society through his work. As he explores this, home becomes a two-part environment where the artist is split between the Philippines and Texas. The latter sits on the southern border of the US. It is also important to mention that colonization of the Philippines by Spain, Japan and the United States resulted in erasure, colorism and colonial mentality, frequent topics in Manalo’s work. Manalo is the founder of Filipinix Artists of Houston, a collective of visual, performing, literary, culinary, and multidisciplinary artists. He also runs the alternative art space, Alief Art House, which he founded in 2019.

Jenah Maravilla is currently a community leader, activist, and holistic editor, but has always been a writer. Alum of both Texas A&M University and Texas Tech Health with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Summa Cum Laude), Maravilla pivoted from nursing to her long-standing passion of writing when co-authoring Filipinos in Houston with Christy Poisot. Alongside the backdrop of being a founding member of Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc – Texas Chapter (UniPro TX), and participating in both Filipino American National Historical Society Houston (FANHS HTX) and Filipinx Artists of Houston (FxAH), she was inspired by her fellow storytellers to show up in spaces they historically have not been present. As an artist, Maravilla’s work centers around the ideas of honoring those that came before, empowering those present, and shifting the conversation to radical vulnerability.

Monica Villarreal is an interdisciplinary artist and native of Houston, Texas. Her art explores ethnic identity, gender roles, migrant and environmental issues. She is a recipient of multiple awards in photography and filmmaking. She has participated in installations and performance art productions organized by Voices Breaking Boundaries, Project Row Houses, Houston Arts Alliance, DiverseWorks, Santa Fe Arts Institute, and Alabama Song. Monica wears various hats, as the founder of Creative Women Unite, a local feminist arts collaborative, and as a traditional Aztec dancer with Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl, a local group that practices Indigenous traditions through spirituality and community engagement performances. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake and has over a decade of experience organizing with local grassroots and nonprofit organizations.

Overlapping Territories is supported in part by an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship.

On View

April 1 - April 23, 2022
Thursdays - Saturdays: 12 - 6 pm

Opening Reception

Friday, April 1
6 - 8 pm




DiverseWorks @ MATCH –
Matchbox 1

3400 Main Street
Houston, TX  77002