About

This is my primary website, where you can read my blog and see my portfolios. My art is for sale at SaatchiArt and surface designs on RedBubble. Check out my poetry/art journal, Local Nomad, or view my FilAm print culture research at the CommonwealthCafe. If you need an editor, visit Old Town Editing.

BIO: Jean Vengua (pronounced Véngua)

Nick & Trining Vengua

Most bios discuss the artist’s mediums and areas of interest. I’ll start with my parents, Nick and Trinidad Vengua: Because they immigrated here from the Philippines before I was born, I grew up on the beaches and sunny avenues of California, a U.S. citizen. If my father hadn’t given me a boxed set of grown-up oil paints, turpentine, brushes, and an easel when I was eight, and if my mother hadn’t started me on piano lessons and dance classes  when I was five, I probably wouldn’t be an artist and writer today. They encouraged my creativity early on. My ongoing collage series (which I started recently), “Family Papers,” is a tribute and exploration of their lives.

I’m a visual artist and writer/poet, author of Prau (Meritage Press), and a chapbook, The Aching Vicinities (Otoliths Press). My second poetry collection, Corporeal, will be published by Black Radish Books in Dec. 2018. With Mark Young, I co-edited the First Hay(na)ku Anthology, and The Hay(na)ku Anthology Vol. II. In the mid 1990s, Elizabeth H. Pisares and and I formed Tulitos Press and published and edited the Debut: the Making of a Filipino American Film by Gene Cajayon and John Manal Castro, and The Flipside, by Rod Pulido. My poetry and essays have been published in many journals and anthologies.

I have returned to the visual arts after a hiatus of several decades, during which I focused on writing, experimental poetry, and teaching (English/writing, Asian American literature and print culture). As with writing, my art tends to be experimental and process-oriented. I explore color, shape, and line through haptics, painting, and collage, often incorporating materials of daily life into my work, allowing my local environment, personal history as an older Pilipinx artist, and my family and parents’ immigrant experiences to inform my process.

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3 Comments

  1. I just googled myself and saw you read one of my collaborative poems “Lemon Moon” (last year). Thank you for choosing and honoring us.

    May Garsson (

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