self-portraits


QUICK TIMELINE & HISTORY:

° 1980: born in Manila, Philippines.
° 1987: moved to Sydney, Australia.
° 1993: moved to Santa Barbara, Calif.
° 1999: attended Sydney University.
° 2000: Graduated UCSB & moved to NYC.
° 2000: Moved to Washington, DC.
° 2005: Launched FFP and SIN.
° 2006: Graduated Georgetown Univ w/MA.

biography


Michael Dumlao provides expert creative direction and execution through photography, web development and graphic design.

After 15 years of art exhibition and freelance service to clients in Sydney, Los Angeles, Manila, New York and Washington, DC (to name a few), Michael is now the Communications Design Specialist at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) at Georgetown University and Creative Director at Style and Image Network. In each capacity, Michael provides art direction and production of corporate brand identity systems, marketing collateral, web and software interfaces, photography along with overall communications and branding strategy.

Michael received his Masters in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University and his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara after stuyding photography and multimedia design at the University of Sydney College of the Arts in Australia.


Michael first picks up the brush at the tender age of 6 when his mother enrolls him in a specialized school for the arts in Manila, Philippines. These were very interesting times indeed: the fall of the Marcos Regime is heralded by machine guns, mobs and nuns bearing succulent papayas and fragrant blossoms. It is all very Frida Kahlo. Imelda's legendary vault of high-couture shoes is later revealed to the public. Ardent (Liz) Arden activists and Gucci Guerillas stand in long lines like pilgrims to the Virgin of Guadalupe. The young Michael begins to ponder what seemed at the time to be an obvious equation: Power = Prada (and lots of it!).

The Dumlaos leave soon after to the golden-glazed shores of Sydney, Australia. Michael quickly observes that his school's treatment of cultural diversity served as a microcosm for Australia's then fetal identity as a multicultural society (the country had just denounced its long-standing "whites-only" immigration policy). Within a week, Michael is told by a fellow 8 year old student to go back to China. In a defensive rage, he calls her "sexist", having no knowledge of the words "racist", "ethnocentrist" or "xenophobic." While learning other forms of race-directed derision, Michael spends the next few years trying to understand the elusive Aussie accent, while not adopting it himself (but ah, assimilation is a hard morsel to resist… mate).

High School and the first part of college is spent in the temperate utopia that is Santa Barbara, California. A jewel of a city bordered by the Santa Ynez mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it is inhabited by a community thathas managed to stay almost immune to the deliciously insane energies further south on the 101. High school would have been a completely placid experience for Michael had it not been for tense race relations his senior year that erupted in a riotous series of events. An alarming increase in hate crimes forces every anti-discrimination activist to come out of the closet. In response to injustice, Michael does just that (with boyfriend in tow) and begins a life-long struggle against defamation (and bad taste) that defines much of his college experience.

While attending university, Michael focuses his studies on fine art portraiture, commercial media design, fashion photography, modern art history, film studies, global studies, international marketing and a heavy dose of queer and feminist theory. His remaining few hours are spent in theatre, socio-political advocacy and retail. In 1998, Michael joins a student crusade against the proposed termination of ethnic studies programs at the University of California while performing a lead role in Pilipino Culture Night and composing the Kapatirang Pilipino Anthem. In 1999, he interns as a Fashion Assistant at the Australian Consolidated Press, helps fellow students organize and successfully lobby against gay-discrimination in the Uni, and stars in the Sydney premiere performance of Corpus Christi by Terrance McNally.

This proficiency for multi-tasking helps Michael immensely when he graduates in 2000 and pursues a position as Field Manager with the Democratic Coordinated Campaign (specifically, Connelly for Congress NJ-7). After four months of solid, 24/7 organizing, Michael settles in Washington, DC to launch what has been a very fascinating career oscillating between communications and creative design first on Capitol Hill, then the United Nations Association and now Georgetown University.

By 2006 , Michael finishes work on his Masters Degree at Georgetown University, having harnessed his "fruit-bowl" life into a graduate degree in Communications, Culture and Technology. During his last year, Michael co-founded not only a company (the Style & Image Network) but also a major fashion fundraiser (Fashion Fights Poverty). Now a full-fledged Washingtonian who can count his time in DC in terms of presidential administrations, it does become more and more apparent with each passing day that after a lifetime of transcience, Michael, for now, has found his home.