MALAGINTO opens at Dunlop Art Gallery

Nov. 4, 2019

For Immediate Release: November 4, 2019

MALAGINTO opens at Dunlop Art Gallery

In Filipino folklore, Asuang are supernatural shape-shifters who can sever and reattach their own body parts. They are vampires, ghouls, witches, viscera suckers, and werewolves who terrify villages at nighttime.

In Marigold Santos’s MALAGINTO, a new exhibition opening at Dunlop Art Gallery, Asuang are the chief subject. The artist moved to Canada from the Philippines as a child. In this work, she explores the challenges of arriving in a new culture and finding herself suddenly different from those around her.

Santos uses the monsters of her childhood. She appropriates their magic and strength, in particular their power to shape-shift. Instead of fearing change, as a young girl thrust into a new country might, Asuang have the ability to modify themselves. Change is their superpower and the author embraces it in a vindication of female strength.

The exhibition features fine porcelain vessels, saucers, figurines, vases and more, delicately painted with female Asuang, which are also depicted in a giant vinyl mural and in video footage of a female figure burning to ashes.

“Santos’ Asuang are beautiful, powerful, but not fearsome,” says Blair Fornwald, curator. “Their ability to shape-shift and self-sever is a superpower that we can all potentially acquire, but one that is particularly potent for newcomers and those who experience the world through the lens of two or more cultures.”

MALAGINTO was curated by Blair Fornwald. The exhibition opens on November 8 at Central Gallery.

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