Themes of magic, healing and connectedness encompass the upcoming exhibit at the Terrain Outdoor Gallery at Oak Cliff.
Mylan Nguyen opens Nahualito October 2.
Nguyen “creates cute and playful characters in his work,” which include ceramics, illustration, printmaking and installation, according to a press release: “Nahualito continues its exploration of these themes and draws on its multicultural heritage to revisit and reappropriate the history of the Nahual.
She learned of the existence of Nahual, the metamorphic guardian spirits of the Mesoamerican tradition, from her maternal grandmother and her aunts. The Dallas-based artist found new inspiration in the Museum of Natural Anthropology, documentaries and the writings of Carlos Castaneda.
“His research for this project raises questions about how perspective, power structures and colonialism affect the narratives of history and folklore. “
The ambiguity of the Nahuales in form and identity is captured in Mylan’s installation. Placed throughout the Terrain site, each Nahual is believed to emulate cuteness and entice the viewer to further explore what they understand as their true nature. Each Nahual sculpture of various sizes is considered by the artist to be an amulet, talisman or altar incorporating stories and symbols intended to bring healing, transformation and laughter.
Nguyen studied ceramics in Japan and is pursuing a master’s degree in fine arts at SMU. She is the co-founder of an Oak Cliff-based artist collective called Brujita Workshop.
The exhibit at 1122 Elmdale Place runs through November 15. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday.