Marigold Santos, secret signals (2), Watercolor, ink, pencil crayon, graphite, metallic leaf on paper, 2011, Photo by Galerie D'Este

Unsettling Imaginaries

Kuh Del Rosario, Julius Poncelet Manapul, Marigold Santos, Leslie Supnet

A Space Main Gallery

November 3 – December 16, 2017

Curated by: Marissa Largo

Book Launch and Celebration November 17th from 6 - 10 PM for "Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries" co-edited by Robert Diaz, Marissa Largo, and Fritz Pino

The exhibition is proudly presented by A Space Gallery with support from the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto

Unsettling Imaginaries examines the practices of four Filipinx artists in Canada: Kuh Del Rosario (Vancouver/Batan), Julius Poncelet Manapul (Toronto), Marigold Santos (Montreal/Calgary), and Leslie Supnet (Winnipeg/Toronto). 

In the dominant Canadian imaginary, Filipinx subjects are largely seen as serving the neoliberal priorities of the nation’s economy. These perceptions figure the Filipinx as the “perpetual newcomer” and always on the periphery of national belonging. As a counternarrative, the Filipinx artists in this exhibition exceed these stereotypical scripts and are unsettling the dominant structures of privilege and power in Canada. The artists each take on various decolonial diaspora aesthetic strategies and are creating expressions that surpass normative conceptions of gender and sexuality and multiculturalist categories of race and citizenship.


Curated by Marissa Largo, Unsettling Imaginaries comprises of artists who imagine Filipinx subjectivity in excess to the dominant stereotypes that persist in the midst of racist and colonial discourses that are enmeshed in the political, social, and cultural dimensions of Canadian society. Their anti-essentialist expressions delve into the supernatural (Santos and Supnet), alternative forms of belonging beyond the nuclear family and nationalisms (Manapul and Supnet), past the limiting politics of visibility/invisibility and into abstraction and non-representational form (Del Rosario and Supnet), and into representations of gender and sexuality that are informed by decolonial recuperations, queer aesthetics and feminist self-representation (Manapul and Santos).


Together, these works present unruly expressions of Filipinx subjectivity in Canada that are unhinged from multiculturalist and neoliberal tropes. Through queer, feminist, racialized, and diasporic lenses, these artists engage in a decolonial diaspora aesthetic practice that confronts white supremacy, heteronomativity, and patriarchy in ways that reimagine Filipinx subjectivity beyond the dominant narrative of the settler colonial state.



Kuh Del Rosario (b.1980 Manila, Philippines) is a Vancouver-based artist originally from Calgary, Alberta. She graduated with a BFA in Painting from the College of Art and Design in 2003, and has since been working in a particular body of work that is concerned with the elements of the everyday. Del Rosario utilizes found objects and everyday materials as the foundation for her sculptures. She is the founder of Elmo’s House Artist Residency located Batan, Aklan, Philippines which provides an idyllic retreat for artists to stay and work in the Philippines and experience its unique beauty.

Julius Poncelet Manapul was born in Manila, Philippines in 1980 and immigrated to Toronto in 1990. He attained his Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2009 from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and his Masters of Visual Studies at University of Toronto in 2013, along with his Sexual Diversity Studies Certificate from University of Toronto. His work had been presented at UTAC Gallery, Open Gallery, Propeller Gallery, P/M Gallery, Daniel Spectrum, The Paradise Now Collective and the Fashion Art Fusion Show, Nuit Blanche, Toronto World Pride Affiliated Art Event, BAAF Big Alternative Art, Toronto Queer Film Festival and the Koffler Gallery. Currently he is exhibiting in the group show Yonder at UWAG Gallery, curated by Mona Filip and Matthew Brower.

Marigold Santos (b.1981 Manila, Philippines) pursues an interdisciplinary art practice involving drawn and printed works, sculpture, animation, and sound. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Calgary and completed an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal in 2011. Santos is recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec in 2013 and Canada Council for the Arts in 2014 and has exhibited extensively across Canada. She currently divides her practice between Calgary, Alberta, and Montreal, Quebec. Santos would like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Leslie Supnet (b.1980 Winnipeg, MB) is a moving image artist who utilizes animation, found media, and experimental practices on film and video. Her work has shown internationally at film festivals, galleries and microcinemas including TIFF (Short Cuts Canada), International Film Festival Rotterdam, Melbourne International Animation Festival, Experimenta India, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, WNDX, Edge of Frame/Animate Projects, and many others. She has been commissioned by Reel Asian, Pleasure Dome/Art Spin, the8fest, Cineworks, and Film Pop! (Pop Montreal). Leslie has an MFA from York University and teaches analog and digital animation at various artist-run centres, not-for-profits and for the Faculty of Art and Continuing Studies at OCAD University.

Marissa Largo is a Toronto-based artist and educator. She is a graduate of York University’s Fine Arts and Education programs and has a Master’s degree in Art Education from Concordia University. Her works have been presented in several group exhibitions in Montreal and Toronto: From the Pearl of the Orient to Uptown (2007), Departures (2005), Greater than One (2004), MEQ: Misconceptions Elegantly Quenched (2004), Additions (2004) and Smudge (2004). She has had two solo exhibitions: Small World (2003) and Neither Here Nor There (2003).