MORE THAN LUMPIA: Rialin José Malandi (2023)

Rialin José
Malandi (2023)
Ink and watercolor on paper
24 x 18





Artist Statement

“MALANDI” is a Tagalog word that refers to someone being “flirty,” or even scandalously so. This piece features a Filipino mythological creature known as the manananggal. Its name directly translates to “one who self-segments,” which refers to its ability to detach its upper body from its lower half. This seductive depiction of a manananggal offers a provocative lens of the well-known aswang*; it hyperbolically confronts the negative connotation behind the word “malandi.” Combining the horrific with the sexy, this piece offers sexual empowerment and pride, even through terror and gore.

*”aswang” is an umbrella term used for several shapeshifting creatures in Filipino mythology.

About Rialin José

Rialin José (pronounced RY-lin ho-ZAY) (she/they) is a queer Filipina artist based in Chicago. Her work often reflects her Filipino background, as she explores and honors her roots. Since late 2021, Rialin has been creating dark, surreal horror art with both traditional and digital media. Through grotesque and exaggerated imagery, Rialin delves into darker themes of the human condition, as well as the odd and the absurd. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Rialin also uses her background in film to create videos of her artistic process. She is well-known as “aniniwan” on social media, which is Ilokano for “shadow.”

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