This House Devours

Size: 48 X 48 in.
Oil and Pastel on Canvas

Current location: Toronto

Please contact the gallery for more information on this work.

"This particular painting is inspired by the tale of Baba Yaga in Slavic folklore, who is often described as a ferocious and sometimes deformed old woman who lived in a house standing on chicken legs. Her name alone is a demonstration of her complexities as a character. Though the origins of her name is unclear, baba is believed to be akin to ‘midwife’ or ‘grandmother,’ while yaga has been believed to mean something on the lines of ‘wicked,’ ‘witch,’ or ‘snake.’ In Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folktale (2004), Andreas Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as "a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image.”

"Most characters in European folklore behave predictably. Baba Yaga, on the other hand, is an anomaly. Her moral alignment is completely ambiguous. She might impart on your some helpful wisdom along your journey, or she might straight up eat you. She has her own agenda, and plays by her own rules. I will forever laud her as an early feminist figure. The uneasiness of the painting is to acknowledge her enigmatic nature.

Johns, Andreas (2004). Baba Yaga: The Ambiguous Mother and Witch of the Russian Folktale. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-0-8204-6769-6."

Nguyen's illustrative paintings employ a variety of techniques using oil paint and pastel on a canvas surface. Rife with narrative symbols, her dramatic tableaus sing with chaotic tension and humorous undertones. Painted in jewel tones and highlighted by soft-hued pastels, starkly contrasted by bold gestural markings, Nguyen's works are ready to hang framed or unframed.

Established in 1965, Bau-Xi Gallery represents both Canadian and International artists, exhibiting Modern and Contemporary painting, photography, and sculpture in three art galleries in Toronto and Vancouver.

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