Anting Anting | Magic Objects by Michael Arcega
March 5 – April 15, 2018
Anting Anting | Magic Objects presents ceramic, mixed media and found objects that play on mysterious practices from artist Michael Arcega’s Filipino culture and experiences.
These handmade objects explore the indigenous Filipino concept of anting anting, a belief that everyday items and handcrafted amulets etched with symbols can heal, bring prosperity, protect and strengthen through ritual and prayer. After Spanish colonization, anting anting appropriated imagery from Catholicism. It is still practiced by many today.
As a child in the Philippines, Arcega encountered anting antings and the practice of the albularyos and hilots, seers and healers. Arcega draws from these memories to recreate commonplace items that have special meaning in his own life. Serving as
functional, decorative and spiritual objects, they guard from the looming threats that surround us and empower those who believe.
Merging fine arts practices with an anthropological sensibility, Arcega invites viewers to consider the power of belief and ordinary objects in our lives.
About the Artist
Born in Manila, Philippines, Michael Arcega migrated to Los Angeles at the age of ten. He is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. His work revolves around language and sociopolitical dynamics. Directly informed by historic narratives, material significance, and geography, his subject matter deals with inequitable power relations.
Arcega has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from Stanford University. His work has exhibited at the Asian Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Cue Arts Foundation, and the Asia Society in NY among many others. He currently lives and works in San Francisco, California where he is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.