Traversing the terrain of a wooded interiority, an axe and a bow at the ready, Lyndon Maglalang’s latest works follow the continuation of the artist’s journey — one of weighing up past actions, charting the wild expanse of the mind, and setting the course toward a reckoning. 

An offshoot of his previous Everything is in Parables, the collection of works draws from Maglalang’s spiritual reflections guided by the Scriptures, and bears the artist’s signature of featureless landscapes and figures. Another mark of his ascetic practice, Maglalang lays new layers of paint with the dried-up remnants and fragments of past projects: like a lesson in moving on, his works hold onto the relics we accumulate over time — dreams and experiences we have cherished and preserved, hurts and defeats we try to stow or discard. Each piece bears a history and finds renewal in the creation of another. This time, they carry the narrative of an artist more resolute about the path he is forging. 

Preparatory Measures stages Maglalang’s darkest scenographic work, with a palette that departs significantly from his previous works, as his figures cast larger, deeper shadows across the canvas. The oxymoronic ‘Untitled: Certainty’ series bears witness to the struggle against these shadows, as darkness envelops each piece to near-obfuscation. In the deepening gloaming, however, a shaft of light pierces through. This guiding light prevails across another ‘Untitled’ series, illuminating the lay of the land for the hunter deep in the forest, the woodsman out in the plains, and the artist amid change.

An anomaly among these untitled works, ‘Home’ heralds a return to the familiar, back to a recognizable landscape: the lone figure now stands before his project, a warm light beckoning from within to take him out of the woods. 

In Preparatory Measures, Maglalang braves the solitary venture into the thickets of one’s existence, as he recites in earnest: “Into the dense forest of my soul, I start to walk”.

Into The Dark, Toward The Light

by Gabrielle Gonzales
Into the dense forest of my soul, I start to walk
Seeing the overgrowth
Of past hurts and promising futures
I pick my axe and start culling
I see my eyes turn white
Or am I blinded by the light?
I follow
And let a greater hand lead me
I feel the pain of cut wood, as if I myself am being cut
It is not far from the truth
I am shedding off what needs to be shed
In order to make room for fruitful growth
As I carry the weight of these excesses
I prepare them
To be used as fuel, or as foundations for what I will build
Both will keep me warm
Into the dense forest of my soul, I start to walk
Seeing the multitude of monstrous beasts
Of the darkness that lurks within me
I pick my bow, my arrows and begin my hunt
I strike, with the intent to purge
The uncertainties of being
A guiding light points me to a place
Where my shots won’t miss
I feel the pain of felled beasts, as if I myself am being felled
It is not far from the truth
I am quelling the beast inside
To give birth to the transfigured
As I exalt the One above
I see the landscape changing
From one of fear to one of love
It will keep me warm
Into the dense forest of my soul, I start to walk
The depths of what one does before culminating into a grand vision is the gist of Lyndon Maglalang’s current process which he translates into this new offering of artworks in Preparatory Measures.
Maglalang zeroes in on the ideas that he has developed over time, from planting the seeds of faith to considering that everything is in parables; he is on a long journey to know and understand more about the guiding hand from up high. All of the things he did before were necessary pieces for the event that is being prepared and up to now, it is still an ongoing undertaking. He mentions that there are always lessons to learn and that one should take seriously the message that comes with every trial. For him, the means is as important as the end because it is what you do before that will define the outcome.
by Jerome Destacamento