May 12, 2023

Refocusing the Conversation through Exhibition with Marissa Largo

Marissa Largo is creating space for change-making emerging and established artists to curate cultural conversations about identity and equity with X Marks the Spot at Filipinx and the 2022 Ontario Galleries (GOG) award-winning exhibition, Elusive Desires

Elusive Desires earned Largo the Best Exhibition Design and Installation award at the 2022 Ontario Galleries (GOG) Awards for her Varley Art Gallery of Markham exhibition. The exhibition traces the intimacies and (be)longings of two queer Asian diasporic artists: Ness Lee (they/she) and Florence Yee (they/theirs), who seek to create a space where the often-obscured subjectivities and intimacies of queer Asian diaspora are brought to the fore.  

On campus, Largo curated the visual art exhibition X Marks the Spot with FilipiNEXT, a conference of Filipinx Studies scholars from across Canada on the York University campus. 

Group shot of FilipiNEXT conference participants

The Conference saw Filipinx scholars from institutions across Canada make up the organizing committee, including Largo. The weeklong series of workshops, events, and exhibitions explored the following questions: What tensions, aspirations, and lines of inquiry can emerge when we think critically about the history and future of Filipinx people in Canada? How will the past and present inform what is NEXT for Filipinx Studies in Canada?


Photo courtesy of Revill Villanueva

Largo curated X Marks the Spot, a visual art exhibition exploring the X in “Filipinx” as a theoretical artistic investigation while proposing alternative engagements with space, place, materiality, selfhood, and community that defy modernism’s limiting ideologies. The exhibition invited three established artists (Julius Poncelet Manapul, Patrick Cruz, and Ella Gonzales) and three emerging artists (John Ephraim VelascoExcel Garay, and Revill Villanueva) to respond to the legacies, transformations, and aspirations of Filipinx visual art in Turtle Island. The six creators gestured to the multifarious ways diasporic Filipinx artists invent aesthetic futurities as an emancipatory practice.

Photo courtesy of Revill Villanueva

The installation was sponsored by the Work Centre for Asian Research, York University School of Arts, Media Performance and Design (AMPD), AMPD Visual Arts and Art History Department, and Sensorium Centre for Research, Arts and Technology. To learn more about FilipiNEXT and the artist involved, visit