Of Love & Other Demons – Painting Series by Kay Zhang

By Kay Zhang

Event Date: 24th September — 24th October, 2020

The twelve-year-old Sierva María de Todos los Ángeles, is the daughter of a Marquis from a decaying noble family in an eighteenth-century South American Seaport. Raised by the slaves, fluent in multiple African languages, Sierva María’s copper hair has never been cut, and was promised to the saints when she was born with the umbilical cord around her neck. On her twelfth birthday, Sierva Maria was bitten by a rabid dog  Having showed no sympton of rabies, she was believed to be possessed and then taken to a convent for observation.

Thirty-six-year-old priest, librarian, bible reader of the Bishop, Father Cayetano Delaura, who has been intoxicated in faith already had a weird dream: a girl with hair trailing after her eating grapes by the window. Every time a grape was eaten, another grew out. He fell in love with Sierva Maria in that little cell, as he stumbled into her cell with holy water and sacramental oils.


This story comes from Colombian author Garcia Marquez’s novel”Del amor y otros demonios”(Of Love and Other Demons). At the age of 14, he heard a legend from his mother: twelve-year-old Sierva María was bitten by a dog on her ankle, and died of exorcism. In many towns along the Caribbean Sea, she was worshipped for her miracles. Many years later, her tomb was discovered when people rebuilt a monastry. 22 meters of dark copper hair was attached to the skull in the tomb, flowing to the ground like a bridal dress. It is said that the hair still grows after a person dies by one centimeter per month, which means, 22 meters needs about two hundred years.


The exhibition of Kay Zhang will show her works based on Garcia Marquez’s story with her iconic style inspire by medieval illuminated manuscripts, displayed as whole in the form of altarpiece. Also the artist provides her audience with her favorite novelist, Garcia Marquez’s greatest book on love in visual way.