"To Begin Again" 2018 (MFA Graduation exhibition, Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland).
This exhibition comprises a series of handmade batik fabrics and a video recording of the Muslim call to prayer at a local beach in my hometown Aceh, Indonesia, projected onto a 2004 tsunami-soiled fabric salvaged by my late father. The fabric screen references the sunshade commonly used in Aceh, and the back-projection technique acknowledges the Indonesian Wayang, where a story is told through shadows thrown from behind the screen. The batik fabrics incorporate diverse cultural patterns I am affiliated with; they tell a story of my navigations across and between cultures. Using a Tjanting, the traditional instrument for applying hot wax, I draw patterns that never return to the same form – each repetition contains small differences and displacements. By leaving most of the wax on the fabrics, rather than boiling it all off, I am deliberately fabricating a language of non-integration, and incompleteness. This incompleteness and ambiguity in the process points to a temporality of the ‘in-between’. This in-between condition allows “newness to come into the world.”
*Link to the video work: https://elamartists.ac.nz/projects/to-begin-again