Thursday, 24 December 2015

Jayanto Damanik

December 18 - February 24   cremation

a DIP - Darlington Installation Project: 30 Golden Grove Street, Darlington

Cremation, 2015. Strung folded joss papers.
Jayanto Damanik says he is confused about his identify.

He is an Australian citizen, born in Indonesia to Chinese parents. As for identity he could take his pick but has chosen Indonesian. And in doing that he has possibly adopted a particular 21st century Australian identity of people form diverse places who make homes here. But it’s the greeting “ni hao“ that grates for him he is not Chinese.In Cremation Jayanto is adjusting this situation by conflating the 3 major festivals, Christmas, New Year and Chinse New Year into a single continuous celebration until the end of Chinese New Year on February 23. His celebration, an exquisite curtain of joss papers folded origami style in a manner remembered form his childhood could only be improved with the addition of Hanukkah, Deepavali and Eid al-Fitr to this bonfire in celebration of the future years possibilities.

While Jayanto’s works are exquisitely crafted with a relaxed precision his artistic concerns reach across art objects to a conversation with others around the proposition of making something. It is shared experience that leaves a residue of considerable harmonious beauty.  One such project was mounted during Mental Health Month at the Alexandria Town Hall.  Untutored participants made pinch pots – individually thick, ungainly and disproportionate objects that when seen collectively became an instillation of harmonious serenity. The very thing I believe that Jayanto brought to his untutored collaborators.

Harmonious serenity, it is also the quality offered up here in this blaze of joss paper lightly tossed in an unidentified celebration.

For more information on Jayanton's work, visit: