Sunday, 21 August 2016

Tony Twigg · Jayanto Damanik Tan

13 August - 10 September      Garden Arrangement

Tony Twigg & Jayanto Damanik. Garden Arrangement, 2016.  Wood, Buddhist spirit paper, wire and threads.
When Tony asked me to do a collaborative work with him at Slot, I was joy to tears. As an emerging artist, I respect Tony’s work. Tony wanted to use my folded yellow papers with his wooden sculptures. Tony is not in Sydney, but he had given me instructions on how he would like his sculptures arranged. I suggested to him, I could make hallows, a circle, to hang the strings of paper folds.  It’s like statue wrapped in fabric. 

I mentioned to Tony that the installation could be a response to migration, culture, past and present. My grandfather migrated from China to Indonesia by boat. He brought the yellow paper with him. As for me, I “traveled” to Australia from Indonesia as an illegal migrant. I didn’t carry the yellow paper. We both entered new lands without proper permit papers. By coincidence, I come across the yellow paper when I visited my sister in Taiwan.  Tony works with found materials such as wood. With found materials, they are re-purposed and given new identity and role when it is used to make an art work.   This installation reflects on history, spirituality, transitions and myth.

In Garden Arrangement, I burned the yellow papers in the ceramic bowls to pay homage to family tradition and embrace my new culture in Australia.

When Anie asked me, why I always hang my works. My response was I have always drifted from time to time, and I am still waiting for the moment to land,  like Tony's wooden sculptures remaining firm on the ground.

August 2016

I have asked Jayanto to write what goes through his mind as he folded these spirit money papers.  When I met him at Slot he was folding them as a way of filling in time as he waited for my arrival.  I was held up by work, and was an hour late.  Perhaps he will offer this one day with another installation.

This installation conveys a transitory journey.  The briefness is suggested by the lightness of the folded paper money and the seemingly adhoc manner the wooden pieces are put together to have this serendipitous encounter.  Tony mentioned the installation is the meeting of the East and West.  He sees the wood pieces, in the form of human figures, as 'stupas'.  This echos the association of the human body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, an idea with Christian origin.

Jayanto burning paper money as a offer.

The 'yellow paper' is printed on a perfect square.  A Chinese character is printed on each corner.  Reading the characters has the eye take the imaginary path of a cross.  From top to bottom, the characters read 'Shi Jie', meaning the 'World', and from right to left, 'Ji Le', meaning 'Much Happiness'.  In the centre of the paper is strings of Buddhist blessings.  The paper carries the spiritual blessing for the world to be happy and in peace and harmony.

Jayanto has folded this paper into the shape of Chinese silver tael, an ancient form of currency.  They become the spirit money circling the 'stupas' as a way of offering safe, happy passage in plenitude for the spirits. During installation, Jayanto burned the paper money as a homage to his family tradition, in so doing, Jayanto becomes the carrier for the past, the messenger of the present, making connections with his adopted country for this brief encounter.

Jayanto will be exhibiting at Art Studios Gallery at North Gosford from 31st of August to 11th of September.  Origami workshop will be held in conjunction with the exhibition.

Anie Nheu