Imaginary Homeland: 谢谢你的爱

performance-image-2

Performance, 2016

Imaginary Homeland: 谢谢你的爱* is the second project in the Boedi Widjaja’s Imaginary Homeland series, which reflects upon photographic images and its impact in our remembering and re­forming of personal narratives. Having left his hometown at a young age due to ethnic tensions, the artist’s perception of his former country is mostly through images and the imagined.

In Imaginary Homeland: 谢谢你的爱, the artist looks at ideas of embodiment, gaze and memory. The artist will wave a large flag that also functions as a projection screen for a video montage – images the artist made in the series’ debut project**, with his childhood photos in Solo City and Singapore. As the artist waves the flag in the air, he would try to ‘catch’ the video projection onto the flag. As time passes, the act of ‘catching’ the projected images will growingly become more strenuous; the artist feels the ‘weight’ of the images as he experiences physical resistance. The performance is estimated to last 30 min.

*谢谢你的爱 means “Thank You for the Love” in Chinese. It is also the title of Mandopop singer Andy Lau’s album that was released in the 90’s. The artist listened a lot to Mandopop songs on radio programs in his growing up years in Singapore.

**In the series’ debut project—Imaginary Homeland: 我是不是該安靜的走開 (“Shall I Silently Walk Away” in Chinese) —Widjaja looked at press photographs of Indonesian politics to make hand­drawn ‘negatives’. These ‘negatives’ were then put through analogue photography studio processes as well as digital manipulation, to produce a body of images that is a différance from their original meanings. He also made pecis (Javanese head wear that represents the Indonesian national identity, popularised by the country’s first president Sukarno) pinhole negatives from online photographs of Indonesia’s first president Sukarno in political rallies.

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