Talismans for Peculiar Habitats

DATE       2019
MEDIUM    Mixed Media Installation; batik, embroidery on unbleached cotton shroud, wax, sandalwood chips, straw, agarwood, incense, clay, paper, ink, benzoin resin, snakeskin, hair, turmeric and sandalwood, spices, manipulated found objects

Stories We Tell To Scare Ourselves With︎︎︎

26 January – 14 April 2019
MoCA, Taipei

Between the Living and Archive︎︎︎

9 March – 28 March 2021
Gillman Barracks, Singapore


Review of Between the Living and the Archive︎︎︎

by Louis Ho
Art Asia Pacific
Talismans for Peculiar Habitats offers a looking glass to the ineluctably peculiar ways we form kinship, are bound to or avert the burdens of bloodlines and the making and breaking of (found) family who construct sustaining communities of comfort and care. The work is marked by the seascapes and spiritscapes that form cumulative coordinates to the artist’s relation to the ambiguous shorelines we call home, and other places we safeguard and return to.
The work traces life narratives marked by health crises, mourning, dematerialising home, domesticating doubt and crossing physical-psychical thresholds to seek refuge through imagining communities with strangers. Composed from personal mementos, handwritten notes, small sculptural works, effigies, shrouds, talismanic textiles, trays of offerings and other ritually performed gestures, the installation draws from the voices and fragments from local/regional historiographies of living, dying, surviving and our own personal imaginings of it.
What stories do we tell of final rites, of peculiar phantoms, of ruined / renewed landscapes of isolation / belonging, of time and the chaos of crossing thresholds we might be unfamiliar with? What are the ways to gently observe anyone who has transitioned to other worlds on their own (terms) or the spectres estranged from their bloodline of ancestors?