An image of Melati Suryodarmo performing her piece I Am a Ghost in My Own House

From Indonesia: Charcoal and endurance

It comes only once every three years, but when it does it is oh so sweet. We’re talking about the Asia Pacific Triennial! In the lead up to the exhibition, we’ll be doing a series of posts previewing/profiling works by the artists representing the Southeast Asian region. Here’s what will be exhibited from Indonesia.


 

Melati Suryodarmo will be bringing her endurance performance piece I Am a Ghost in My Own House to the triennial. For 12 hours Suryodarmo will crush bricquettes of charcoal into powder, a representation of life’s energy. In the process of grinding down the charcoal, Suryodarmo explores the potential for catharsis and death to lead to something new.

An image of Melati Suryodarmo performing her piece I Am a Ghost in My Own House
I Am a Ghost in My Own House by Melati Suryodarmo. Photo supplied by QAGOMA.

“This charcoal process can represent my thoughts and psychological state, charred into coals through a certain system and, of course, through my personal events… I choose to grind down these coals, turning them into grains and dust and soot. Grinded charcoal, will only lose its energy potential. My thoughts that have been turned into coals by the system, if they pass through the processes of liberation, catharsis, and death… maybe they will once again grow into something new,” she wrote on her website.

Trained in the techniques of Buto (an avant garde Japanese dance style) as well as long-duration performance art, Suryodarmo puts a huge amount of energy into her pieces and she’s sure to mesmerise exhibition goers.

Other exhibition preview posts: Cambodia

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